Una Osili

Associate Dean for Research and International Programs; Professor of Economics and Philanthropic Studies; Dean's Fellow, Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy

Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy
Una Osili
University Hall, Suite 3000
301 University Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN


Una O. Osili, Ph.D., is an economist with significant experience in research and policy in the fields of household behavior and economic policy. She is also associate dean for research and international programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the world’s first school dedicated to increasing the understanding of philanthropy and improving its practice worldwide.

An internationally recognized expert on economic development and philanthropy, Dr. Osili speaks across the globe on issues related to national and international trends in economics and philanthropy. She testified at the U.S. Senate subcommittee on the role of philanthropy and remittances in foreign aid and has been quoted by international and national news media outlets such as The New York Times, Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

She has served as a member of several national and international advisory groups, including the African Development Bank, Social Science Research Council, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Development Program.

Dr. Osili leads the research and publication of Giving USA, the annual report on American philanthropy. Beginning in fall 2016, she has led the research and publication of Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances and Index of Philanthropic Freedom. She has pioneered new approaches to using data to better understand global and national trends in philanthropy with the Million Dollar List and the new Generosity for Life project. 

She directs the school’s research program with its partners including Bank of America, United Way Worldwide, Coutts Inc, and National Collegiate Athletic Association. She has served as an associate editor for the Journal of African Economies and guest editor of the Journal of African Development.

She earned her B.A. in Economics at Harvard University, and her M.A., and Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University.