Hilary Shager became Associate Director of the La Follette School in March 2014. She is the Director of the Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars and Committee Connect, initiatives that work to create better public policy by connecting the Wisconsin State Legislature and the University, and by elevating the role of research in policymaking. She formerly was a research analyst at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, where she designed and conducted evaluations of the state's early care and education, child welfare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and child support programs. More broadly, her research interests include early childhood education, poverty, and the intersection of education and social welfare policy.
She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she received her Ph.D. in public policy in 2012. She is also a La Follette School of Public Affairs alumna who received her Master of Public Affairs in 2005. Prior to her graduate studies, she taught high school and middle school language arts and social studies in Fort Atkinson and Madison, Wisconsin.