Jodi Sandfort named dean of the Evans School

UW News

Jodi Sandfort has been named the next dean of the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington, Provost Mark Richards announced April 1. Her appointment, which is set to begin Jan. 15, 2021, is subject to approval by the UW Board of Regents.

Currently, Sandfort is a professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, with a career that has spanned academia and philanthropy. Sandfort is an expert on public policy implementation, particularly regarding social policy and the relationships among governments and nonprofit organizations. Her research and teaching center on improving how social policies are implemented, with special focus on initiatives affecting children from low-income backgrounds and their families.

“Dr. Sandfort brings to us a depth and breadth of experience that will propel the Evans School to new heights, and a clear vision of public service at a critical time in our history,” said Richards. “The faculty, staff and students of the Evans School were greatly impressed with her leadership ability, and her commitment to equity and inclusion. We could not be more pleased to have her joining us next year.”

Sandfort is the founder and academic director of the Future Services Institute, a University of Minnesota center for research and training on reforming the human services field. She also founded the Hubert Project, which supports use of interactive, multimedia-based teaching and learning methods around the world. For the first half of 2020, Sandfort is in Denmark as part of a Fulbright Fellowship to study effective efforts at public sector redesign.

“The faculty, staff and students at the Evans School have built a top national public policy school. Along with the rest of the University of Washington, they are poised to support the community in strengthening public institutions and policy in the years ahead, and I am honored to join these efforts as the next dean of the Evans School,” said Sandfort.

Sandfort is also a prolific author and editor, publishing a number of scholarly articles and reports, as well as multimedia-based teaching materials. With Stephanie Moulton, she co-authored the book “Cultivating Effective Implementation.” Sandfort also currently serves on the editorial boards of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, the American Review of Public Administration and the Journal of Public Affairs Education. She served on the policy council for the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, and is a member of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Sandfort’s career has bridged academia and the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. She served as director at the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis, managing an annual-giving portfolio of $20 million for the human services system in Minnesota. Sandfort was also a senior strategy consultant with the Bush Foundation, a senior fellow with the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and special assistant to the president of the University of Minnesota. She is deeply involved in the international Art of Hosting community, which has expertise in group facilitation and change processes.

Sandfort earned a bachelor’s degree in history and women’s studies from Vassar College, as well as a master’s degree in social work and a doctoral degree in political science and social work from the University of Michigan. Early in her career, she was a case manager at the AIDS Care Connection in Detroit and a program assistant for the Washington, D.C.-based Children’s Defense Fund. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2006, she was an assistant professor of public administration at Syracuse University.

For more information, contact Victor Balta with the University of Washington news office at balta@uw.edu.