Transformational research leading to evidence-based policymaking: fall 2019 faculty news

September 3, 2019

With so many wonderful faculty returning, and several new faces joining the Ford School, the stage is set for a great academic year. Our excellent leadership team remains in place: Paula Lantz is the associate dean for academic affairs, Elisabeth Gerber is the school’s associate dean for research and policy engagement, Ann Lin is the school’s course manager, Sharon Maccini is the BA program director, and John Leahy is the PhD program director.

Several faculty received promotions this spring.

H. Luke Shaefer earned a promotion to professor of public policy and social work. He is an excellent teacher and mentor known for his trailblazing work with Poverty Solutions. Shaefer’s book with Kathryn Edin, $2 a day, was named one of the 100 notable books of 2015 by the New York Times.

Betsey Stevenson is now professor of public policy and professor of economics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Stevenson served on the Senate-confirmed Council of Economic Advisers and as chief economist at the Labor Department for the Obama Administration. Committed to teaching and pedagogy, she currently is working on a textbook with Justin Wolfers and has taught the required undergraduate economics course at the Ford School since 2016.

Sarah A. Burgard was promoted to professor of sociology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; professor of epidemiology, School of Public Health; professor of public policy, Ford School; and research professor, Population Studies Center at the Institute for Social Research. Known for her work across disciplines, Burgard’s research examines how health disparities are produced across the course of life, and why social disparities in health persist despite changes in economic, social, policy, and technology conditions.

Congratulations are also in order for Paul Courant, who was named a Distinguished University Professor, the University’s most prestigious professorship. Courant has selected the title of “Edward M. Gramlich Distinguished University Professor of Economics and Public Policy” to honor Ned Gramlich, who twice served as director of the Ford School's predecessor, the Institute of Public Policy Studies, and was the school's first dean, having led the transition to the School of Public Policy in 1995. 

We welcome many new faculty members and returning visitors to our ranks as well:

Earl Lewis joins the Ford School as the Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History, Afromerican and African Studies, and Public Policy. Lewis, an author and esteemed historian, is also the founding director of the U-M Center for Social Solutions.

Jeffrey D. Morenoff joins the Ford School as a professor of public policy and sociology. He is also director of the U-M Institute for Social Research’s Population Studies Center. Morenoff's research interests include neighborhood environments, inequality, crime and criminal justice, the social determinants of health, racial/ethnic/immigrant disparities in health and antisocial behavior, and methods for analyzing multilevel and spatial data.

The Honorable Sander Levin joined the Ford School last winter as Distinguished Policymaker in Residence and professor of practice, with support from the Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence program. For 36 years, Levin represented residents of Southeast Michigan in the U.S. Congress. The former chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Levin was actively involved in the major debates around welfare reform, the auto industry rescue, China’s entry into the WTO, the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and many other critical economic policy issues.

Adrienne Harris returns to the Ford School as a professor of practice, with support from the Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence program. She previously served as special assistant for economic policy to President Obama at the White House National Economic Council and as senior advisor to the Deputy Secretary in the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Jennifer Haverkamp joins the Ford School as a professor of practice. She is also the director of the U-M Graham Sustainability Institute. An internationally-recognized expert on climate change, international trade, and global environmental policy and negotiations, she has led U.S. climate negotiators to a successful international agreement under the Montreal Protocol.

Charlotte Cavaillé joins the Ford School as an assistant professor of public policy. She comes to the Ford School from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. Through her research, which has appeared in the Journal of Politics and the American Political Science Review, Cavaillé examines the dynamics of popular attitudes towards redistributive social policies at a time of rising inequality, high fiscal stress, and high levels of immigration. She will be on leave this year as a fellow at Princeton’s Center for the Study of Democratic Politics.

Pamela Jagger is an associate professor at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, and joins the Ford School community with a courtesy appointment. She is an applied political economist whose research focuses on the dynamics of poverty and environment interactions in low-income countries. A global leader in interdisciplinary population and environment research, Jagger leads the interdisciplinary Forest Use, Energy, and Livelihoods (FUEL) Lab, and is the director of the National Science Foundation funded Energy Poverty PIRE in Southern Africa, a five-year collaborative program to support research and training on the topic of energy access in Southern Africa.

Marianne Udow-Phillips joins the Ford School as a lecturer. She is also the founding executive director of U-M’s Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT). Prior to her leadership role at CHRT, Marianne served as director of the State of Michigan’s Department of Human Services (2004-07). She came to state service from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, where she held a number of leadership roles over the years, most recently as senior vice president of health care products and provider services.

Melissa Riba is a new lecturer at the Ford School and the research and evaluation director for the U-M Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT). Riba directs CHRT’s survey and program evaluation portfolios, including two biennial surveys—Cover Michigan and the Michigan Physician Survey—and numerous evaluations for community and statewide programs aimed at improving health and health care for Michiganders. She previously was a senior consultant for evaluation and survey research in the Health and Human Services Policy Division at Public Sector Consultants, Inc.

Javed Ali, former Senior Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council, returns as a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence. Lou Fintor, who joined the community last winter, continues as the U.S. State Department Diplomat in Residence. Phyllis Meadows, a senior fellow at The Kresge Foundation, will be a Towsley Policymaker in Residence for winter 2020. Hardy Vieux, who is the vice president for legal at Human Rights First, returns in the fall of 2019 as a Towsley Policymaker in Residence. Also joining for fall 2019 as a Towsley Policymaker in Residence is Gail Wilensky, economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE.

This fall we will also celebrate Bob Axelrod’s retirement and recognize him for his towering intellectual achievements and lasting legacy.