Schanzenbach joins UF as senior advisor to president for academic excellence

President Ben Sasse
June 20, 2023

Today, University of Florida President Dr. Ben Sasse announced Dr. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach will join UF as Senior Advisor to the President for Academic Excellence and Associate Provost on Aug. 8. Schanzenbach is Director of the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) and Margaret Walker Alexander Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, both at Northwestern University.

"I am thrilled that Dr. Schanzenbach is joining the UF team," said Sasse. "Her commitment to academic rigor and her passion for higher education are contagious. UF has done incredible things, and Dr. Schanzenbach is going to help us write the next chapter."

"I am deeply honored to join the University of Florida in this capacity," Schanzenbach said. "I look forward to working in partnership with President Sasse, the Provost’s office, and the entire Gator Nation to continue to grow the university’s excellence in its missions of teaching, research, and service."

A leading expert in the economic analysis of anti-poverty programs and education, Schanzenbach focuses her scholarship on public and private health insurance, including examining its distribution and effectiveness. Her highly regarded research projects have been impactful for policymakers across the nation, and she is widely cited in the media and has testified before both the House of Representatives and the Senate on her research.

As Director of IPR at Northwestern, Schanzenbach strengthened partnerships across the university to bridge across disciplines and to recruit and retain top faculty, cementing its position as a leading trans-disciplinary research institute. In this role, she modernized and enriched the institute’s administrative capacity and communications strategy, spearheaded a fundraising effort that has led to significant new gifts to IPR, increased the number of proposals and grants awarded to IPR, and grown its research labs and teams.

From 2015 to 2017, Schanzenbach was the Director of the Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative that promotes evidence-based policies to enhance broad-based economic growth that is housed at the Brookings Institution, and continues to serve on its Advisory Council. She is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings and a research associate at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Schanzenbach has also lent her expertise to a number of boards and panels, including several committees for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and as a board member of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Start Early, and the Food Research and Action Center.

Schanzenbach earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and religion from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.