UF Levin College of Law Professor Honored with Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Award
For her tireless work and innovative policy proposals to strengthen Social Security for vulnerable groups, Patricia Dilley, professor at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, was recently presented with a Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Award.
Dilley’s proposal, Restoring Old Age Income Security for Low Wage Workers, was recognized by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), as part of an initiative to generate social security options for the benefit of groups such as low-paid and disabled workers, elderly widows, and those older than 80 years of age.
“I’m thrilled that my project was selected for the Innovation Award,” said Professor Dilley. “I think the whole project is a wonderful way to turn the debate about Social Security into a discussion on how to improve the program, not just preserve it. People forget that Social Security was established as a way to solve certain serious problems, notably keeping the elderly, who have worked and contributed to society their whole lives, from having to beg for shelter and food,” Dilley said. “I think the current economic situation should bring home the fact that we as a society have to look out for each other.”
An advisory committee of NASI experts reviewed a large number of proposals, but only twelve policy scholars were selected. The winning scholars are from varied disciplines such as political science, law, actuarial science, social work and economics.
“We are delighted to bring Professor Dilley’s insight and experience to bear on this important question of strengthening Social Security for vulnerable groups,” said Virginia Reno, NASI vice president for Income Security Policy. “As shifts in the economy, private pensions, housing values, and financial markets pose more risks to working Americans, we need help from the nation’s top experts to make Social Security part of the solution to workers’ financial insecurity.”
Dilley is a graduate of Swarthmore College, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University Law Center and Boston University School of Law. She has served on the Committee on Ways & Means, U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Social Security, and with the Social Security Administration. Dilley has also worked in private practice, taught tax law at the University of Washington School of Law, Leiden University-the Netherlands, and Seattle University School of Law. Dilley is currently a professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law where her teaching assignments include federal income tax, elder law, pensions and employee benefits, fringe benefits, executive comp, corporate tax, tax policy and deferred compensation.
“Pat Dilley is the perfect recipient for the Rockefeller Innovation Award,” said Alicia Munnell, professor and chair in Management Science, Boston College. “She has spent a lifetime – as a congressional staffer, a private practitioner and an academic — immersed in Social Security and pensions. If anyone can design workable policy options to help vulnerable groups, she can.”