Wanda Ward


Wanda Ward Public Engagement, Behavioral Science
Ph.D., Psychology, Stanford University
B.A., Psychology, Princeton University
Afro-American Studies Certificate, Princeton University


Since 2021, Wanda E. Ward has served as Executive Associate Chancellor for the Office of the Chancellor – Public Engagement, University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign. She provides strategic leadership for the university and broader community to advance the university's land-grant and public engagement missions. She joined the university in 2018 as the Executive Associate Chancellor for Administration and University Relations, where she served as Chief of Staff to the Chancellor.

Prior to joining the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign, Ward served in several senior leadership positions over 26 years at the National Science Foundation. In addition, she has served as Assistant Director for Broadening Participation at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House Executive Office of the President. She has also served on the U.S. President's National Science and Technology Council subcommittees and interagency working groups in the areas of the social, behavioral, and economic sciences, and science education and workforce development. At the international level, she served as a member of the International Social Science Council Executive Committee for Developing and Transition Economies.

At the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign, Ward chaired the COVID-19 Return to On-Campus Operations: Community and Public Engagement Committee, co-chaired the Call to Action to Address Racism and Social Injustice: Community Action and Public Engagement Committee, and co-chaired the university’s COVID-19 community engagement initiative.

She was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship, the American Psychological Association Presidential Citation, the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences Richard T. Louttit Award, and the U.S. Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive. Ward was selected as a Fellow in the 2018-2019 University of Illinois System President’s Executive Leadership Program.

She is a member of the National Science Board’s class of 2022 - 2028.