Past Year Keynote Speakers
Paul Romer, 2021 Keynote Speaker
Paul Romer received the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work “integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis” and is currently a University Professor in Economics at NYU. He has spent his career at the intersection of economics, innovation, technology, and urbanization, working to speed up human progress. Paul previously served as Chief Economist at the World Bank. He is the Founding Director of NYU’s Marron Institute of Urban Management, which works to help cities plan for their futures and improve the health, safety, and mobility of their citizens, as well as the founder of the Charter Cities initiative, which introduced a framework designed to help traditionally disenfranchised populations share in the benefits of rapid urbanization. Prior to coming to NYU, Paul taught at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and in the economics departments of the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester. While at Stanford, he founded Aplia, an education technology company dedicated to increasing student effort and classroom engagement, which was sold to Cengage Learning in 2007. Paul is currently a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a non-resident scholar at Macdonald-Laurier Institute. In 2002, he received the Recktenwald Prize for his work on the role of ideas in sustainable economic growth. Paul holds a BS in mathematics and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago.
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, 2021 Keynote Speaker
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has used data from the internet—particularly Google searches—to get new insights into the human psyche, measuring racism, self-induced abortion, depression, child abuse, hateful mobs, the science of humor, sexual preference, anxiety, son preference, and sexual insecurity, among many other topics. His 2017 book Everybody Lies, published by HarperCollins, was a New York Times bestseller, a PBS NewsHour Book of the Year, and an Economist Book of the Year. Seth has worked as a data scientist at Google and a visiting lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times. He received his BA in philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford, and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. In high school, Seth wrote obituaries for the local newspaper, the Bergen Record, and was a juggler in theatrical shows. He now lives in Brooklyn and is a passionate fan of the Mets, Knicks, Jets, and Leonard Cohen.
Melissa S. Kearney, 2019 Keynote Speaker
Melissa S. Kearney is the Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland. She is also Director of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group; a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); a non-resident Senior Fellow at Brookings; a scholar affiliate and member of the board of the Notre Dame Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO); and a scholar affiliate of the MIT Abdul Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). She is a senior editor of the Future of Children, an editorial board member of the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy and Journal of Economic Literature, and a former co-editor of the Journal of Human Resources. She serves on the Board of Governors of the Smith Richardson Foundation and on the Social Inequality Advisory Committee of the Russell Sage Foundation. Kearney served as Director of the Hamilton Project at Brookings from 2013-2015 and as co-chair of the JPAL State and Local Innovation Initiative from 2015-2018. Kearney’s academic research focuses on domestic policy issues, especially issues related to social policy, poverty, and inequality. Her work has been published in leading academic journals and has been frequently cited in the popular press. She has testified before Congress on the topic of U.S. income inequality. Kearney teaches Public Economics at both the undergraduate and PhD level at the University of Maryland. She holds a BA in Economics from Princeton University and a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied on a National Science Foundation graduate student fellowship and a Harry S Truman fellowship.
Hunt Allcott, 2019 Keynote Speaker
Hunt Allcott is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, an Associate Professor of Economics at New York University, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Co-Editor of the Journal of Public Economics. He is a Scientific Director of ideas42, a think tank that applies insights from psychology and economics to business and policy design problems, an Affiliate of Poverty Action Lab, a network of researchers who use randomized evaluations to answer critical policy questions in the fight against poverty, and a Faculty Affiliate of E2e, a group of economists, engineers, and behavioral scientists focused on evaluating and improving energy efficiency policy. He was also a Contributing Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. Professor Allcott holds a PhD from Harvard University and a BS and MS from Stanford University. Before coming to NYU, he was the Energy and Society Fellow in the MIT Economics Department and the MIT Energy Initiative. He has also worked in the private sector as a consultant with Cambridge Energy Research Associates and in international development as a consultant to the World Bank. Professor Allcott is an applied microeconomist who studies topics in behavioral economics, environmental and energy economics, industrial organization, public economics, and development microeconomics. He uses a variety of tools, including both structural and reduced form econometrics, applied theory, and randomized field experiments.
