Duke University: Fuqua Professor Appointed Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Commerce

Duke University business professor Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji has been appointed to a senior role in President Joe Biden’s administration to work on policies related to competitiveness, innovation, trade and economic growth.

Chatterji will serve as chief economist of the United States Department of Commerce, acting as the principal economic adviser to the secretary of commerce. He previously worked in President Obama’s administration as a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Chatterji’s research explores the intersection of public policy and business, including a focus on the drivers that enable success for innovative firms and new startups.

“I am passionate about creating policy that unlocks the best in American innovation and entrepreneurship,” Chatterji said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to put my research at Duke to work by crafting policies that strengthen our economy and businesses. I hope my academic and policy work can contribute to U.S. economic growth and expanding opportunities for all Americans.”

Chatterji, the Mark Burgess and Lisa Benson-Burgess Distinguished Professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, has been published in top journals in strategic management, economics, finance and organizational studies.

He received the 2017 Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship, the Rising Star award from the Aspen Institute, and the Strategic Management Society Emerging Scholar Award. Chatterji has won numerous teaching awards and authored several articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review.

Chatterji was previously a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and worked as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs.

He will take a leave of absence from the Fuqua School of Business during his service.

“Ronnie Chatterji is a star in every dimension of his work,” Fuqua Dean Bill Boulding said. “We will miss seeing Ronnie at Fuqua as frequently, but we are proud to see him make such a difference for our country. We know his impact will be tremendous. The United States will be more economically viable and competitive as a result. Ronnie’s experience will also greatly benefit our students at Fuqua when he returns to the classroom.”

Chatterji will join another Duke faculty member at the U.S. Commerce Department. Duke Law professor Arti Rai was recently appointed a senior adviser in the Office of General Counsel in the department.

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