About LEO

Founded in 2012, The Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) is a research center in the Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame.

Through top-tier impact evaluations, LEO aims to identify the innovative, effective and scalable programs that help people move out of poverty. LEO’s research is conducted by faculty from the University of Notre Dame as well as scholars from across the country with expertise in designing and evaluating the impact of domestic anti-poverty programs. Our research initiatives span a wide range of poverty focus areas.

Vision Statement

Reducing poverty and improving lives through evidence-based programs and policies

Mission Statement

LEO believes that academic researchers, service providers and policymakers all play a critical role in ending poverty. LEO matches top researchers with passionate leaders in social service agencies to conduct impact evaluations that identify the innovative, effective and scalable programs and policies that help people move permanently out of poverty.

Core Values

Compassion: a belief in the inherent dignity of all people

Excellence: in research, in partnership, in communications, and in operations

Research: unbiased and data-driven

Innovation: new approaches to address long-standing problems