Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach is director of Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research and the Margaret Walker Alexander Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy. She is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Schanzenbach, who was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2019, is a labor economist who studies policies aimed at improving the lives of children in poverty, including education, health, and income support policies. Her recent work has focused on tracing the impact of major public policies such as SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program) and early childhood education on children’s long-term outcomes.
Schanzenbach was formerly director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, an economic policy initiative that promotes policies to enhance broad-based economic growth. She has testified before both the Senate and the House of Representatives on her research.
Her research has received financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Education, the Spencer Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Smith-Richardson Foundation. Her research has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Review, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and the Review of Economics and Statistics, among other outlets.
She graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in economics and religion, and received a PhD in economics from Princeton University.