María E. Enchautegui


María E. Enchautegui is the Research Director of the Youth Development Institute. Her career spans through the private, government and academic sectors.

Prior to joining the Youth Development Institute, she was the Acting Director of the Department of Economics and the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Dr. Enchautegui was a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington D.C. and Senior Economic Advisor at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the US Department of Labor, under an appointment of President Barack Obama. She was also professor at the University of Puerto Rico.

Enchautegui has provided consulting services to a variety of Puerto Rico’s government agencies including the Department of Labor, the Office of Women’s Procurement, the Department of the Treasury and the Office of Budget and Management. Her most recent publication is a study of the impacts of Hurricane Maria on children, carried out with a multidisciplinary team of the University of Puerto Rico. She has conducted various studies on the effect of the earned income tax credit on Puerto Rican families. She is also the author of Effects of the CCDF Subsidy Program on the Employment Outcomes of Low Income Mothers focusing on US women, for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Her areas of expertise are labor markets, family economic security, gender and migration. Her research has been published in the Journal of Labor Economics, Population and Development Review, and Social Science Quarterly, among others. She has a Ph.D. in economics from Florida State University.

According to Dr. Enchautegui: “Quality research can make a difference in the wellbeing of Puerto Rico’s children. My interest is research with a purpose, to increase awareness and influence policymaking to improve the life chances of the children and youth of Puerto Rico, especially of the most disadvantaged. With over 1 in every 2 children living in poverty, the cost of doing nothing is simply enormous”.