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The Ford School faculty is growing

July 23, 2015

We’re delighted to announce significant growth in our faculty for the coming year, including six additions to our governing faculty.

Paula Lantz, a social epidemiologist, is currently professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University’s School of Public Health. She will be the Ford School’s first Associate Dean for Research and Policy Engagement. Check out our Q&A with Paula.

John Leahy, will be the first Allen Sinai Professor of Macroeconomics. He is currently professor of economics at New York University, and will have a split appointment between the Ford School and LS&A Department of Economics.

Luke Shaefer, currently an associate professor of social work, will shift one third of his appointment to the Ford School. He is about to release a new book on extreme poverty in the U.S. Natasha Pilkauskas has a PhD in social welfare and is completing a post-doc at Columbia University.  Kaitlin Raimi is a social psychologist completing a post-doc at Vanderbilt University. Megan Tompkins-Stange, currently a lecturer at the Ford School, will also become an assistant professor in September. Jonathan K. Hanson will be a lecturer in statistics for public policy.


We’ve strengthened our partnership with the University of Michigan Department of Sociology with the addition of six very distinguished courtesy appointments.

Sociology Chair Alford Young, William Axinn, Sarah Burgard, Jeffrey Morenoff, Alexandra Murphy, and Jason Owen-Smith will all have courtesy appointments with the Ford School.


Three senior members of our faculty will return to campus this fall after service and research in Washington, DC.

Betsey Stevenson has been one of three members of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers since fall of 2013. In the fall, Stevenson will teach two graduate level classes at the Ford School: Social Policy Making Through the Executive Branch and Topics: Federal Budget Process.

Robert Axelrod, the Walgreen Professor for the Study of Human Understanding, completed a Jefferson Science Fellowship at the U.S. Department of State this spring. Jefferson Science Fellows serve for one year at the U.S. Department of State or USAID as science and technology advisors on foreign policy issues, enhancing understanding among policy officials of complex, cutting edge scientific issues and their possible impacts on U.S. foreign policy and international relations. Read Bob's takeaways from a year-long State Department fellowship.

Justin Wolfers has been on leave from the University since the fall of 2013. He’s worked from the Brookings Institution and more recently, from the Peterson Institute. Wolfers has written, commented, and testified widely on economic policy issues. In the fall, he’ll teach the core graduate course Microeconomics A at the Ford School.


We'll host two Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Policymakers in Residence this year.

In the fall, Harold Ford Jr.  will teach a half-semester course, Contemporary Public Policy Formation. And in the winter, Ambassador Richard Boucher will return for the final half of his residency and teach two full-semester courses.


Get to know our new and returning faculty better by reading our series of Q&As. We’ll continue rolling these out all summer.