Margaret Olivia Sage Scholars

Established in 2015, the Foundation's Margaret Olivia Sage Scholars program provides the opportunity for distinguished social scientists to spend brief periods in residence at the Russell Sage Foundation. The program is named in honor of RSF’s founder, Margaret Olivia Sage. Margaret Olivia Sage (MOS) Scholars are nominated and selected by the Foundation's Board of Trustees on the basis of their outstanding career accomplishments. While in residence at RSF, they will pursue their own research and participate in the intellectual activities of the Foundation through mentoring the annual class of Visiting Scholars and advising the President and program officers about both new and ongoing research initiatives.

Robert M. Solow continues as the Foundation’s Robert K. Merton Scholar, a position he has held since 2001. The Merton Scholar recognizes the enduring contributions of an eminent scholar to the social sciences. Solow, Institute Professor Emeritus at M.I.T., was Nobel Laureate in Economics in 1987.

In addition, each year the Russell Sage Foundation selects a class of 16-17 Visiting Scholars based on external peer review of submitted applications.

We are pleased to announce the first group of Margaret Olivia Sage Scholars who will be visiting the Foundation during the next several academic years:


2016-2017 Margaret Olivia Sage Scholars

Christopher Jencks

Jencks is Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at Harvard University. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (1991–1992) and a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies (1963–1967). He is a member of the editorial board of the American Prospect and the author or co-author of several books, including The Academic Revolution (1968), Rethinking Social Policy (1992), The Homeless (1994), and The Black-White Test Score Gap (1998). Jencks’s current research examines changes in family structure over the past generation, the costs and benefits of economic inequality, the extent to which economic advantages are inherited, and the effects of welfare reform.

William Julius Wilson

Wilson is the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Education and the Institute of Medicine. He has served as president of the American Sociological Association, and was a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellow. His books include Power, Racism and Privilege (1973), The Declining Significance of Race (1978), The Truly Disadvantaged (1987), When Work Disappears (1996), The Bridge over the Racial Divide (1999), and More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (2009). Wilson served on the board of the Russell Sage Foundation from 1988–1998, and as chair from 1993–1996.


Visits to be scheduled

George A. Akerlof

Akerlof is the Daniel E. Koshland, Sr. Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and University Professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. He was the Nobel Laureate in Economics in 2001 and the co-author of several books, including Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism (2009) and Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being (2010). He is currently working on a book, titled Phishing for Phools, with economist and fellow Nobel Laureate in Economics Robert Shiller.

Ira Katznelson

Katznelson is Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University and president of the Social Science Research Council. He is a former chair of the RSF Board of Trustees and co-editor of the RSF book Preferences and Situations (2007). He has also served as president of the American Political Science Association and president of the Social Science History Association. His most recent book, Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time, was awarded the Bancroft Prize in History and the Woodrow a Wilson Award in Political Science.

Hazel Rose Markus

Markus is is Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences and the co-director of the Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions (SPARQ) center at Stanford University. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a former Guggenheim Fellow. She has served as president of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and is co-editor of the RSF books Engaging Cultural Differences (2002), Just Schools (2008), and Facing Social Class (2012).

Richard H. Thaler

Thaler is is Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is a member of the RSF Behavioral Economics Roundtable and a former member of the RSF Board of Trustees. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a former president of the American Economic Association. He is co-author of the book Nudge (2008), and author of Misbehaving (2015) and Quasi Rational Economics (1994).


Past Margaret Olivia Sage Scholars

Marta Tienda

Tienda is the Maurice P. During ’22 Professor of Demographic Studies and Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, where she directed the Office of Population Research from 1998–2002. She was a board member of Russell Sage Foundation from 1992–2001, and currently serves as a trustee of the Teachers Insurance Annuity Association, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Jacobs Foundation of Switzerland, and the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Tienda is co-editor of the books Hispanics and the Future of America (2006) and Multiple Origins, Uncertain Destinies (2006). She is currently examining how literacy rates among immigrants affects their wages, and has begun a new research initiative to study the formation of teen romantic relationships using diaries administered on smartphones.

The Russell Sage Foundation
Journal of the Social Sciences

The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


The Russell Sage Foundation offers grants and positions in our Visiting Scholars program for research.


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