A Fuqua professor is joining the Biden administration as the chief economist of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji, the Mark Burgess & Lisa Benson-Burgess distinguished professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and a professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy, will act as the principal economic adviser to the secretary of commerce.
“It is an honor to work with [Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo] & team to build back better and make key investments in the U.S. economy,” Chatterji wrote on Twitter.
Chatterji is currently a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Health Sector Management program, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Center for Energy, Development and Global Environment at Duke.
Chatterji worked on former President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 and served as a Senior Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisors under the Obama administration from 2010 to 2011.
At Duke, Chatterji researches entrepreneurship, innovation and the relationship between business and social impact. He has been awarded the Junior Faculty Fellowship from the Kauffman Foundation, a recognition of his scholarly work related to entrepreneurship and the Rising Star award from the Aspen Institute for his research and public service related to business and society.
“My experiences over the last 15 years at Duke as a scholar and teacher have prepared me for this role. My research has explored many of the issues I will be dealing with at Commerce, specifically around regional economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship,” Chatterji wrote in a statement to the Chronicle.
Chatterji also worked as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs and was a term member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Last fall, Chatterji ran for North Carolina state treasurer but lost to Republican incumbent Dale Folwell.
“Ronnie Chatterji is a star in every dimension of his work,” Fuqua Dean Bill Boulding said in a statement. “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 be taking a leave of absence from Fuqua during his service.
"I will work on a wide range of domestic and international economic issues and hope that my work will contribute to a stronger American economy. When I return to Duke, I hope I can bring valuable insights back into my research and the classroom," he wrote.
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Preetha Ramachandran is a Trinity junior and senior editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.