Ford Program names Patrizio Piraino new director

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Patrizio Piraino

Patrizio Piraino

The Ford Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, a research initiative of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame, announces the appointment of Faculty Fellow Patrizio Piraino as its new director.

Piraino, an associate professor in the Keough School of Global Affairs, assumes the position left vacant when inaugural director Rev. Robert Dowd, C.S.C., was named assistant provost for internationalization with Notre Dame International last year.

“Patrizio brings to the Ford Program the ideal combination of first-rate research that makes valuable contributions to the field, a multidisciplinary and practice-oriented orientation, and a keen sensitivity to the normative commitments of the Ford Program to advancing integral human development,” said Kellogg Institute Director Paolo Carozza. “I am excited to see how the program will thrive under his leadership.”

As an applied microeconomist whose work has focused on determinants of socioeconomic disadvantage and issues of global socioeconomic mobility, Piraino brings to the Ford Program experience on a range of economic development questions.

With its emphasis on partnerships and team research, the Ford Program will also benefit from Piraino’s expertise in collaborative international research. His projects in recent years have included collaborations with government agencies and the World Bank on the impact of alternative public services to promote youth work-readiness and employment, as well as a large cross-institutional project on education and social protection with 19 universities around the world, mostly from emerging regions.

“It is a great privilege to serve as director of the Ford Program, a unique initiative that combines academic rigor with a sincere and proven commitment to human dignity and community engagement," said Piraino. "I hope to continue the excellent work of Father Bob in encouraging and supporting opportunities for Notre Dame faculty to embark on research that advances the mission of the program.”

Piraino is an affiliate of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab and the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit and is one of co-founders of EqualChances.org, a world database on equality of opportunity and social mobility. His work has been published in numerous high-impact journals including the American Economic Journal, Applied Economics, the Journal of Labor Economics, and Science.

Now with projects in various countries spanning three continents, the Ford Program was founded to foster research, teaching and service that promote integral human development, a holistic model of flourishing rooted in a person's dignity and full potential. The Ford community-engagement model offers a unique approach to research, working collaboratively with partner organizations and community members to identify key concerns and investigate challenges with the aim of offering sustainable solutions.