For Immediate Release | January 27, 2016


Jill Braunstein at (202) 452-8097

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Academy of Social Insurance is pleased to announce Manasi Deshpande as winner of the 23rd Annual John Heinz Dissertation Award. Deshpande wrote her dissertation, "Essays on the Effects of Disability," while she was a doctoral student in Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The dissertation was nominated for the award by Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago.

The award, which includes a $2,500 prize, will be presented at the membership luncheon during the Academy’s 28th Annual Conference on January 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Teresa and John Heinz Fund of the Heinz Family Foundation supports the award.

The John Heinz Dissertation Award is issued in honor of Senator John Heinz. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, he helped chart the Social Security reforms in 1983 and worked tirelessly to insulate the Social Security Trust Funds from the rest of the Federal budget. Heinz was a leading expert in the Senate on private pensions and health care and aging policy. He was a member of the Academy's founders from the organization's inception in 1986.  On naming the award, Robert M. Ball, Founding Chair, said, "John Heinz was a leading proponent of Social Security with a true appreciation of the value of social insurance principles in developing public policy. The National Academy of Social Insurance is privileged to award this prize in his honor.”

The award selection committee was chaired by Courtney Coile of Wellesley College, and included: Jason Barabas of Stony Brook University, Sandra Levistky of the University of Michigan, and Jeffrey Wenger of RAND Corporation.

The Academy will soon be accepting nominations for the 2017 Heinz Award. To obtain application forms and additional information, visit the “student opportunities section” of

The National Academy of Social Insurance is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization made up of the nation’s leading experts on social insurance. Its mission is to advance solutions to challenges facing the nation by increasing public understanding of how social insurance contributes to economic security.

See related news: News About NASI

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