Augusto Lopez-Claros, 2018 Keynote Speaker
For the 2017-18 academic year, Augusto Lopez-Claros is on leave from the World Bank as a Senior Fellow at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Between 2011 and 2017 he was the Director of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, the department responsible for the Bank’s Doing Business report and other international benchmarking studies. Previously he was Chief Economist and Director of the Global Competitiveness Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, where he was also the Editor of the Global Competitiveness Report, the Forum’s flagship publication, as well as a number of regional economic reports. Before joining the Forum he worked for several years in the financial sector in London, with a special focus on emerging markets. He was the International Monetary Fund’s Resident Representative in the Russian Federation during the 1990s. Before joining the IMF, Lopez-Claros was a Professor of Economics at the University of Chile in Santiago. He was educated in England and the United States, receiving a diploma in Mathematical Statistics from Cambridge University and a PhD in Economics from Duke University. He is a much-sought-after international speaker, having lectured in the last several years at some of the world’s leading universities and think tanks. In 2007 he was a coeditor of The International Monetary System, the IMF, and the G-20: A Great Transformation in the Making? and The Humanitarian Response Index: Measuring Commitment to Best Practice, both published by Palgrave. He was the editor of The Innovation for Development Report 2009–2010: Strengthening Innovation for the Prosperity of Nations, published by Palgrave in November 2009. More recent publications include: “Removing Impediments to Sustainable Economic Development: The Case of Corruption” (2015), “Fiscal Challenges After the Global Financial Crisis: A Survey of Key Issues” (2014) and “The Moral Dimension of the Fight Against Corruption” (2017). (www.augustolopez-claros.net)
George Akerlof, 2018 Keynote Speaker
George Akerlof is University Professor at Georgetown. His research is based in economics, but it often draws from other disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, and sociology. He played an important role in the development of behavioral economics. In 2001 he was co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, along with Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz . The Nobel Committee cited Akerlof’s 1970 paper, “The Market for ‘Lemons,’” which for the first time described the role of asymmetric information in causing market perversity. A vicious circle in used car markets illustrates the phenomenon. Potential sellers of used cars, with their superior information, withhold good cars from the market; buyers react by reducing the price they are willing to pay; and in turn sellers further reduce the quality of cars put up for sale. In 2009 Professor Akerlof published Animal Spirits, with Robert Shiller; and in 2010, Identity Economics, with Rachel Kranton, He is currently working on a new book, again with Shiller, with the title Phishing for Phools. Prior to joining Georgetown, Professor Akerlof taught, with only brief interruption, at the University of California at Berkeley from 1966 to 2010. He was Visiting Scholar at the IMF from 2010 to 2014. He has been senior economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and past president, vice president and member of the executive committee of the American Economics Association, and member of the Council of the Econometric Society. He is a trustee of Economists for Peace and Security, and co-director of the Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He was Cassell Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics from 1978 to 2010.
Dr. Jason Furman, 2017 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Jason Furman received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard and M.Sc. from London School of Economics. In August 2013, Dr. Furman was appointed by the Obama administration as the 28th chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, and as President Obama’s chief economist, he closely advised the president’s economic policy until January 2017. Currently, Dr. Furman serves as senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Dr. Furman held the position of Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council and also worked as as a senior fellow and director of The Hamilton Project at Brookings. During the Clinton administration, Dr. Furman worked at both the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council. In research, Dr. Furman has conducted research in fiscal policy, tax policy, health economics, Social Security, and domestic and international macroeconomics.
Dr. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, 2017 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki is Professor of Economics at Princeton University and Academic Consultant at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In the past, Dr. Kiyotaki has taught in various institutions, including University of Wisconsin-Madison, London School of Economics, and University of Minnesota. He received a B.A. from University of Tokyo and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Dr. Kiyotaki’s research interests include macro and monetary economics. In 1987, Dr. Kiyotaki, along with Dr. Olivier Blanchard, demonstrated the importance of monopolistic competition for the aggregate demand multiplier, which made many recent macroeconomic models to assume monopolistic competition. He has made significant contributions to the field of macroeconomics also by introducing influential models, including the Kiyotaki-Wright model (1989), which shows how money increased economic efficiency, and the Kiyotaki–Moore model of credit cycles (1997), which explores how small shocks to the economy can generate large fluctuations in output and asset prices.
