Susan Dynarski

Susan Dynarski

Harvard Graduate School of Education
Susan Dynarski headshot

Susan Dynarski is a professor at Harvard University, where she holds an appointment at the Graduate School of Education.

She recently moved from the University of Michigan, where she held appointments in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, School of Education, Department of Economics and Institute for Social Research. At Michigan, she was co-director of the Education Policy Initiative and the Michigan Education Data Center and a University Professor of Diversity and Social Transformation.

She is a faculty research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dynarski earned an AB in Social Studies from Harvard, a Master of Public Policy from Harvard and a PhD in Economics from MIT.

Dynarski was selected as a Carnegie Fellow in 2020. The Association for Public Policy and Management awarded her the Spencer Foundation Award for excellence in research in 2017. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators awarded her the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for excellence in research on student aid. The Chronicle of Higher Education named her a "Top Ten Influencer" in 2015. She writes frequently for the New York Times

Dynarski has been a visiting fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Princeton University. She has served on the board of editors of the American Economic Journal/Economic Policy, The Journal of Labor Economics and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. She has served on the board of the Association for Public Policy and Management. She is past president of the Association for Education Finance and Policy and Midwest Economics Association.

Dynarski’s research focuses on understanding and reducing inequality in education. She uses large-scale datasets and quantitative methods of causal inference to understand the effects of charter schools, financial aid, postsecondary schooling, class size, and high school reforms on academic achievement and educational attainment. She has testified before the US Senate Committee on Finance, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, the US House Ways and Means Committee, and the President's Commission on Tax Reform. She has consulted broadly with government agencies, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, US Treasury, US Department of Education, the Council of Economic Advisers, the US Government Accountability Office, school districts and state offices.