Una Osili, Ph.D.

Dr. Una Osili is the Director of Research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, a leading academic institution dedicated to increasing the understanding of philanthropy and improving its practice worldwide.  She leads the School’s extensive research program on the philanthropic behavior of households, foundations and corporations. An internationally recognized expert on philanthropy, Dr. Osili frequently speaks around the world on issues related to national and international trends in philanthropy and has been quoted by national news media outlets such as The New York Times, the Chronicle on Philanthropy and National Public Radio. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Migration and Journal of African Economies.

Dr. Osili is a consultant with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and has worked for the World Bank.  She received the Stevenson Fellowship from the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council. She was appointed as a fellow of the International Institute for Labor (IZA) and Networks Financial Institute.

Her research focuses on household financial behavior including charitable giving, volunteering, and saving and investment decisions. She is a prolific researcher with an extensive body of published research. Dr. Osili provides guidance for Giving USA, which is published by Giving USA Foundation.  She also directs the School’s signature research project, the Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS). PPS is the largest and most comprehensive study of philanthropy of American families over time, and is conducted in partnership with the University of Michigan’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID).  She has led an inaugural study on global trends in high net worth philanthropy in six countries. She served as a member of several national and international advisory groups, including the Social Science Research Council, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Development Program.

Webpage:                https://philanthropy.iupui.edu/people-directory/osili-una.html



Current position

Director of Research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Professor of Economics and Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She is a member of the graduate school faculty at Indiana University.

Previous positions    

Associate Professor (2006-12) Department of Economics, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis;

Assistant Professor (1999-2006), Department of Economics, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

She has held visiting positions at Yale University.


“Migrants and Housing Investments: Theory and Evidence from Nigeria”


B.A. in Economics at Harvard University, and her M.A., and Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University.

Total external funding

Over $7,000,000 (USD)