Dr. Rodney Ludema, 2016 Keynote Speaker
A beloved Georgetown University professor of Economics, Rodney Ludema currently serves as the U.S. State Department’s Chief Economist, a rank equivalent to an Assistant Secretary of State. Educated at Calvin College and Columbia University, where he received his Ph.D. degree, Dr. Ludema has primarily concentrated on international economics. His research focusing on international trade policy and institution, tax competition, economic geography, and trade and environment has been featured widely by the National Science Foundation, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and numerous leading economic journals. Besides professorship and his role as the Chief Economist at the State Department, Dr. Ludema has held many government and academic positions. From 2012 to 2013, he served as the Senior International Economist at the Council of Economic Advisors in the Executive Office of the President and co-authored the International Trade and Competitiveness chapter of the 2013 Economic Report of the President. Additionally he served as a visiting scholar at the U.S. International Trade Commission, where he provided economic analyses for WTO trade disputes, particularly for the 2002 safeguard action on steel.
Dr. Daniel Kaufman, 2016 Keynote Speaker
Born in Chile, Dr. Daniel Kaufman received his B.A. in Economics and Statistics at the Hebrew University in Israel and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard. Currently Dr. Kaufmann serves as the President and CEO of the Natural Resource Governance Institute, a non-profit organization that helps individuals and governments develop strategic plans for use of their country’s natural resources. Prior to this post, Dr. Kaufmann spent most of his career working for the World Bank, conducting research in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Moreover, Dr. Kaufmann is a leading expert in governance, development and corruption. As such he has served in the World Bank’s most senior positions for Africa, Latin American development, economies in transition, and the research department. Additionally, Dr. Kaufmann pioneered the creation of the Worldwide Governance Indicators and various measures of corruption in businesses and governance.
Dr. Rajiv Shah, 2015 Keynote Speaker
From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Rajiv Shah led the efforts of nearly 10,000 staff in more than 70 countries around the world as administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Under his leadership, Dr. Shah elevated the importance of partnering with and financing the private sector, advocating for infrastructure development, incubating technology solutions and science, and restructuring how USAID delivered its assistance to solve the world’s most intractable development challenges. From extending mobile networks in West Africa to improve real-time data collection for the Ebola response, to creating the Tropical Forest Alliance with Unilever, P&G and other major consumer product firms, to accelerating the use of mobile banking in emerging markets, Dr. Shah demonstrated his leadership, passion and remarkable skills garnering support from both sides of the aisle in Congress. Having been at the forefront of worldwide emergency and crisis management, Dr. Shah understands what is required to take risks, act decisively, make sacrifices and confront injustice, while uniting constituencies to recognize the importance of his agency’s success for American global leadership. Previously, Dr. Shah served as under secretary of agriculture for research, education and economics and was chief scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture. He also spent 8 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at its inception, where he led efforts in global health, agriculture and financial services. Drawing from vast experiences, he shares captivating stories, insider perspectives and personal anecdotes with every audience. Attendees will better understand leadership in crisis situations, the hot-button issues impacting the global risks and opportunities of emerging markets, financial services and health care, and receive practical insights on disaster response, the future of technology innovation and leadership in business transformation.
Dr. George Akerlof, 2015 Keynote Speaker
George Akerlof was educated at Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his Ph.D in 1966. He became a full professor at University of California, Berkeley in 1978. Professor Akerlof is a 2001 recipient of the Alfred E. Nobel Prize in Economic Science. He was honored for his theory of asymmetric information and its effect on economic behavior. He also has been the 2006 President of the American Economic Association, and he served earlier as vice president and member of the executive committee. He has also been on the North American Council of the Econometric Association. In November 2014, he joined the faculty of Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.
