Appointment will amplify internationally recognized scholar’s contributions to understanding philanthropy in the U.S. and globally
Respected philanthropy scholar Una Osili, Ph.D., has been appointed Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, school officials announced today.
Osili is Associate Dean for Research and International Programs and Dean’s Fellow for the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy at the school. She also is Professor of Economics and Philanthropic Studies. She will continue to serve in those roles.
“Our school and the field at large are fortunate to have Professor Osili’s exceptional talent focused on fundamental research to define and describe the shape of philanthropy in the United States and beyond. It is hard to overestimate the value of her scholarly insights, her collegial leadership, and her engagement with a diverse range of audiences. She also serves as a wonderful example for so many, which is why we are pleased that this distinguished chair will help to amplify her voice,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school.
The Efroymson Chair was the school’s first endowed chair and is thought to be one of the first endowed chairs in philanthropy in the United States. Created in 2001, it was a gift to the school from The Indianapolis Foundation (a part of the Central Indiana Community Foundation) to honor the philanthropic service of three generations of the Efroymson family.
Osili directs the school’s extensive research program, including its signature research project, the Philanthropy Panel Study, as well its Global Philanthropy Indices and the research and writing of Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy (published by Giving USA Foundation) as well as numerous other research projects that help to build the body of knowledge in the field of philanthropy. She has pioneered new approaches to using data to better understand global and national philanthropic trends, including the Generosity for Life project, which helps Americans better understand their own philanthropy and the generosity of others.
As Dean’s Fellow, Osili leads the school’s Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy, which fosters a greater understanding of the ways in which underrepresented people are both inspired and informed donors by providing knowledge, education and training. The institute seeks to understand the perceptions, practices, experiences and needs of the individuals and institutions that operationalize philanthropy in underrepresented communities and develop programming and services to engage philanthropic practitioners, scholars and the public at large in conversations and activities to advance this field.
“I am honored to be named the Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy. I look forward to expanding the school’s national and global research contributions with a strong focus on how knowledge and data can improve the philanthropic sector,” Osili said.
An internationally recognized expert on philanthropy, economics and international development, Osili has testified before the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress and before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. She speaks across the globe on issues related to national and international trends in economics and philanthropy. She is frequently quoted by international and national news media outlets such as NPR, The New York Times, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and many others. The NonProfit Times named her to its list of the 50 most influential people in the nonprofit sector in 2019 and in 2020.
Osili has served as a member of several national and international advisory groups, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the African Development Bank, the Social Science Research Council, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Development Program. She has been an associate editor for the Journal of African Economies and guest editor of the Journal of African Development. Her research has been published in numerous academic journals, including The American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, the Journal of Financial Economics, World Development and others.
Community service is important to Osili. She currently serves on the CARE USA Board of Directors and is a Director of The Clowes Fund, among many other philanthropic commitments with which she is actively engaged.
She earned her B.A. in Economics at Harvard University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University.
Osili is the second expert to hold the chair since its creation. She succeeds award-winning researcher Kirsten Grønbjerg, Ph.D., who is Distinguished Scholar at the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and who served as the inaugural Efroymson Chair from 2001 to 2020.
About the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram and “Like” us on Facebook.