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Alan Wagner

Distinguished Service Professor, Educational Policy and Leadership

University at Albany, State University of New York


An economist with broad interests in education and training in the U.S. and abroad, Wagner’s research and professional engagements concern patterns and trends in knowledge and skill profiles as shaped by education policies (governance, accountability, finance) and also relevant policies adopted within labor, social welfare, economic development, finance and trade policy portfolios. Professor Wagner previously held a senior position in the Directorate for Education, Employment, Labor and Social Affairs at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and was on the faculty at Purdue University. He is author or co-author of articles in Economics of Education Review, European Journal of Education, Higher Education Management, International Encyclopedia of Education, Journal of Human Resources, and Lavoro e relazioni industriali, entries in a number of edited books, and commissioned reports.

Wagner has served on advisory bodies to several organizations, among which the World Bank, UNESCO’s European Centre for Higher Education, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, and the U.S. Department of Education, and held leadership and board positions in the Comparative and International Education Society and the Capital Area School Development Association and its Greater Capital Region Principals’ Center. At the University at Albany, Professor Wagner served as chair of the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership.

Education & Training

Wagner received his A.B. from the University of Michigan and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in economics.

Outside Interests

Travel, near and far, is at the top of preferred activities for the Wagners, among which family trips to University of Michigan bowl games. They have ties to Big Ten universities, and their daughter, Ellie, is a UM graduate. Wagner also enjoys too-infrequent rounds of golf.

Why I Work With NCHEMS

I work with NCHEMS because I value what it brings to those responsible for taking decisions on higher education policy and practice. The work of NCHEMS is timely, informed by close knowledge of how policies are developed and implemented, is carefully and appropriately data-driven, and manifests a deep commitment to the public interest. I particularly appreciate the opportunity to engage with and learn from NCHEMS’ exceptional staff.