Dr. Peter Diamond, 2014 Keynote Speaker
Peter Diamond is an Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT where he taught from 1966 to 2011. He was one of the three 2010 economics Nobel laureates for their work on job search and unemployment. He is also known for his work on optimal taxation and on overlapping-generations analysis of the effects of the public debt. He has written about national pensions in many countries, including Australia, Chile, China, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK as well as the US. He has been President of the American Economic Association, of the Econometric Society, and of the National Academy of Social Insurance. His books include Saving Social Security: A Balanced Approach (with Peter R. Orszag), Reforming Pensions: Principles and Policy Choices and Pension Reform: A Short Guide (both with Nicholas Barr), and Behavioral Economics and Its Applications (edited with Hannu Vartiainen).
Dr. Martin Ravallion, 2014 Keynote Speaker
Martin Ravallion holds the inaugural Edmond D. Villani Chair of Economics at Georgetown University. Prior to taking up this position in December 2012 he had been Director of the World Bank’s research department, the Development Research Group, since 2007. He joined the Bank’s staff as an economist in 1988 and worked in virtually all sectors and regions over the subsequent 24 years. Ravallion’s main research interests have long concerned poverty and policies for fighting it. In 1990, he proposed what has come to be known as the “$1 a day” poverty line, and since then he and his colleagues at the Bank have monitored progressagainst global poverty by this and other measures. He has advised numerous governments and international agencies on poverty and policies for fighting it, and he has written extensively on this and other subjects in economics, including three books and 200 papers in scholarly journals and edited volumes. He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of ten economics journals, is a Senior Fellow of the Bureau for Research in Economic Analysis of Development, a Founding Council Member of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, USA. Amongst various prizes and awards, in 2012 he was awarded the John Kenneth Galbraith Prize from the American Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. Dr. Ravallion received his PhD from the London School of Economics.
Dr. John B. Taylor, 2013 Keynote Speaker
Dr. John B. Taylor is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution. He is Director of the Stanford Introductory Economics Center. He formerly served as director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, where he is now a senior fellow. Dr. Taylor’s academic fields of expertise are macroeconomics, monetary economics, and international economics. He is known for his research on the foundations of modern monetary theory and policy, which has been applied by central banks and financial market analysts around the world. He has an active interest in public policy. He served as senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1976 to 1977, as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1989 to 1991. He was also a member of the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Economic Advisers from 1995 to 2001. Taylor served as a member of the California Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors from 1996-98 and 2005-10. For four years from 2001 to 2005, Dr. Taylor served as Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs where he was responsible for currency markets, trade in financial services, foreign investment, international debt and development, and oversight of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He was also responsible for coordinating financial policy with the G-7 countries, was chair of the OECD working party on international macroeconomics, and was a Member of the Board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. His book Global Financial Warriors: The Untold Story of International Finance in the Post-9/11 World chronicles his years as head of the international division at Treasury. His book Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis was one of the first on the financial crisis, and he has since followed up with two books on preventing future crises, co-editing The Road ahead for the Fed and Ending Government Bailouts As We Know Them. His latest book is First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring Americas’ Prosperity, winner of the 2012 Hayek Prize. In 2010, Dr. Taylor received the Bradley Prize from the Bradley Foundation and the Adam Smith Award from the National Association for Business Economics for his work as a researcher, public servant, and teacher. Taylor was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award for his overall leadership at the U.S. Treasury, the Treasury Distinguished Service Award for designing and implementing the currency reforms in Iraq, and the Medal of the Republic of Uruguay for his work in resolving the 2002 financial crisis. He was awarded the George P. Shultz Distinguished Public Service Award at Stanford, the Hoagland Prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching and the Rhodes Prize for his high teaching ratings in Stanford’s introductory economics course. He also received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his research, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society; he formerly served as vice president of the American Economic Association. Previously, Dr. Taylor held positions of professor of economics at Princeton University and Columbia University. Taylor received a B.A. in economics summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1968 and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University in 1973.
