Campus & Community

Harvard Kennedy School dean awarded Moynihan Prize

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David T. Ellwood, dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, has been selected by the American Academy of Political and Social Science as winner of the 2009 Daniel Moynihan Prize. The prize will be awarded at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on May 7.

The $20,000 prize was created by the academy to honor public officials and social scientists who have consistently used the findings of social science research to improve public policy for the betterment of the human condition. It is intended to honor the legacy of Moynihan by recognizing those who champion the use of sound analysis to serve the public good. Daniel Patrick Moynihan served as a senator for the state of New York from 1977 to 2001. He died in 2003.

Academy President Douglas S. Massey cited Ellwood, saying that he “embodies the spirit of the Moynihan Prize by combining first-rate social science and direct engagement in public policy with a firm moral sensibility and a deep concern for the public good.”

“I am deeply honored to have been selected to receive the Moynihan Prize,” said Ellwood. “Sen. Moynihan was a dedicated public servant who helped lead the war on poverty in America. His tireless efforts laid the groundwork for the important issues that many of us continue to grapple with today.”

Ellwood has served as dean of Harvard Kennedy School since 2004, and has been a member of the faculty since 1980. He served as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1993 to 1995. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading scholars on poverty and welfare, and his work has been credited with significantly influencing public policy in the United States and abroad.

A native of Minnesota who earned both his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from Harvard, 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 the second recipient of the Moynihan Prize. Alice M. Rivlin, founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, was winner of the inaugural prize last year.

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