Prof. Katherine Baicker has been reappointed as dean of the Harris School of Public Policy, effective July 1, President Paul Alivisatos and Provost Ka Yee C. Lee announced.
A leading scholar in the economic analysis of health policy, Baicker serves as the Emmett Dedmon Professor. Since she became dean in 2017, the school has experienced tremendous growth, tripling the size of its student body while increasing selectivity and eminence.
As dean, Baicker expanded the breadth and depth of the Harris faculty, increasing tenure-track ranks and strengthening key areas including analytical politics and democracy, energy and environmental policy, conflict and development, and urban policy. She also integrated and expanded the UChicago Urban Labs and the Civic Leadership Academy across the school.
Baicker has advanced curricular innovations, including in Harris’s joint master’s degree in computational analytics and public policy, the school’s part-time evening master’s program, and the University’s first undergraduate major offered through a professional school. She was instrumental in launching and shaping the University of Chicago’s Obama Foundation Scholars Program.
During her first term as dean, Baicker established Harris’s first Diversity & Inclusion Roadmap. Additionally, she reimagined the school’s signature events, including conferring the Harris Dean’s Award to high-profile leaders such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, helping build reputation and visibility for the school.
Alivisatos said Baicker’s reappointment reflects her innovative leadership and the broad impact she has had at Harris and beyond. The reappointment was also reinforced by the recommendation of an advisory committee composed of Harris faculty.
“The Harris School of Public Policy continues elevating its status as a global hub for data-driven policy analysis,” Alivisatos said. “Many of its accomplishments over the past several years are due to Katherine’s strong and steady leadership, along with her academic and policy leadership expertise. We are confident she will continue advancing the University’s eminence in the field of public policy in the coming years.”
Baicker’s research focuses on public and private health insurance effectiveness, including the effect of reforms on the distribution and quality of care. Before joining the University of Chicago, she was the C. Boyden Gray Professor of Health Economics at Harvard University, holding appointments at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Kennedy School of Government. From 2005 to 2007, she served as a Senate-confirmed member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where she played a leading role in the development of health policy. Baicker earned her B.A. in economics from Yale University and her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
“I am delighted to continue my work as dean,” Baicker said. “With Harris’s commitment to evidence-based policymaking—grounded in the University’s deep tradition of rigorous analysis—our school remains well-positioned to thrive as we train new generations of policy leaders, pursue cutting-edge research, and engage communities near and far.”