Maria Cancian is Dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Her research considers the relationship between public policies and family wellbeing. Ongoing projects analyze the interactions of the incarceration, child welfare and child support systems, as well as the implications of multiple partner fertility for family organization and policy.
Prior to joining Georgetown University she was a Kellett Professor, and served as Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Fiscal Initiatives, and as Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
She also served as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy for the HHS Administration for Children and Families, in the Obama Administration, as a Casey Family Programs Senior Fellow, a W. T. Grant Foundation Distinguished Fellow in residence at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, and a Visiting Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. She received her doctorate in Economics from the University of Michigan.