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Heidi Williams elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Williams joins a distinguished group of members who are recognized for their excellence and leadership in work that advances the common good.

Stanford economist Heidi Williams, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Williams, the Charles R. Schwab Professor of Economics in Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences, is among 13 Stanford faculty members elected to the academy in 2023. The honor recognizes exceptional scholars who discover and advance knowledge and who apply knowledge to the problems of society.

Williams focuses her research and teaching on how society can best support science and innovation, and how to best ensure scientific endeavors and innovations generate broad benefits to society.

Her studies have included investigations into the causes and consequences of technological change, with a particular focus on health care markets. Williams, who is also a professor, by courtesy, of Law at Stanford Law School, has examined the patent system and its impacts on innovation and scientific research and development. Her work has bolstered calls for regulatory reforms.

Williams is also the Director of Science Policy at the Institute for Progress and Co-Chair of J-PAL’s Science for Progress Initiative. She is the Editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, and is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) where she is co-director of the Innovation Policy working group.

She joined the Stanford faculty in 2019 and was a visiting faculty member at SIEPR in 2013 and 2018.

Her election into the AAAS marks another stamp of recognition for her achievements. She is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2015), an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2015), and the ASHEcon Medal (2021). She has also been recognized for her undergraduate teaching, graduate teaching, and graduate advising.

When announcing this year’s 269 new members, Academy President David W. Oxtoby said, “With the election of these members, the Academy is honoring excellence, innovation, and leadership and recognizing a broad array of stellar accomplishments. We hope every new member celebrates this achievement and joins our work advancing the common good.”