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

Download the 2019 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.

Click here to download the the 2019 Samuelson Award application.

Previous Winners


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

Mark P. Becker, president of Georgia State University, received the 2019 TIAA Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education for his outstanding leadership of Georgia State and all he has done to help level the playing field for students from all social and economic backgrounds.

Since being named Georgia State University’s seventh president in 2009, President Becker has led the university through a dynamic period of growth and advancement, earning national recognition for promoting student success. Georgia State has set records both for its graduation rates and the number of students it graduates, and in recent years it has led the country in eliminating achievement gaps based on race, ethnicity and income.

The Hesburgh Award is named in honor of Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., (1917-2015) past 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 was a lifelong champion of human rights, the cause of peace, and care of the poor. He received both the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

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.

Eric S. Goldstein, TIAA’s chief strategy officer, presented Dr. Becker’s award on March 11, 2019, during a plenary luncheon at ACE’s 101st annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA.

Previous Winners


Father Hesburgh on leadership excellence