Governing board

David T. Ellwood

David T. Ellwood

Director, Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy
Isabelle and Scott Black Professor of Political Economy
Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor


Research interests: Poverty and welfare, economic mobility. Labor economics, family change, low pay and unemployment, changing structure of American families.

David J. Deming

David J. Deming

Director, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy
Professor of Public Policy (Harvard Kennedy School)
Professor of Education and Economics (HGSE)


Research interests: Economics of skill development, education, and the labor market. The long-run influence of school accountability: impacts, mechanisms, and policy implications. The growing return to social skills in the labor market.

Jennifer Hochschild

Jennifer Hochschild

Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government
Professor of African and African American Studies


Research interests: Intersection of American politics and political philosophy. Race, ethnicity, and immigration; educational and social welfare policies. Hochschild is currently conducting research on the politics and ideology of genomic science, immigrant political incorporation, and citizens’ use of factual information in political decision-making.

Lawrence Katz

Lawrence Katz

Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics


Research interests: Labor economics and the economics of social problems. History of U.S. economic inequality and the roles of technological change and the pace of educational advance in affecting the wage structure. Impacts of neighborhood poverty on low-income families. 

Currently working with Claudia Goldin on a major project studying the evolution of career and family choices and outcomes for U.S. college men and women.

Alexandra (Sasha) Killewald

Alexandra (Sasha) Killewald

Professor of Sociology
Chair, PhD Program in Social Policy
Director of Graduate Studies, Sociology and Sociology & Social Policy


Research interests: Killewald's research takes a demographic approach to the study of social stratification. Work-family intersection; ways in which earnings and employment shape women's time in household labor; and the effect of marriage and parenthood on workers' wages. 

Parental wealth on adult outcomes, including the role of parental wealth in explaining the Black-White wealth gap. Assortative mating by parental wealth.

Theda Skocpol

Theda Skocpol

Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology
Director, Scholars Strategy Network


Research interests: American politics. U.S. social policy and civic engagement amidst the shifting inequalities in American democracy.

The Shifting U.S. Political Terrain project, launched in 2015, documents transformations in advocacy groups, constituency organizations, think tanks, and donor organizations operating around the Democratic and Republican parties – and asks how these shifts contribute to GOP extremism, government gridlock, and public policies that spur economic inequality.

Other projects include tracking the implementation of health reform in the U.S. states; analyzing the dynamics of local Tea Party groups; and probing how the Democratic Party has handled – and mishandled – political battles over taxes and public revenues. 

Mary C. Waters

Mary C. Waters

PVK Professor of Arts and Sciences
John L. Loeb Professor of Sociology


Research interests: Integration of immigrants and their children; the transition to adulthood for the children of immigrants; intergroup relations; the measurement and meaning of racial and ethnic identity; and the social, demographic, and psychological impact of natural disasters.

William Julius Wilson

William Julius Wilson

Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Emeritus


Research interests: Urban poverty, neighborhoods, joblessness, concentrated disadvantage, race and inequality, and social policies to address these problems.