July 6, 2009

Donald Steinwachs named interim director of Institute for Policy Studies

Donald Steinwachs, a Johns Hopkins faculty member for more than three decades who has deep connections throughout the university, has been named interim director of the Institute for Policy Studies, effective July 1. Sandra Newman, the previous director, stepped down from the post on June 30; she will remain on the faculty.

“The university has been fortunate to have Sandee Newman at the helm of IPS for the past 12 years, and I can think of no one better suited to steer the institute through this period of transition than Don Steinwachs,” said Scott Zeger, interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, who announced the appointment last week. “Among his many responsibilities as interim director, Don will lead an effort to study the role of IPS in the broader context of policy analysis within the research and professional practice enterprises at Johns Hopkins.” Zeger said he expects the search for a permanent director to be launched in the fall.

Steinwachs served for 11 years as chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he is currently a professor. He directs its Health Services Research and Development Center and holds joint appointments in the schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Arts and Sciences. He teaches undergraduates in the public health studies major at Homewood.

“I look forward to working with the IPS faculty,” Steinwachs said. “The institute offers an outstanding master’s in public policy that is nationally recognized. The policy research conducted by the institute is addressing major national concerns and, very importantly, issues facing Baltimore and other urban communities. It is a pleasure for me to provide interim leadership until a permanent director is appointed.”

Steinwachs has been involved with the administration of the university not only as department chair but also as interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs before the appointment of Kristina Johnson, who recently left the position to become undersecretary of the Department of Energy. He was a member of the universitywide Faculty Budget Advisory Committee, serving for 20 years as its chair. He co-chaired a 2004 review of the university’s employee benefits and chaired an advisory committee formed to increase faculty input on HopkinsOne.

Elected a member of the Institute of Medicine in 1993, Steinwachs has studied medical effectiveness and outcomes for individuals with specific medical, surgical and psychiatric conditions. His current research focuses on health care quality and has included a project evaluating a Web-based tool for use in the care of schizophrenic patients and another evaluating the Hospital at Home program for elderly patients. He is a member of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and chairs its Population Subcommittee.

Steinwachs earned his doctorate in operations research in 1973 from what is now the university’s Whiting School of Engineering and joined the Johns Hopkins faculty that year. He is a 1968 graduate of the University of Arizona and earned a master’s in systems engineering there in 1970.
Newman, a professor of policy studies, was selected as director of IPS in May 2000 after a national search, but her leadership of the institute actually began in July 1997, when she was named interim director. (Prior to that, she was associate director for research.) During the 12 years that Newman led IPS, its programs experienced tremendous growth. The graduate program in public policy doubled in size and is now the fourth-largest graduate program on the Homewood campus. Newman also appointed an IPS national advisory board. Under her leadership, the institute either solely or in collaboration with colleagues across Johns Hopkins brought notable public policy scholars and professionals to campus for public lectures and symposia. In 2003, Newman received a Women’s Leadership Award from the Hopkins Women’s Network.

Newman’s research focuses on the role of housing, neighborhood and community in the lives of families, children and disabled populations. A renowned housing policy expert, Newman came to Johns Hopkins nearly 26 years ago from the University of Michigan, where she was a senior researcher at the Institute for Social Research and a tenured associate professor in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Newman will maintain joint appointments in the Department of Sociology in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“IPS is honored to have Don Steinwachs as our interim director,” Newman said. “Don brings a unique combination of wisdom about Johns Hopkins University and knowledge of IPS’ mission and activities, having served on the Faculty Oversight Committee of our public policy graduate program and having helped to develop the Certificate in Health Policy. IPS is in wonderful hands.”