The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) welcomes Professor Dean Karlan as the new Chief Economist. In this role, Professor Karlan will serve as USAID’s principal economist and top expert on economic policy and analysis.
Professor Karlan will be empowered to elevate the use of evidence across the Agency’s operations and programs, integrate behavioral science and experimental design into USAID's work, and help position USAID to address economic developments that affect our global programming – offering guidance on how USAID can respond to issues like changing market conditions, economic shocks, and challenges like severe debt distress.
As part of the commitment to helping USAID’s resources have their greatest and most sustainable impact, Professor Karlan will also provide assistance, resources, and tools to help USAID staff – across the diverse fields they work in – incorporate iterative testing, experimental design, and behavioral insights into programming and decision-making.
Professor Karlan joins USAID from Northwestern University, where he serves as the Frederic Esser Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Economics and Finance. Professor Karlan is the founder and former president of Innovations for Poverty Action, a nonprofit dedicated to discovering and promoting solutions to global poverty problems. Prior to joining Northwestern University, Professor Karlan served as the Samuel C. Park, Jr. Professor of Economics at Yale University, and as Assistant Professor of Economics at Princeton University.