Launched in the 1980s, the left-leaning think-tank has made its name as an influencer of social policy but wants to promote its credentials on economic thinking.
Pitkeathley is setting up an 'economics and business exchange' consisting of corporates, public bodies and trade unions, which is due to meet for the first time in September. Topics will include climate change, pensions, immigration and local taxation.
Pitkeathley is a former executive director at the British Bankers' Association and was most recently an independent consultant.
The IPPR has also hired Kevin Bowman from Royal Bank of Scotland as corporate relationship manager.