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Amy Ellen Schwartz
Amy Ellen Schwartz has been named the next dean of UD's Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration.

New leadership for Biden School

Amy Ellen Schwartz named dean of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration

Amy Ellen Schwartz, professor and chair of the economics department in the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, will be the new dean of the University of Delaware’s Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration, UD President Dennis Assanis and Provost Laura Carlson announced today. Her appointment is effective Sept. 1, 2022.

“Amy Schwartz is a highly respected academic leader and prolific researcher who applies economics theory and public policy to tackle key national issues related to education, health, transportation, housing, crime, the economy and infrastructure,” Assanis said. “The faculty, students and staff of the Biden School have dedicated themselves to the understanding and application of public policy, service and leadership to advance societal progress. I am confident that Amy is an ideal choice to grasp the aspirations of our prestigious Biden School and lead into the future.”

Carlson commented, “I look forward to working closely with Amy to further establish the Biden School as a beacon for academic excellence, defining its scholarship, curriculum and service. She has a compelling vision for the school’s future based on her deep and personal commitment to upholding the pillars of teaching and education, research and service.”

Assanis and Carlson both expressed their gratitude for the dedicated efforts of the search advisory committee, particularly Dan Smith, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of budget and financial management, and Laura Desimone, professor and director of research in the College of Education and Human Development, both of whom served as chairs.

“I am thrilled to be appointed as the dean of the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration at this exciting time,” Schwartz said. “I look forward to working with President Assanis, Provost Carlson and the Biden School community to enhance our capacity to address pressing public problems through first-rate research, world class education programs and proactive public engagement.” 

She succeeds Maria Aristigueta, the Biden School’s inaugural dean, who announced her plans to retire earlier in the year.

About Amy Ellen Schwartz

At Syracuse, Schwartz has served as the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs and is also professor of economics and public administration and international affairs.

Previously, she taught at New York University where she is now professor emerita of public policy, education and economics. During her tenure at NYU, she held a number of administrative leadership positions, including director of the doctoral program in the Wagner School of Public Service and director of the Institute for Education and Social Policy. She currently serves as senior research associate in the Maxwell School’s Center for Policy Research and is the director of transportation research for the IES-funded National Research Center on Education Access and Choice.

Schwartz’ primary research interests are in the areas of education finance and policy, urban economics and policy, and social determinants of health. Current research focuses on the social and policy determinants of student academic success and well-being, exploring the role of housing, transportation and neighborhood change, the spatial dimensions of inequality, and the efficacy of school reform.

The author or coauthor of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, as well as numerous other publications and working papers, Schwartz has made presentations about her research around the world.

Her work has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Institute for Education Sciences and others.

Among her many honors, Schwartz is a fellow of the Weimer School of Advanced Studies in Real Estate and Urban Economics and she served as president of the American Education Finance Associate in 2008-09. She serves on the editorial board of a number of leading academic journals, including the Journal of Urban Economics, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and Education Finance and Policy, for which is the former editor-in-chief.

A native New Yorker, she earned her bachelor’s degrees with distinction in applied economics at Cornell University and a doctoral degree in economics from Columbia University.

About the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration

Named for the University of Delaware’s most distinguished alumnus, the 46th president of the United States, the Biden School is committed to preparing students with the knowledge, skills and values needed to engage in research and public service that will improve the quality of life in communities around the world.

The Biden School’s combination of interdisciplinary, nonpartisan research and empirically based analysis guides faculty, staff and students to inform effective decision-making and policy and to improve leadership and administration.

The school houses three undergraduate programs, six master’s degree programs, four graduate certificates and five doctoral programs focusing on energy and environment, social determinants of health, disasters and recovery, education and social policy, and nonprofit and public management and leadership. The school is also home to seven research and public service centers, including the Biden Institute, a research and policy center that works to address the most pressing domestic policy problems facing the nation.

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