Dr. Janet M. Currie, 2013 Keynote Speaker
Janet Currie is the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the Director of Princeton’s Center for Health and Well Being. She also directs the Program on Families and Children at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She has served on several National Academy of Sciences panels including the Committee on Population, and was elected Vice President of the American Economics Association in 2010. She has also served as a consultant for the National Health Interview Survey and the National Longitudinal Surveys and on the advisory board of the National Children’s Study. She is a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists, an affiliate of the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center, and an affiliate of IZA in Bonn. She is the Editor of the Journal of Economic Literature and on the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and has also served several other journals in an editorial capacity including the Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of Labor Economics, and the Journal of Public Economics. Her research focuses on the health and well-being of children. She has written about early intervention programs, programs to expand health insurance and improve health care, public housing, and food and nutrition programs. Much of this research is summarized in “The Invisible Safety Net: Protecting the Nation’s Poor Children and Families”, Princeton University Press. Her current research focuses on socioeconomic differences in child health, and on environmental threats to children’s health from sources such as toxic pollutants.
Dr. Jonathan Levin, 2012 Keynote Speaker
Jonathan Levin is Professor and Chair of the Economics Department at Stanford University, where he is also Professor by Courtesy in the Graduate School of Business and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. His research is in the field of industrial organization, particularly the economics of contracting, organizations, and market design. His current research includes projects on internet markets, auction design, and health insurance. In 2011, he received the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark Medal as the economist under the age of forty who has made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. Professor Levin is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and has been a Sloan Research Fellow, an NSF Career Award recipient, and winner of department and school-wide teaching awards at Stanford. Professor Levin earned undergraduate degrees in Math and English from Stanford, an M.Phil. in Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, and his Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T. He joined the Stanford faculty in 2000, and lives in Palo Alto with his wife and three children.
Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, 2011 Keynote Speaker
Professor Stiglitz is currently University Professor at Columbia University in New York and Chair of Columbia University’s Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as CEA chairman from 1995-97. He then became Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997-2000. In 2008 he was asked by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy to chair the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, which released its final report in September 2009. In 2009 he was appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly as chair of the Commission of Experts on Reform of the International Financial and Monetary System, which also released its report in September 2009.
Dr. Jagdish Bhagwati, 2011 Keynote Speaker
Professor Bhagwati is University Professor at Columbia University and Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been Economic Policy Adviser to Arthur Dunkel, Director General of GATT (1991-93), Special Adviser to the UN on Globalization, and External Adviser to the WTO. He has served on the Expert Group appointed by the Director General of the WTO on the Future of the WTO and the Advisory Committee to Secretary General Kofi Annan on the NEPAD process in Africa, and was also a member of the Eminent Persons Group under the chairmanship of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso on the future of UNCTAD. Bhagwati is the recipient of six festschrifts in his honor, the latest three on his 70th birthday, he has also received several prizes and honorary degrees, including awards from the governments of India (Padma Vibhushan) and Japan (Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star). He has also authored over 50 volumes and 300 articles, and is a Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Dr. Philip I. Levy, 2008 & 2010 Distinguished Lecturer
Dr. Levy is currently a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, he served as an economics professor at Yale University from 1994 to 2003. He then served as a Senior Economist for Trade on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2005 and on the Secretary of State’s policy planning staff from 2005 to 2006. Dr. Levy’s research focuses on a range of international economics topics ranging from the WTO to U.S.-China trade relations.
Dr. Robert C. Merton, 2010 Keynote Speaker
Robert C. Merton received the 1997 Nobel Prize in Economics along with Myron Scholes for his groundbreaking contributions to financial economics. Along with the late Fischer Black, Dr. Myron Scholes published what is known today as the Black-Scholes options pricing model. Professor Merton utilized a different methodology that allowed him to derive the same model and also generalized its applicability beyond the scope of options pricing. Professor Merton is currently the John and Natty McArthur University Professor at the Harvard Business School. Prior to joining the Business School’s faculty in 1988, he served for 18 years as a faculty member of MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Dr. Lant Pritchett, 2010 Keynote Speaker
Professor Pritchett is currently Professor of the Practice of International Development and Faculty Chair of the Masters in Public Policy in International Development program at the Harvard Kennedy School. After graduating from MIT with a Ph.D in economics, Professor Pritchett had a long and distinguished career at the World Bank, where he served from 1988 to 1998 and from 2004 to 2007. While there, he helped produce a number of World Bank publications, including several World Development Reports. Recognized for his work as a development economist, Professor Pritchett is the author of the book Let Their People Come: Breaking the Gridlock on Global Labor Mobility. He also authored the seminal divergence theory paper, Divergence, Big Time.
