David T. Ellwood is the Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy, and Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. He served as Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2015.
Ellwood joined the Kennedy School faculty in 1980 and served two separate terms as the School’s Academic Dean.
In 1993, he was named Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) where he served as co-chair of President Clinton’s Working Group on Welfare Reform, Family Support and Independence. At HHS, Ellwood played a key role in the Administration’s development and implementation of critical social policy.
Recognized as one of the nation’s leading scholars on poverty and welfare, Ellwood’s work has been credited with significantly influencing public policy in the United States and abroad. A labor economist who also specializes in family change, low pay and unemployment, his most recent research focuses on the changing structure of American families. Ellwood is the author of numerous books and articles, including Welfare Realities: From Rhetoric to Reform, co-authored with Mary Jo Bane. His book, Poor Support: Poverty in the American Family, was selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the notable books of 1988 and by the Policy Studies Organization as the outstanding book of the year.
Ellwood was recipient of the David N. Kershaw Award, given by the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management to outstanding individuals under the age of 40 who have made a distinguished contribution to the field of public policy. He also received the Morris and Edna Zale Award for Outstanding Distinction in Scholarship and Public Service from Stanford University.
Ellwood is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Senior Research Affiliate of the National Poverty Center at University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He is also a Faculty Affiliate of the Joint Center for Poverty Research at Northwestern University/University of Chicago and serves on the Board of Abt Associates and the Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Foundation.
A native of Minnesota, Ellwood graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1975 and earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University in 1981.