Bryan Samuels, Board Chair

  • Executive Director, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Bryan Samuels serves as the Executive Director of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, one of the nation’s leading research and policy centers focused on improving the well-being of children and youth, families, and their communities.  Under Samuels’ leadership, Chapin Hall has continued to build its reputation as a center for excellence in data analysis, innovative research, and policy expertise.  His tenure has been marked by a commitment to furthering the rigor and depth of Chapin Hall’s research, and by fostering connections with partners around the University of Chicago, within Illinois, and throughout the nation.  He has also helped establish Chapin Hall as a national leader on issues ranging from child well-being to youth homelessness. Before joining Chapin Hall, Samuels was appointed by President Barack Obama as Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF), making him from 2010-2013 the highest-ranking federal child welfare policymaker in the country.  As ACYF Commissioner, he emphasized the importance of child well-being and the use of data-driven approaches to improve the welfare of vulnerable children and youth.  Samuels has over twenty years of experience in child welfare, including having served as the Chief of Staff of Chicago Public Schools under Arne Duncan and as Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.  He was also a lecturer at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration from 1997 to 2003. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.