For Immediate Release | December 8, 2017


Janel Forsythe at (202) 452-8097

Daniel Sebastian Tello-Trillo is the 2018 winner of the John Heinz Dissertation Award. Tello-Trillo, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the University of Virginia, receives this prestigious recognition for his dissertation, “Essays on Health Economics and Health Behaviors.” The dissertation was submitted for his doctorate in Economics from the Graduate School of Vanderbilt University. As the winner of the 2018 Heinz Dissertation Award, Tello-Trillo receives $3,000 in prize money and an expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, where he will receive the Award at the Annual Membership Meeting of the National Academy of Social Insurance on January 29, 2018, at the National Press Club. The Annual Membership Meeting immediately precedes the Academy’s 30th annual policy conference on Nonstandard Work & Social Insurance: Designing Risk Protections for a Changing Workforce.

Tello-Trillo will join a diverse and distinguished network – over 40 scholars have been recognized with the Heinz Dissertation Award since 1993 – and become an Associate Member of the Academy.

“The Academy is pleased to recognize Professor Sebastian Tello-Trillo’s outstanding work. We are committed to developing the next generation of social insurance leaders, and I have no doubt that, like previous Heinz Dissertation Award winners, we will continue to be influenced by Professor Tello-Trillo’s research and writings for many years to come,” said William J. Arnone, Chief Executive Officer of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

The John Heinz Dissertation Award is issued in honor of the late Senator John Heinz. The Award, made possible by the Heinz Family Foundation, recognizes outstanding individuals who influence social insurance policy and related social policy areas, including health, aging, and economic opportunities, through their research. These are all areas that were important to John Heinz, who was a champion of the elderly. Senator Heinz’s long list of political activities included: Chairmanship of the Special Committee on Aging; Chairmanship of the Republican Conference Task Force on Job Training and Education; National Commission on Social Security Reform, and the National Commission on Health Care Reform. Teresa Heinz Kerry, chair of the Heinz Family Foundation, said of Senator Heinz: “In the performance of his duties, both as a public servant and as a philanthropist, he was not merely tireless, he was joyfully ferocious, himself the embodiment of radiant living.” Senator Heinz died in a tragic airline accident in 1991.

Senator John Heinz was a member of the Academy’s Board of Advisors from the organization’s inception in 1986 until his death in 1991. Robert M. Ball, Founding Chair of the Academy, said when naming the Award in 1993, “John Heinz had a true appreciation of the value of social insurance principles in developing public policy. He was an early supporter of the National Academy of Social Insurance and contributed significantly to its objectives.”

Daniel Sebastian Tello-Trillo was nominated for the honor by Christopher Carpenter, Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at Vanderbilt University. Nominations are reviewed by a national, multi-disciplinary selection committee chaired by Courtney Coile, Professor of Economics and Director of the Knapp Social Science Center at Wellesley College. Other members of the selection committee: Jason Barabas, Professor of Political Science at Stony Brook University and winner of the 2001 Heinz Dissertation Award; Ezra Golberstein, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Jeffery Wenger, Senior Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation and Faculty Fellow at American University; and Wesley Yin, Associate Professor at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The Academy will be accepting nominations for the 2019 John Heinz Dissertation Award in the late summer/early autumn of 2018. To obtain application forms and additional information visit the Student Opportunities section of the Academy’s website:

For more information about the Academy’s 30th annual policy conference on Nonstandard Work & Social Insurance: Designing Risk Protections for a Changing Workforce, January 29-30, 2018, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, please visit:

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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