Melissa S. Kearney is a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland. She is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); a non-resident Senior Fellow at Brookings; a scholar affiliate and member of the board of the Notre Dame Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO); and a scholar affiliate of the MIT Abdul Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and co-chair of the J-PAL cities and states initiative.
Kearney served as Director of the Hamilton Project at Brookings from 2013-2015 and currently serves on the Project's Advisory Council. She has held leadership positions in the Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM) and is a member of the Research Advisory Council of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. She has testified before Congress on the issue of income inequality. Prior to joining the Maryland faculty in 2006, Kearney was a fellow at the Brookings Institution and Assistant Professor at Wellesley College. Professor Kearney received her PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 and her BA from Princeton University in 1996. She studied on a National Science Graduate Research Fellowship and a Harry S Truman Scholarship.