Melissa S. Kearney is a Professor in the Economics Department at the University of Maryland. Kearney's research focuses on issues of social policy, poverty, and inequality and her work examines the effect of government programs and economic conditions on the behaviors and outcomes of economically disadvantaged populations.
Kearney holds a PhD in economics from MIT. She has been named a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and from 2013–2015 she served as Director of the Hamilton Project, an economic policy group at Brookings. She is a recognized expert on issues related to domestic poverty and related public policy challenges.