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 frequently speaks across the globe on issues related to national and international trends in economics and philanthropy. She recently 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 is a consultant with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and has worked for the World Bank. She was appointed as a fellow for the Institute of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany. She has received significant recognition including being named among the 40 under 40 and Women of Influence Award by the Indianapolis Business Journal, and a Plan 2020 Fellow in Indianapolis. She also received the Stevenson Fellowship from the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council and was appointed as a fellow of the Networks Financial Institute.
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 extensive research program with its partners including Bank of America, United Way Worldwide, Coutts Inc, and National Collegiate Athletic Association. She leads the School’s signature research project, the Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS). PPS is largest and most comprehensive study of the philanthropy of American families over time. Dr. Osili is the current Chair of the Research Committee of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, and is a member of the Research Committee of the Lake Institute for Faith and Giving. She has served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of African Economies and Guest Editor of the Journal of African Development.
In addition to her appointment at the Lilly Family School on Philanthropy, Dr. Osili is also a member of the graduate school faculty at Indiana University. In 2007, she was a Visiting Associate Professor of Economics at Yale University. She has served on the Research Committee of the Association for Research in Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations (ARNOVA) and the Board of the African Finance and Economics Association (AFEA). She has served as a past or current board member for several nonprofit organizations, including the American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis, the Immigrant Welcome Center, Board of Trustees of St. Richard’s School and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Dr. Osili is married and has two children. She earned her B.A. in Economics at Harvard University, and her M.A., and Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University.