Michal Grinstein-Weiss

Michal Grinstein-Weiss

Nonresident Senior Fellow – Economic Studies

Michal Grinstein-Weiss is a nonresident senior fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings. She is also the Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Policy Initiatives at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. She serves as director of the university-wide Social Policy Institute.

As a leading expert and researcher in social mobility, Grinstein-Weiss is an influential voice in the design of innovative social policies to promote household financial security, both in the United States and internationally. Currently, she is leading several large-scale research initiatives focused on developing savings policies, promoting financial inclusion among low- and moderate-income households, and applying behavioral insights to health care delivery. Her work helps develop evidence-based programs that make health care more intuitive for low-income populations through a unique industry-academic partnership.

Grinstein-Weiss’ research crosses disciplines, informing policymakers, scholars in diverse fields, industry leaders, and practitioners. Her publications include both popular press and scholarly journals, including the American Economic Journal, Social Service Review, Journal of Urban Affairs, Housing Policy Debate, Social Work Research, Journal of Consumer Affairs, Future of Children, among others. Her work has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, CNBC, C-SPAN, CNN, NBS, National Public Radio, Forbes, Chicago Policy Review, and Daily Finance. She has also presented to a broad range of audiences, including high-level academic conferences, congressional briefings and testimonies, TEDx events, practitioner convenings, and media interviews.

Grinstein-Weiss’ research has been supported by government agencies including the U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In addition, her research has won the support of philanthropic foundations dedicated to improving the lives of individuals, families, and children, such as the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She also works closely in collaborations with multiple industry partners, including Fortune-500 partners Intuit Inc. and Centene Corporation.

Grinstein-Weiss’ work has received awards, including the Academy for Social Work and Social Welfare Fellowship and the Society for Social Work and Research Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award. Grinstein-Weiss was also invited to serve as adviser for the Financial Inclusion Working Group for the Clinton Global Initiative-America.

Grinstein-Weiss received her doctorate in social work from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, a master’s degree in economics from the University of Missouri—St. Louis, and her master’s degree in social work and a bachelor’s of arts from Haifa University, Israel.

  • Current Positions

    • Director, Social Policy Institute, Washington University in St. Louis
    • Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor, Washington University in St. Louis, Brown School
    • Associate Dean for Policy Initiatives, Washington University in St. Louis, Brown School
    • Founding Director, Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change, Washington University in St. Louis, Brown School
  • Education

    • Ph.D. in Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis
    • M.A. in Economics, University of Missouri—St. Louis
    • M.A. in Social Work, University of Haifa
    • B.A. in Social Work, University of Haifa
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