Dr. Pirog received a B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Boston College in 1975 and a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981. After the completion of her Ph.D., she taught in the Finance Department of the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the faculty in the School of Public and Environment Affairs at Indiana University in 1983 where she is the Rudy Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs. She is the founder and co-director of the IU Institute for Family and Social Responsibility, a multi-disciplinary, multi-campus institute that provides research expertise and technical assistance to state and national social service organizations.
Dr. Pirog's teaching and research focus on a variety of social welfare policies. She is currently working on two E-Government projects for the Indiana child support program. She recently completed a review on Indiana township governance structure as well as a large-scale evaluation of the Indiana welfare reform experiment funded jointly by the Joyce Foundation, the Indiana Family Social Services Administration and the Indiana Township Association. State and U.S. Congressional committees frequently refer to her studies of fairness and equity in the determination of amounts of child support awards. Dr. Pirog is an active participant and former Chairperson of the Research Committee of the National Child Support Enforcement Association. She currently directs the National Child Support Enforcement Research Clearinghouse. As a national expert on child support, Dr. Pirog has been invited by the U.S. General Accounting Office to help shape their research agenda in this area and has been a reviewer of their reports. She has also been an invited speaker in conferences around the country organized by academic organizations, state social services agencies, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Her four-year study of adolescent fathers, funded by the Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the first comprehensive, national study of this population. Her work on the ability of adolescent fathers to pay child support has been the subject of U.S. Congressional testimony and has garnered the attention of the national press. In her research on the employment experiences of low-income youths and adults, Dr. Pirog has collaborated with staff at institutions such as The Brookings Institution, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
In addition to her commitment to timely and policy-relevant research, Dr. Pirog maintains a serious commitment to providing service to her profession and Indiana University. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and an outgoing elected member of the Policy Council of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. She is a member of the editorial board of two family-policy journals and serves as an article, book, and grant reviewer for over twenty other journals and grant giving agencies. In the past, she has served as the elected secretary of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs Policy Committee and SPEA's link with the Bloomington Faculty Council. She also completed a short-term assignment as a Senior Fellow for Research Administration in the IU Office of the Vice President for Research and the University Graduate School. In addition to these activities, Dr. Pirog is dedicated to the students of Indiana University. She has served as an advisor for graduate and/or undergraduate students since 1984. In 1995, Dr. Pirog received SPEA's graduate teaching award.