This year, on Friday, May 27, 2016, the Institute will honor Janet L. Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, with the Radcliffe Medal, presented annually to an individual who has had a transformative impact on society.
The Radcliffe Day lunch in Radcliffe Yard will feature personal reflections from Ben S. Bernanke ’75, a distinguished fellow in residence in the economic studies program at the Brookings Institution and the former chair of the Federal Reserve, after which Gregory Mankiw, the Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard University, will engage Yellen in conversation about her groundbreaking achievements.
Radcliffe Day is both a celebration and an opportunity for intellectual exploration.
The day begins with a morning panel, “Building an Economy for Prosperity and Equality,” moderated by Cecilia Rouse ’86, PhD ’92, dean, Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education, and professor of economics and public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. She will engage the following panelists in discussion:
- David Autor AM '94, PhD ’99, professor, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Douglas W. Elmendorf AM '85, PhD ’89, dean and Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
- Claudia Goldin RI ’06, Henry Lee Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University; director, Development of the American Economy Program, National Bureau of Economic Research
- Louise Sheiner ’82, AM '89, PhD ’93, senior fellow in economic studies and policy director for the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, the Brookings Institution
Hundreds of people convene in Radcliffe Yard, joined by countless more online. Alumnae/i of Radcliffe College, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard College, and the broader University community and friends of the Institute gather for the morning panel and the honoree lunch, drawn together by their shared dedication to ideas at work in the world.
10:30 a.m.: Panel discussion: “Building an Economy for Prosperity and Equality”
12:30 p.m.: Lunch reflections by Ben Bernanke, conversation with Gregory Mankiw and Janet Yellen, and presentation of Radcliffe Medal
Janet L. Yellen
Janet L. Yellen took office as chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in February 2014. Prior to her appointment as chair, she served as vice chair of the Board of Governors and in various other roles in the Federal Reserve System, and as chair of the economics committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
When the Senate voted 56–26 for Yellen, she became the first woman in history to lead the Federal Reserve. At a particularly fractious time in federal policy making, Yellen has emerged—as President Barack Obama envisioned—as someone who “knows how to build consensus” and move America forward.
Yellen is the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor Emeritus of Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley, where she has been a faculty member at the Haas School of Business since 1980. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Brown University and earned her PhD in economics from Yale University.
David Autor AM ’94, PhD ’99
Professor and associate department head, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
David Autor received his PhD in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Since joining the economics faculty at MIT in 1999, he has been recognized with multiple teaching awards. He is a codirector of the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative, a research program at MIT focused on the economics of education and the relationship between human capital and income distribution in America. As part of his focus on income inequality, Autor is involved with several research institutions, including the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, the Institute for the Study of Labor, and the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Ben S. Bernanke ’75
Distinguished fellow in residence, economic studies, the Brookings Institution, and former chair, Federal Reserve
Ben S. Bernanke was the chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from February 2006 to January 2014. He had previously served the Federal Reserve in various roles, including as a member of the Board of Governors, from 2002 to 2005, and as a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. He chaired the president’s Council of Economic Advisers from June 2005 to January 2006. Bernanke, who received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has taught at MIT, New York University, Princeton University, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is the author of The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath (W. W. Norton, 2015).
Douglas W. Elmendorf am ’85, PhD ’89
Dean and Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
After receiving his PhD in economics, Douglas W. Elmendorf was an assistant professor of economics at Harvard University from 1989 to 1994, during which time he co-taught Ec 10 with Martin Feldstein. He began his public service work in the US Congressional Budget Office and then worked for the Federal Reserve Board, the Council of Economic Advisers, and the US Department of the Treasury before returning to the Federal Reserve in 2001. From 2007 to 2009, he was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where his focus included creating innovative policy proposals to stimulate economic growth. He was the director of the Congressional Budget Office from 2009 to 2015. He became the dean of the Harvard Kennedy School in January 2016.
Claudia Goldin RI ’06
Henry Lee Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University; director, Development of the American Economy Program, National Bureau of Economic Research
Claudia Goldin, who received her BA from Cornell University and her PhD from the University of Chicago, has been on the Harvard faculty since 1990. She is an economic historian and labor economist whose research and publications have covered education, the female labor force, the gender gap in pay, immigration, income inequality, New Deal policies, slavery, and technological change. She was the 2005–2006 Katherine Hampson Bessell Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute, where she worked on “Transitions: Career and Family in the Life Cycles of College Men and Women.” Her most recent projects have focused on college women striving for career and family and the increase of women’s employment in their mature and older years. She has been the director of National Bureau of Economic Research’s Development of the American Economy Program for more than two decades and was the president of the American Economic Association in 2013–2014.
Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University
Gregory Mankiw, who earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Princeton University and his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been on the Harvard faculty since 1985 and has taught microeconomics, macroeconomics, principles of economics, and statistics. He has written two popular textbooks, including Principles of Economics (Dryden Press, 1998), which has sold over a million copies and been translated into 20 languages. His areas of focus include consumer behavior, economic growth, monetary and fiscal policy, and price adjustment. Mankiw has been a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Congressional Budget Office, and a member of the Educational Testing Service’s test development committee for the advanced placement exam in economics. From 2003 to 2005, he served as chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Cecilia Rouse ’86, PhD ’92
Dean, Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education, and professor of economics and public affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Cecilia Rouse, who earned a PhD in economics at Harvard University, joined the Princeton University faculty in 1992. Her primary research interests are in labor economics, with a focus on the economics of education. She has served as an editor of the Journal of Labor Economics and is currently a senior editor of The Future of Children. She is the founding director of the Princeton University Education Research Section, a member of the National Academy of Education, and a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research's board of directors. In 1998–1999, she served a year in the White House at the National Economic Council, and in 2009–2011, she served as a member of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers. She was named the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School in 2012.
Louise Sheiner ’82, AM ’89, PhD ’93
Senior fellow, economic studies, and policy director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, the Brookings Institution
Louise Sheiner is a senior fellow in economic studies and the policy director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. She pursues research in the economics of demographic change, health economics, and other fiscal issues. Sheiner served as an economist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1993 to 2014, most recently as a senior economist in the fiscal analysis section of the Division of Research and Statistics. While on leave from the Federal Reserve, she served as a deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the US Department of the Treasury and a senior staff economist for the president's Council of Economic Advisers. Prior to her service with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Sheiner was an economist at the Joint Committee on Taxation.