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Susan Athey

Chief Economist, Microsoft Corporation, and Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Susan Athey is Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Her current research focuses on the economics of the Internet, marketplace design, auction theory, and the statistical analysis of auction data. Recently she has been working on theoretical and empirical studies of Internet search, online advertising and the news media. She advises governments and businesses on the design of auction-based marketplaces, consulting for Microsoft Corporation in the role of chief economist since 2007, focusing on online services. Susan is an expert in a broad range of economic fields including industrial organization, econometrics, and microeconomic theory and has used game theory to examine firm strategy when firms have private information. She has published numerous articles in top economics journals. Susan is a recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded by the American Economic Association every other year to “that American economist under the age of forty who is adjudged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.” She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, recipient of the Elaine Bennett research award and the prestigious Career Development award from the National Science Foundation, which has consistently funded her research. She received the Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship for 2000-2002, was elected a fellow of the Econometric Society in 2004, and is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution in 2000-2001, and in 2004-2005 was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Science at Stanford. She served as an elected member of the executive committee of the American Economic Association; as an elected member of the Council of the Econometric Society, and an elected member of the Council of the Game Theory Society. She has also edited several leading economic journals. She is an academic affiliate of Keystone Strategy, a firm that supports her business and policy work on market design. She worked as a consultant to the government of British Columbia in designing a market-based pricing system for government-owned timber, and she has consulted on the design of timber markets for several other foreign governments. Non-academic honors include being named as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, Diversity MBA’s Top 100 under 50 Diverse Executives, and Kilby Award Foundation’s Young Innovator Award.