Gennetian Named Director of Graduate Studies of PhD Program

 May 22, 2024

Woman looking at screen and smiling.

The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University is pleased to announce that Lisa Gennetian will serve as director of graduate studies of the PhD program beginning July 1. 

Gennetian joined Duke Sanford as the Pritzker Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies in 2020. Drawing on perspectives from the behavioral sciences, psychology, and child development, her research focuses on the economics of child development, specifically child poverty, parent engagement and decisionmaking, as well as policy and social investment considerations.

Gennetian is a co-PI on the first multi-site multi-year randomized control study of a monthly unconditional cash transfer to low-income mothers of infants in the U.S. called Baby’s First Years. She is also a co-PI of the National Center for Research on Hispanic Families and Children.

“I’m committed to mentoring, supporting and diversifying the next generation of scholars, and I am delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to Duke Sanford’s PhD program,” Gennetian said.    

“Lisa has a deep understanding of the challenges facing economically vulnerable families and children, and a history of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaboration that is key to generating new insights and policy solutions toward positive change. She also brings valuable expertise from non-academic and academic sectors as a professional scholar. Our students benefit from her teaching, mentoring and scholarship. I am thrilled that she will be leading our PhD program into the future,” said Manoj Mohanan, senior associate dean for faculty affairs at Sanford.

This May, Gennetian received the Tifft Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Sanford School. Named after late Professor Susan Tifft, this award celebrates educators who excel in guiding and nurturing undergraduate students. Students nominated Gennetian for her ability to engage students in economics and applications to real-world social problems.

In addition to her teaching and research accomplishments, Gennetian was also recently highlighted as one of Duke’s “Trailblazers,” a select group of Duke faculty and staff that embody the future of Duke during the Centennial year of 2024.

Gennetian succeeds Anna Gassman-Pines as the director of the Sanford Public Policy PhD program. Gassman-Pines served as the Sanford director of graduate studies for the PhD in Public Policy program since July 2023 and will become senior associate dean for faculty affairs at Sanford on July 1.

Learn more about Sanford’s Public Policy PhD program.


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