Dr. Eric S. Maskin, 2009 Keynote Speaker
Eric S. Maskin is the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study and a visiting lecturer at Princeton University. In 2007, Dr. Maskin received the Nobel Prize in Economics along with Leonid Hurwicz and Roger Myerson for his pioneering work on mechanism design theory, the concept of how to create institutions that will achieve particular social or economic goals. Dr. Maskin has also made significant contributions to the theory of income inequality and the study of intellectual property rights and political economy. His current research interests include comparing different electoral rules, examining the causes of inequality, and studying coalition formation.
Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2009 Keynote Speaker
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the Senior Scientific Advisor for Universa Investments and a Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. He founded Empirica Capital in 1999 and has held senior trading positions at Credit Suisse First Boston (now Credit Suisse), UBS, BNP Paribas, Indosuez (now Calyon), and Bankers Trust (now Deutsche Bank). He has also advised central banks and several government agencies on tail risk and risk management. Dr. Taleb is also a best-selling author who has written a number of books including The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, and The Impact of the Highly Improbable. The Black Swan appeared on the New York Times’ bestseller list for seventeen straight weeks and has sold more than 1.5 million copies.
Dr. Susan C. Athey, 2008 Keynote Speaker
Susan Athey is a professor of economics at Harvard University. Prior to joining Harvard, she taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University. In 2007, Dr. Athey was the first woman to receive the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economic Association. One of the most prestigious awards in the field, the John Bates Clark Medal is awarded to an economist under forty who is deemed to have made a significant “contribution to economic thought and knowledge.” In 2000, she also received the Elaine Bennett research award, which is presented every year to a distinguished young female economist. Dr. Athey is known for her work on auctions and in specific, her research on collusion among firms in the auction process and how governments can overcome this issue to promote a more competitive bidding process. Her recent research has focused on dynamic games and contracts with hidden information.
Dr. Steven Radelet, 2008 Keynote Speaker
Steven Radelet is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD). Prior to joining the CGD in 2002, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for Africa, the Middle East, and Asia from 2000 to 2002 and was a Fellow at the Harvard Institute for International Development from 1990 to 2000. As Deputy Assistant Secretary, he was responsible for overseeing United States’ financial policy regarding the region including Turkey’s financial crisis and Pakistan’s debt restructuring. At the CGD, Dr. Radelet works on issues related to developing countries such as foreign aid, debt, economic growth, and trade relations between developed and developing countries.
Dr. Grant D. Aldonas, 2007 Keynote Speaker
Grant D. Aldonas holds the William M. Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and has had a distinguished legal, business, and public service career. Prior to joining CSIS, Mr. Aldonas worked at the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where he focused on international trade, investment, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility. From 2001 to 2005, he also served as the Undersecretary of Commerce in the Bush administration.
Dr. François Bourguignon, 2007 Keynote Speaker
François Bourguignon is the current director of the Paris School of Economics. From 2003 to 2007, he also served as the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank. During his tenure, Dr. Bourguignon played a crucial role in the founding of the World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation Initiative, which seeks to evaluate the impact of various World Bank development projects. He was also crucial in shaping the 2006 World Development Report and its emphasis on equity as an important component of development. In 2007, he also led the World Bank’s Long-term Strategic Exercise, which outlined the “challenges that would be central to a World Bank Group strategy for global inclusiveness and sustainability.”
Dr. Thomas C. Schelling, 2006 Keynote Speaker
Thomas C. Schelling is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland. Prior to 1990, he served as a faculty member of Harvard University in the economics department, the Center for International Affairs, and the Kennedy School of Government. Other than economics, Dr. Schelling has also made distinguished contributions to the fields of international affairs and security studies. He is probably most well-known for his book The Strategy of Conflict, which pioneered the idea of game theory as a framework through which to approach the social sciences. In 2005, along with Robert J. Aumann, Dr. Schelling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his application of game theory to examine the occurrence of conflict and cooperation between strategic actors.
