Rohini Pande, Rafik Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard Kennedy School, is the recipient of the 2018 Carolyn Shaw Bell Award. The award is given annually by the American Economic Association (AEA) Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP) to recognize and honor an individual who has furthered the status of women in the economics profession. This award will be presented at the annual CSWEP business meeting and award ceremony held during the 2019 AEA Meeting in Atlanta.
Pande earned her doctorate in economics from the London School of Economics in 1999. Earlier in her career, she served as an Assistant Professor of Economics at Columbia University and as an Assistant and Associate Professor of Economics at Yale University. She has also held visiting professor positions at Stanford, Pompeu Fabra, Berkeley, and MIT.
Pande is an accomplished development scholar and gifted academic leader. As one of her supporters writes, “Professor Pande provides an incredible example of what any person—male or female—can aspire to in the profession.” Another supporter notes that “she has led not only through example and achievements, but in her earnest and unwavering mentoring of women in the profession.” Peers and mentees alike comment on her outstanding ability and energy as a mentor. She takes complete and active responsibility in her role, giving a lot of her time and simultaneously being respectful of diversity of opinion and views among mentees. In addition, she mentors all along the economics pipeline, from undergraduates to graduate students, postdocs to junior colleagues at her own and other universities, to support their future success. She often co-authors papers with mentees and encourages undergraduate women to pursue economics as a career. She also works with and advises junior faculty to support their scholarship and publications.
In addition to her mentoring efforts, Pande seeks gender parity in economics and has taken deliberate steps to further this goal. She ensures that the concerns women academics have, and the barriers they may face, are given serious attention. At the Kennedy School and in the profession more generally, she has spearheaded measures to encourage inclusion of women and minorities in department life. For example, she shaped hiring practices so as to better identify and recruit underrepresented minorities and women for tenured positions and actively advocates for diversity in conferences or seminar speaker programs.
The supporters of Pande’s nomination include many former students and current colleagues. But, her reach is broader than that: as one supporter states, “I have witnessed Rohini’s deep dedication to the advancement of all women in the profession—not just the ones she personally works with or likes or knows.”
In scholarship, Pande is one of the most influential development economists of her generation. Her work examines how institutions can be designed to empower historically disadvantaged groups. In particular, she is best known for work on gender and economic development, conducting ground-breaking work on changing institutions to give women control over their own social and economic lives. Pande also has a distinguished record of service to the profession and public service. She is the area chair for development at the Harvard Kennedy School, the founder and co-director of Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School, and a member of the executive committee of the Bureau for Economic Analysis of Development. In addition, she is a co-editor of the Review of Economics and Statisticsand an associate editor at many other journals.
Named after the first chair of CSWEP, the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award was created as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the founding of the CSWEP and has been given annually since 1998 to an individual who has furthered the status of women in the economics profession through example, achievements, increasing our understanding of how women can advance in the economics profession or mentoring others. From most recent to first, previous recipients of the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award are: Rachel Croson, Cecilia Rouse, Janet Currie, Hilary Hoynes, Rachel McCulloch, Catherine C. Eckel, Sharon Oster, Elizabeth Hoffman, Elizabeth E. Bailey, Anne Carter, Olivia S. Mitchell, Barbara Fraumeni, Claudia Goldin, Barbara Bergmann, Robin L. Bartlett, Margaret Garritsen de Vries, Francine Blau, Marianne Ferber, Eva Mueller, Sandra Ohrn Moose, and Alice M. Rivlin.