The Institute’s signature award programs are designed to advance knowledge and recognize leadership excellence.

Apply for the 2018 TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award: Application

The TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security

David C. Brown, Scott Cederburg and Michael S. O'Doherty win the 2018 TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award for their paper "Tax Uncertainty and Retirement Savings Diversification," published in the Journal of Financial Economics, 2017, Volume 126, Issue 3, 689-712.

Investors are required to make important decisions about their retirement savings within complex economic and regulatory environments. The winning submission for the 23rd annual TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award provides a careful analysis of how an investor should optimally allocate savings across traditional and Roth tax-advantaged retirement accounts, using a model featuring a progressive tax schedule and uncertainty over future tax rates.

According to John Beshears, one of the 2018 award judges, “The authors corroborate some aspects of conventional wisdom, such as the recommendation that individuals with low current income should use Roth accounts. However, the authors also highlight issues that are often underappreciated, such as the importance of Roth accounts—even for high-income individuals—as a tool for managing the risk of future changes in the income tax schedule. The paper provides valuable practical guidance that will help individuals better prepare for their financial futures.”

Named in honor of the late Nobel Prize winner and former CREF trustee, the TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award For Outstanding Scholarly Writing On Lifelong Financial Security is given annually by the TIAA Institute to recognize an outstanding research publication that helps advance Americans’ lifelong financial well-being. A panel of distinguished judges selects the award recipient and the TIAA Institute announces the winner each year during the annual meeting of the Allied Social Sciences Associations.

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The TIAA Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education

Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, received the 2018 TIAA Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education for his outstanding leadership of SNHU and success in expanding access to quality education for historically disadvantaged populations.

Under the 14 years of Dr. LeBlanc’s direction, SNHU has grown from 2,500 students to nearly 100,000 on campus and online. The university is now the second largest nonprofit provider of online higher education in the country, and the first to have a full competency-based degree program approved by a regional accreditor and the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. LeBlanc is an educational visionary whose embrace of technology and innovation impacted education around the world. Forbes Magazine has listed him as one of its 15 “Classroom Revolutionaries” and Washington Monthly named him one of America’s ten most innovative university presidents.

The Hesburgh Award is named in honor of the late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., former president of the University of Notre Dame and longtime member of the TIAA and CREF Boards of Overseers. A world-renowned educator and humanitarian, Father Hesburgh (1917-2015) was among the most influential figures in the modern history of higher education.

Sponsored by the TIAA Institute and administered by the American Council on Education (ACE), the Hesburgh Award is given to a current college or university president or chancellor who embodies Father Hesburgh’s commitment to higher education and society at large. The winner is chosen by an independent panel of judges.

Ron Pressman, TIAA’s chief executive officer, Institutional Financial Services, presented Dr. LeBlanc’s award on March 12, 2018, during a plenary luncheon at ACE’s 100th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Previous Winners


Father Hesburgh on leadership excellence