Dr. Kemal Derviş, 2006 Keynote Speaker
Kemal Derviş is Vice President and Director of the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution. Prior to joining the Brookings Institute, Dr. Derviş served as the executive head of the United Nations Development Programme. As Turkey’s Minister of Economic Affairs from 2001-2, Dr. Derviş also played an instrumental role in stabilizing the country and helping it recover from its 2001 financial crisis.
Dr. Edwin M. Truman, 2002 & 2005 Keynote Speaker
Edwin M. Truman is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for International Affairs from 1998 to 2001 and from 1977 to 1988, was Director and later Staff Director of the Division of International Finance of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. His economics research is currently focused on international finance, the International Monetary Fund, and sovereign wealth funds. Dr. Truman has also served in numerous international groups devoted to economic and financial issues such as the Financial Stability Forum’s Working Group on Highly Leveraged Institutions (1999-2000) and the G-22 Working Party on Transparency and Accountability (1998).
Dr. William Easterly, 2005 Keynote Speaker
William Easterly is a Professor of Economics at New York University and Co-director of NYU’s Development Research Institute. He is also an associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Visiting Scholar at the Brookings Institute. He is the author of two books, The White Man’s Burden and The Elusive Quest for Growth. Dr. Easterly’s economic research focuses on long-run economic growth factors, political economy development issues, and the efficacy of foreign aid. He is an advocate of a bottoms-up approach to international aid and has appeared in a number of publications including the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.
Dr. Maurice Obstfeld, 2005 Keynote Speaker
Maurice Obstfeld is the Class of 1958 Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for International and Development Economic Research at the University of California, Berkley. He previously served in the economics departments of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. He has also served in various advisory roles for the European Commission, the IMF, the World Bank, and several international central banks. Dr. Obstfeld is very well-known for his international economics work. His economic research focuses on international finance and macroeconomic topics such as exchange rates and global capital markets.
Dr. John F. Nash, JR., 2004 Keynote Speaker
John F. Nash is a Senior Research Mathematician at Princeton University and Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Economics. In 1994, he received the Nobel Prize in Economics, along with Professor John C. Harsanyi and Professor Reinhard Selten, for his seminal contribution to game theory. Dr. Nash was the first to note the distinction between cooperate and non-cooperative games and developed the equilibrium concept that is known today as Nash Equilibrium.
Dr. Peter R. Orszag, 2004 Keynote Speaker
Peter Orszag is the current director of the Office of Management and Budget, which assists the President in preparing the federal budget and supervises its implementation in the federal agencies. From 2007 to 2008, he was the director of the Congressional Budget Office. He previously was the Joseph A. Pechman Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of Economic Studies at the Brookings Institute. In the 1990s, he served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy after serving as a Senior Advisor and Senior Economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Dr. John Williamson, 2002 & 2003 Keynote Speaker
John Williamson is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and has worked there since 1981. In 2001, he was project director for the UN High-Level Panel on Financing for Development and served from 1996 to 1999 as chief economist for South Asia at the World Bank. He has authored or coauthored numerous studies on international monetary and development issues and is most famous for creating the ten economic policy recommendations that are now known as the “Washington Consensus.”
Dr. R. Glenn Hubbard, 2003 Keynote Speaker
R. Glenn Hubbard is the current Dean of Columbia Business School and the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics. He also serves as a visiting scholar at the American Economic Institute. From 2001 to 2003, he was the Chairmen of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. Dr. Hubbard also serves on the Boards of Directors of Automatic Data Processing, BlackRock Closed-End Funds, KKR Financial Holdings, and Metlife.
Dr. Lawrence B. Lindsey, 2002 Keynote Speaker
Lawrence B. Lindsey is President and CEO of the Lindsey Group, an economic advisory firm he founded in 2003, and a visiting scholar at the American Economic Institute. Since serving as a staff economist during President Reagan’s administration, he has served in various economic advisory positions until 2002. Most notably, he was a Governor of the Federal Reserve System from 1991 to 1997 and was the Director of the National Economic Council from 2001 to 2002.