Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Pamela Herd

Pamela Herd

Pamela Herd is an American sociologist. As a professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy, Herd's research focuses on inequality and how it intersects with health, aging, and policy.

Pamela Herd
Spouse(s)Donald Moynihan
Academic background
EducationBA, Sociology, 1997, Colby College
PhD, Sociology, 2002, Syracuse University
ThesisCrediting care, citizenship or marriage? Gender, race, class, and Social Security reform. (2002)
Academic work
InstitutionsMcCourt School of Public Policy
University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Texas at Austin

Early life and education

Herd was raised by a single mother.[1] She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology at Colby College and her PhD in the same subject at Syracuse University.[2] As an undergraduate student, Herd was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated as the school's most distinguished student in sociology.[3]


Texas and UWM

Upon completing her formal education, Herd accepted an assistant professor position at the University of Texas at Austin's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs from 2004 to 2005.[3]

Herd joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison's Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs in 2005.[4] As an assistant professor of Public Affairs and Sociology, Herd co-authored Market Friendly or Family Friendly? The State and Gender Inequality in Old Age.[5][6] Due to her academic research, she was also elected a Member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.[3] In 2008, Herd won a $30,000 Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Award to Strengthen Social Security for Vulnerable Groups "to develop a proposal to improve Social Security benefits for older low-income women who raised children."[7]

In 2010, Herd joined sociologist Bob Hauser as co-director of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS), a long-term examination of a random sample of 10,317 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957.[8] She also published a study exposing a link between higher academic performance in high school and better health throughout life.[9] As a result of her research, Herd received two Vilas awards from the university; a Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Award from the Provost's Office and Graduate School's Vilas Associates Competition.[10]

As a Full Professor, Herd was named to serve on the National Institutes of Health's Social Sciences and Population Studies Study Section[11] and the National Academy of Sciences Standing Committee on the Future of Major NSF-Funded Social Science Surveys.[12] In Spring 2017, Herd was appointed chair of the Board of Overseers for the General Social Survey (GSS). The GSS is the only full-probability, a personal-interview survey designed to monitor changes in social characteristics and attitudes being conducted in the United States.[13]

Georgetown University

In 2018, Herd and her husband left UW-Madison to join the faculty at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy.[14] Alongside her husband, Herd published her second book titled Administrative Burden. Policymaking by other Means.[15] Their book received the 2019 Louis Brownlow Book Award from the National Academy of Public Administration and the 2020 Outstanding Book Award from the Public and Nonprofit Section of the National Academy of Management.[16] During the COVID-19 pandemic, Herd and Moynihan released a Health Affairs policy brief outlining how bureaucracy, or administrative burdens, can create barriers to critical social welfare programs and how the structure of the programs may not be designed to best support people in need.[17] She also began investigating how to reduce administrative burdens in order to connect domestic violence survivors with critical support services.[18]

Selected publications

Personal life

Herd is married to Donald Moynihan.[14]


  1. Mattmiller, Brian (February 26, 2009). "Social Security expert: Modest changes may offer more protection". Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  2. "Pamela Herd". Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  3. "Pamela Herd CV" (PDF). Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  4. "Pamela Herd". Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  5. Oliker, Stacey (November 1, 2008). "Review of: Market Friendly or Family Friendly? The State and Gender Inequality in Old Age". Contemporary Sociology. 37 (6). doi:10.1177/009430610803700637. S2CID 157104607. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  6. Green, Carole A. (January 6, 2010). "Book Reviews: Market Friendly or Family Friendly? The State and Gender Inequality in Old Age, by Madonna Harrington Meyer and Pamela Herd". Feminist Economics. 16 (1): 159–164. doi:10.1080/13545700903382745. S2CID 154986065. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  7. "Professor wins grant to explore ways to improve Social Security". August 26, 2008. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  8. "Herd joins Wisconsin Longitudinal Study as co-director". December 7, 2010. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  9. Forster, Stacy (December 7, 2010). "Good grades in high school linked to better health, study finds". Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  10. "Herd wins two campus awards". March 26, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  11. "NIH chooses Herd for grant review panel". June 3, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  12. "National Academy of Sciences appoints Herd to committee". August 28, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  13. "Herd to chair General Social Survey board". October 6, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  14. Schneider, Pat (March 20, 2018). "UW's LaFollette School director Don Moynihan, researcher Pamela Herd headed to Georgetown". The Cap Times. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  15. Jaffee, David (June 22, 2020). "Administrative Burden: Policymaking by Other Means". Contemporary Sociology. 49 (4): 375–377. doi:10.1177/0094306120930218t. S2CID 220392159. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  16. "Administrative Burden". Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  17. "How Administrative Burdens Can Harm Health". October 5, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  18. "Removing Red Tape: McCourt School Research Helps Support Domestic Violence Survivors". September 2, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
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