Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach is the director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University and the Margaret Walker Alexander Professor at the University. From 2015–17, she was the director of The Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative housed at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. She is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a research affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty, and a nonresident senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution.
Schanzenbach studies issues related to child poverty, including education policy, child health, and food consumption. Much of her research investigates the longer-run impacts of early life experiences, such as the impacts of receiving SNAP benefits during childhood, the impacts of kindergarten classroom quality, and the impacts of early childhood education. She is the chair of the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Policies for Action program, and is serving on Institute of Medicine’s committee on Improving Consumer Data for Food and Nutrition Policy Research. She holds a PhD in economics from Princeton University, and an undergraduate degree in economics and religion from Wellesley College.