Dr. Una Osili is the director of research at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, 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. Osili is also a professor of economics and philanthropic studies at the Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.
Osili’s research focuses on household financial behavior in developing and developed countries including charitable giving, saving and investment decisions. She provides guidance for the research for Giving USA and directed one of the first academic studies of impact investing, titled Leveraging the Power of Foundations: An Analysis of Program Related Investing. Osili has also led an inaugural study on global trends in high-net worth philanthropy that examines the emerging role of social enterprise and impact investing in six regions.
Osili has 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. She is a consultant with the African Development Bank, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and has worked for the World Bank. She has held visiting positions at Yale University, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Migration and Journal of African Economies. Osili is also founding board secretary of the Association of African Women.
Osili is a prolific researcher with an extensive body of published research. An internationally recognized expert on philanthropy, Osili frequently speaks across the country on issues related to The New York Times, Chronicle on Philanthropy, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and NPR. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in economics at Harvard University, and her Master of Arts and doctorate degree in Economics from Northwestern University.