Ford School welcomes senior scholars Pamela Herd and Donald Moynihan

July 12, 2024

On June 20, the Regents of the University of Michigan approved the appointments of two distinguished new Ford School faculty, sociologist Pamela Herd and Donald Moynihan, a scholar of public administration.

Pamela Herd has been appointed as professor of public policy, with tenure, effective August 26, 2024, and as the Carol Kakalec Kohn Professor of Social Policy, for a five-year term. She has also been appointed faculty associate at the Institute for Social Research Population Studies Center, effective September 1.

“I am absolutely thrilled to join the Ford School at the University of Michigan,” Herd said. “It's an extraordinary institution, producing some of the best social science research in the world.  I am especially honored to support the Kohn Collaborative, which is focused on policy initiatives to reduce inequality.”

Donald Moynihan joins the Ford School as professor of public policy, with tenure, effective August 26, 2024. The Ford School will put Moynihan forward as the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy, which if approved by the U-M Regents this summer, will take effect on January 1, 2025.

"I am delighted to be joining one of the great public institutions of higher education in America," Moynihan said. “I look forward to working with the world class faculty and students at the Ford School."

Ford School Dean Celeste Watkins-Hayes said she is excited to welcome these two outstanding teachers and scholars to the Ford School faculty.

“Professor Herd uses her rigorous research to have a tremendous impact on aging, health, and anti-poverty policies for Americans,” she said. “Professor Moynihan’s influential research on performance management and administrative burden sheds light on pressing concerns for improving the function and impact of government services.”

Pamela Herd comes to the Ford School from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. A Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown, Herd is a renowned sociologist who focuses on inequality and how it intersects with health, aging, and policy. She is also an expert in survey research and biodemographic methods. She is currently one of the Co-Principal Investigators for General Social Survey, an Investigator with the Wisconsin Longitudinal Survey, and Chair of the NIH Data Advisory Board for the National Study of Adolescent Health.

Herd also researches administrative burden, or the bureaucratic obstacles that people encounter when trying to access government benefits, services, and rights. She is especially interested in how this burden is both shaped by and further reinforces inequality. Her book Administrative Burden. Policymaking by other Means has received numerous awards, was reviewed in the New York Review of Books, and has helped influence state and federal policy reforms, including recent executive orders by the Biden Administration. She frequently writes and speaks on these topics to media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, NPR, and the PBS NewsHour.

In addition to her book awards, she has received the Outstanding Public Engagement in Health Policy Award from the American Political Science Association, the Kohl Award, the AARP Innovation Award, and the Wilder School Award for Scholarship in Social Equity in Public Policy Analysis, given by the National Academy of Public Administration.

Herd received her BA in Sociology from Colby College and PhD in Sociology from Syracuse University. 

Donald Moynihan joins the Ford School from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, where he has served as McCourt Chair of Public Policy since 2018. He was previously the director of the La Follette School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Moynihan’s research seeks to improve how government works by studying the administrative burdens people encounter in their interactions with the government. He co-directs the Better Government Lab, which looks for technology and other types of interventions to help government improve access to the social safety net. Herd and Moynihan will continue to play a role in the Better Government Lab, which they co-founded.

Moynihan has presented his research to policymakers at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, OECD, the Government Accountability Office, as well as governments around the world. His writing and research have been cited in President Obama’s and President Biden's budget proposals, OMB policy guidance under President Biden, and media such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and other publications.

In 2014, Moynihan won the Kershaw Award, which is given every two years by Mathematica and the Association of Public Policy and Management (APPAM) to one scholar under the age of 40 for outstanding contributions to the study of public policy and management. Also in 2014, he had two papers listed among the 75 most influential published in the then-75 year history of  Public Administration Review.

Moynihan is the current president of APPAM. A native of Ireland, Moynihan completed his bachelor of arts degree in public administration at the University of Limerick, and his master's and Ph.D. in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.