Professor Katharine G. Abraham has been appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the recently-established Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. 

The Commission is charged with making recommendations about how administrative data can be made more accessible to researchers for policy evaluation purposes and how rigorous evaluation can be made a more integral part of the ongoing operations of Federal programs.  A central task of the Commission will be to develop a plan for the establishment of an administrative data clearinghouse to support these program evaluation goals.  

The legislation authorizing the establishment of the Commission, signed into law on March 30, was co-sponsored by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) and Senator Patty Murray (D).  Of the 15 Commission members, three including the Chair are to be appointed by the President; the other 12 members, including a co-Chair, are to be appointed by the House and the Senate.  The Commission has 15 months to issue a final report. 

Dr. Abraham first joined the University of Maryland faculty in 1987.  She served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1993 through 2001, a position to which she was appointed by President William J. Clinton, and as a Member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 through 2013.  She is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the Society of Labor Economists. 

 A link to the White House press release announcing Abraham’s appointment can be found here.  More information about the legislation establishing the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking can be found here.

Abraham headshot