Board of Directors

Celeste Watkins-Hayes

Interim Dean,  Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes is the interim dean of the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and founding director of the school's Center for Racial Justice. She is also the Jean E. Fairfax Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, professor of sociology, and an Anti-Racism Collaborative research and community impact fellow.

She is an internationally-recognized scholar and expert widely credited for her research at the intersection of inequality, public policy, and institutions, with a special focus on urban poverty and race, class, and gender studies. Watkins-Hayes has published two books, numerous articles in journals and edited volumes, and pieces in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Chicago Magazine. She has been widely quoted in the popular press as a national expert on social inequality, HIV/AIDS, and societal safety nets.

Watkins-Hayes holds a Ph.D. and MA in sociology from Harvard University and a BA from Spelman College, where she graduated summa cum laude.