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Dr. Elizabeth Linos, Harvard University Professor, Receives 23rd David N. Kershaw Award


Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor Elizabeth Linos has been awarded the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize for her contributions to improving government. Professor Linos will be recognized at the upcoming 2023 Annual Fall Research Conference this November.

The David N. Kershaw Award and Prize is among the largest awards offered in recognition of outstanding work in public policy research and social science, with recipients receiving a commemorative sculpture and a $20,000 cash prize. Linos received the award for her notable work to better understand how to best recruit, retain, and support the government workforce, as well as how government services are offered in order to advance the design, implementation, and evaluation of critical public policies and programs.

Linos is the Emma Bloomberg Associate Professor for Public Policy and Management, and Faculty Director of The People Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She completed her A.B. in Government & Economics as well as her Ph.D. in Public Policy at Harvard University. Previously Linos was an assistant professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley; vice president and head of research and evaluation at the Behavioral Insights Team; a policy advisor for social innovation to the prime minister of Greece; and served in various roles at the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). In addition to publishing frequently in numerous academic journals including The Journal for Public Administration Research and Theory, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, and Behavioural Public Policy, her research has been highlighted in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Economist, BBC, NPR, Slate, and the Harvard Business Review.

“Dr. Linos effectively applies expertise in public policy, experience in public administration, and a behavioral economics lens to help uncover important insights about how governments can best serve people,” said Paul Decker, president and chief executive officer of Mathematica. “She not only exemplifies the spirit of the Kershaw Award, her portfolio is a testament to the role that modern social scientists should strive to play in not only shaping policy but ensuring that government services are reaching those who need them most.” 

As the 23rd winner of the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize, Dr. Linos joins a distinguished group of professionals under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions to the field of public policy. David Kershaw, for whom the award is named, was the first president of Mathematica. In the spring of 1979, he helped guide the establishment of APPAM—and Mathematica’s principal role within it—before his death from cancer later that year at the age of 37. The award in his memory was created in 1983 and has since been jointly administered by Mathematica and APPAM.

“I am so delighted to see APPAM recognize Elizabeth Linos for her brilliant and impactful research on government performance and public leadership. Her work helps us understand why some public sector agencies are so much more effective than others, and she applies those lessons to policy and practice through her innovative work at The People Lab at Harvard Kennedy School. I cannot imagine a more fitting recipient of the Kershaw Award,” said Professor David Deming, academic dean of Harvard Kennedy School and a previous Kershaw Award winner.

The award also includes the opportunity to deliver the Kershaw Lecture during 2023 Annual Fall Research Conference in Atlanta.

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