Ben Armstrong is the interim executive director and a research scientist at MIT’s Industrial Performance Center, where he co-leads the Work of the Future initiative. His research and teaching examine how workers, firms, and regions adapt to technological change. His current projects include a national plan for the U.S. manufacturing workforce in partnership with the Department of Defense, as well as a regional playbook developing lessons for struggling regional economies in the United States. In his work, Ben has collaborated with governments, non-profit organizations, and firms to understand how scholarship and education can be useful to practitioners and policymakers.
Previously, Ben was a Research Fellow and Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University, where he studied how workers, policymakers, and the public think about automation and taught courses on technology, public policy, and capitalism. He worked with the Provost to spearhead the Brown and the Innovation Economy initiative, which developed a strategy for the university to contribute to good job growth in the region, and a faculty colloquium on the future of work. In partnership with the State of Rhode Island and others, he studied the longest autonomous vehicle public transit route in the United States to date.
Ben completed his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University and his PhD at MIT, where he received the Lucian Pye Award for Outstanding Political Science PhD Dissertation. Before graduate school, he helped lead an open-source hardware non-profit and worked at Google Inc.