On April 29, 2017, Russell Sage Foundation president Sheldon Danziger delivered the commencement address at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. In his remarks, he argued for the continued importance of evidence-based nonpartisan policy analysis at a time when politicians have called for reductions to the social safety net and tax cuts for the economic elite in order to stimulate economic growth. As Danziger noted, “Politicians continue to claim that magic bullets exist” despite scant evidence that such a trickle-down approach has been effective at reducing poverty. He further stressed the importance of bipartisan collaborations in tackling the problem of economic inequality and concluded, “Careful policy analysis and thoughtful dialogue are what represent a Ford School education.”
Before joining RSF, Danziger was the Henry J. Meyer Distinguished University Professor of Public Policy at the Ford School, Research Professor at the Population Studies Center, and Director of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan. He is also co-editor of the RSF book Legacies of the War on Poverty (2013), among many other publications on poverty and inequality.