Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Moynihan, Herd heading to Georgetown

Moynihan, Herd heading to Georgetown

After 13 years at UW–Madison, Professors Pam Herd and Don Moynihan are leaving to take positions at Georgetown University. Moynihan is the director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs, while Herd is a professor at the La Follette School and in the Department of Sociology.

“The departure is certainly bittersweet,” said Moynihan, “I have loved teaching classes that allow our wonderful students to pursue the Wisconsin Idea by working with public and nonprofit organizations.”

Moynihan, who received his doctorate in public administration from Syracuse University, noted that objective indicators of research quality have consistently ranked the La Follette School as one of the best in the world.

“Such success is built on strong recruitment and mentoring of a cohort of highly productive research scholars, and almost all tenured La Follette faculty have won highly competitive university-wide research awards,” Moynihan said.

Professor Greg Downey, associate dean for the social sciences at UW–Madison, said the College of Letters & Science has begun work on a hiring strategy that will help keep the La Follette School strong in the coming years.

“The La Follette School has a Board of Visitors with an incredible vision for the school, and I am grateful for their leadership,” Moynihan added. “The school is still a small unit, but we provide stronger support for our students, reach more of the public and policymakers with outreach, and are generating better research than at any time in the past.”

For example, he said, Associate Professor Greg Nemet was selected as one of only 35 scholars across the country last year to be honored as an Andrew Carnegie fellow, and Professors Tim Smeeding and Maria Cancian were named back-to-back John Kenneth Galbraith Fellows by the American Academy of Political and Social Science (2017 and 2018, respectively).

Moynihan also emphasized the school’s numerous public events, such as Monday’s panel discussion with Matthew Yglesias, one of the founders of, and its expansion of the highly regarded Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars program.

Herd, who received her doctorate in sociology from Syracuse University, is principal investigator of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study and director of UW–Madison’s Center for Demography of Health and Aging. Herd and Moynihan have family on the East Coast.