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David Deming Named Faculty Director of Harvard Kennedy School Wiener Center

The Harvard Kennedy School, pictured in 2017.
The Harvard Kennedy School, pictured in 2017. By Caleb D. Schwartz
By Alexandra A. Chaidez, Crimson Staff Writer

Professor of Public Policy David J. Deming was named the faculty director of the Kennedy School’s Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, the school announced Wednesday.

In his new position, Deming — who also serves as a professor of education and economics at the Graduate School of Education — succeeds former Kennedy School Dean David J. Ellwood, who has held the position since 2016. Ellwood is currently a professor of political economy at the Kennedy School.

Deming’s research focuses on labor and education economics. He founded Collegiate Leaders in Increasing MoBility — CLIMB — initiative, a research partnership aiming to foster social advancement through institutions of higher education. Deming also serves as a research principal for the Opportunity Insights institute, an organization developed by economist Raj Chetty ’00 to work on reducing economic inequality in America.

Deming won the David Kershaw Award and Prize for his work in the fields of public policy and management. The prize is given to prominent individuals in these fields and are under the age of 40.

Deming said in a press release that he is “honored” to contribute to the Center’s work and scholarship.

“For three decades, the Malcolm Wiener Center has been at the nexus of some of the most important social policy debates in this country,” Deming said. “I am honored by the chance to serve the Wiener Center’s proud tradition of improving public policy and practice through scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and outreach.”

The Malcolm Wiener Center — founded in 1988 — produces research on social inequality and domestic policy. Faculty affiliated with the Center include Professor of Public Policy Amitabh Chandra, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy Khalil G. Muhammad, and Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values Jane J. Mansbridge.

Kennedy School Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf lauded Deming’s credentials in the press release Wednesday.

“We are extremely fortunate that David has agreed to direct the Wiener Center at Harvard Kennedy School,” Elmendorf wrote. “David’s outstanding scholarship at the intersection of public policy, economics, and education—and especially his work on education as a means to increase social mobility—make him an ideal leader for the center.”

Elmendorf also praised Ellwood as he prepares to depart from the faculty director position.

“David Ellwood has led the Wiener Center with great judgment and dedication during the past three years, as he led the entire Kennedy School during the preceding years as dean,” Elmendorf wrote. “All of us at the Kennedy School are in his debt.”

Deming will begin in his new post on July 1.

—Staff writer Alexandra A. Chaidez can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @a_achaidez.

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PoliticsHarvard Kennedy SchoolUniversityGraduate School of Education