Photo of Brittany Birken

Brittany Birken

CED Director and Principal Adviser

Areas of Expertise: Benefits cliffs, child development, early learning and early grade success, policy and system alignment strategies for government assistance programs, two-generational strategies for families with children in poverty
Recent Work: Benefits cliffs, early childhood system development
  • Biography

    Brittany Birken serves as a director and principal adviser on the Atlanta Fed’s Community and Economic development team. In this role, Birken specializes in the identification of structural barriers and solutions to career advancement for low-income working families. Prior to joining the Atlanta Fed, she was a faculty member at the University of Florida’s Lastinger Center, which develops programs focused on creating educational systems that support student achievement of critical milestones that predict success. She has also served as the director of Florida’s Office of Early Learning and as chief executive of the Florida Children’s Council, the umbrella organization for children’s services councils statewide.

    Birken has worked with business leaders and policymakers to develop strategies that support pathways to economic security and improved outcomes for low-income working families with young children. Additionally, she has helped shape community and state policy efforts that support the current workforce and develop a sustainable educational infrastructure for talent development. Birken is a gubernatorial-appointed board member and chair of the strategic performance and policy council for CareerSource Florida, is a member of Leadership Florida, and Florida Trend named her one of the 2021 Florida 500 Most Influential Leaders. She holds a PhD from Florida State University.

  • Publications

    Atlanta Fed Community and Economic Development Discussion Papers

    Restructuring the Eligibility Policies of the Child Care and Development Fund to Address Benefits Cliffs and Affordability: Florida as a Case Study
    Brittany Birken, Elias Ilin, Alexander Ruder, and Ellyn Terry
    Discussion Paper 2021-1 (June 2021)
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format



    Brittany Birken and Alexander Ruder. "CLIFF Dashboard Evaluations: Insights from Three State Pilots." Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Partners Update (August 30, 2022).


    Brittany Birken and Ellyn Terry. "What Can Be Done about the Childcare Benefits Cliff? A Case Study in Florida." Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Partners Update (June 21, 2021).


    Brittany Birken. "Dollars and Sense: Affordability of Childcare." Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Partners Update (COVID-19 Publications 2020).

    Brittany Birken, Ann Carpenter, Karen Leone de Nie, Sameera Fazili, Mary Hirt, David A. Jackson, Sarah Miller, Patrick Pontius, Julie Siwicki, Sarah Stein, Nisha Sutaria, and Janelle Williams. “Tackling the Unknown Together: Community Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Partners Update (March/April 2020).

    Mels de Zeeuw and Brittany Birken. "School’s Out: Childcare Needs among Essential Health Care Workers and First Responders." Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Partners Update (March/April 2020).

    Special Publications

    Katherine Townsend Kiernan, Benjamin Horowitz, and Brittany Birken. "Childcare Affordability Affects Labor Market and Family Choices." Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta ((January 12, 2022).