La Follette School Associate Director Hilary Shager (MPA ’05, PhD ’12) has accepted a position with the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at UW–Madison. She begins her duties as IRP’s associate director of programs & management/researcher Monday, March 5.
Shager returns to IRP, where she worked as a research assistant from 2005 to 2010, less than a year after it was awarded a five-year, $9.5 million cooperative agreement to serve as the nation’s only federally funded poverty research center. In 2016, IRP also celebrated its 50th year of examining the causes of poverty and inequality in the United States and approaches to reduce them. Professor Lawrence (Lonnie) Berger has served as IRP’s director since August 2014.
“I am excited to take another step in what truly has been a dream career enabled by the outstanding education and experience I have gained at the La Follette School,” Shager said. “I will continue my pursuit of the Wisconsin Idea, working directly with state agencies and national policymakers to create and carry out an applied research agenda for addressing poverty and to help IRP get its good work out into the world.”
Shager was named the La Follette School’s first permanent associate director in March 2014 and has directed the Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars and Committee Connect since July 2016. She previously taught middle and high school language arts, social studies, English, and journalism. From 2010 to 2014, she served as a research analyst-advanced for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.
“Hilary was a wonderful presence at the La Follette School and an incredible advocate for students and staff,” said Director and Professor Don Moynihan. “I know I speak for all in the La Follette family when I say we wish her nothing but the best in her new position.”
As associate director of the La Follette School, Shager applied her leadership skills to reorganize the school’s staffing and, and she developed and implemented several innovations related to staff development, teaching, curriculum design, and outreach. She received an Early Career Academic Staff award from the College of Letters & Science in April 2017.
"Thank you to all of the students, staff, faculty, and alumni for the last four wonderful years at La Follette," Shager said. "I have been challenged and inspired, and I am grateful for all I’ve learned from each of you. I look forward to remaining an active alumna."
Previous IRP directors include La Follette School Professors Maria Cancian and Tim Smeeding, and Emeritus Professor Bob Haveman. Shager replaces Jennifer Noyes, who left her role as IRP’s associate director to serve as associate dean for operations and staff at UW–Madison’s College of Letters & Science.