NORDP 2019 Opening Keynote: Christina Paxson, President of Brown University

We are thrilled to announce Christina Paxson, President of Brown University, as the opening keynote speaker at #NORDP2019!

President Paxson’s speech will highlight the importance of research development, not just to the success of individual faculty researchers, but to the broader success of higher education institutions, and, to the success of the nation’s research enterprise. Included in her speech will be discussions of:

  • the current state of the research ecosystem, affirming the value of research to the nation and the world, and asserting why, at this particular moment in time, it is vital to support research that advances knowledge and informs public policy;
  • the pressures on the higher education business model, and how strategic planning, operational excellence, and professional development are all increasingly important to institutions of higher education; and
  • the key skills, functions, and roles RD staff must have going forward.

President Paxson will also share about her own experience as a researcher earlier in her career.

A brief bio: President Paxson is the 19th president ofBrown University President Christina Paxson Brown University and Professor of Economics and Public Policy. Since assuming the presidency in July 2012, Paxson’s key priorities have included building distinction in strategic areas of Brown’s rich research environment, such as brain science, data science, the digital humanities and engineering; expanding financial aid through initiatives like the Brown Promise, which eliminates University-packaged loans from all undergraduate financial aid packages; and cultivating entrepreneurship among teacher-scholars and students.

Under Paxson’s leadership, Brown gained national attention for an ambitious plan to advance academic excellence by shaping a fully diverse and inclusive campus. Brown released Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University in February 2016. Paxson is a nationally recognized higher education leader, respected economist and public health expert. She has been the principal investigator on a number of research projects supported by the National Institutes of Health and authored or co-authored numerous journal articles. Her most recent research focused on the relationship of economic factors to health and welfare over the life course, particularly on the health and welfare of children.

Paxson served as vice president of the American Economic Association in 2012, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a board member of the Association of American Universities. In January 2016, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston named Paxson to its board of directors, and in 2019, named her deputy chair. She is 1982 honors graduate of Swarthmore College and earned her graduate degrees in economics at Columbia University (M.A., 1985; Ph.D., 1987).

Christina Paxson will be the opening keynote speaker for the 11th Annual NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 updates.

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