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Jonathan Levin, SIEPR senior fellow, to lead Stanford business school

Levin’s research has focused on auctions and marketplace design, the economics of organizations and consumer finance.

Economist Jonathan Levin, former chair of the Stanford Department of Economics and a renowned expert in the field of industrial organization, will be the next dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The announcement was made by Stanford President John Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy on May 23.

Levin joined the Stanford faculty in 2000 and is the Holbrook Working Professor in Price Theory at Stanford University. He is a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and was chair of the economics department from 2011 to 2014. He is also a professor, by courtesy, at Stanford Graduate School of Business and director of the Industrial Organization Program at the National Bureau for Economic Research.

Levin will succeed Garth Saloner, who is stepping down after seven years as dean. Levin’s appointment is effective September 1, 2016.

“Jonathan is an outstanding teacher, a skilled and innovative administrator and a brilliant scholar who has deep understanding of both the academic enterprise and the workings of industry and government,” Etchemendy said. “Importantly, he brings a vision for the future of management education that is rooted in his extensive scholarship on the evolving needs of a global business community. I have every confidence he will continue the school’s strong trajectory.”

Levin is known for his scholarship in industrial organization. His research has spanned a range of topics including auctions and marketplace design, the economics of organizations, consumer finance and econometric methods for analyzing imperfect competition. His current interests include Internet platforms, the health care system and ways to incorporate new datasets into economic research.

Search committee co-chair Mary Barth, the Joan E. Horngren Professor of Accounting, said that the committee was impressed by Levin’s “thorough grasp of what is required to maintain, and enhance, the high quality of teaching and research at the school.”

“The GSB is unparalleled in the overall excellence of its faculty, staff and students,” Barth said. “Jonathan brings not only stellar academic credentials but a fresh perspective and leadership skills that will help the GSB maintain its preeminence for years to come.”

Levin received the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark Medal in 2011 as the economist under the age of 40 who has made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society and a former Guggenheim Fellow, among many honors. He has won department and school-wide awards for distinguished teaching at Stanford. He served as an elected member of the American Economic Association’s Executive Committee, and was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Levin earned a BS in math and a BA in English from Stanford in 1994, an MPhil in economics from Oxford University in 1996 and a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999. He joined the Stanford faculty as an assistant professor in 2000 and became a full professor in 2008.

In addition to his academic research, Levin has consulted for a number of Fortune 500 companies as well as the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Treasury. He was part of the expert group that designed the first vaccine Advanced Market Commitment, and was one of the economists who participated in the design of the FCC’s broadcast incentive auction.

As dean, Levin will lead a school with 1,000 students and 272 faculty members that is at the forefront of curricular innovation, offering tailored education, “flipped” classrooms, multidisciplinary learning and immersive global opportunities.

“The GSB is devoted to transforming lives by preparing future leaders to change organizations and change the world,” Levin said. “It will be an honor to join such a committed, dedicated faculty and to support their mission of applying both academic rigor and real-world relevance to their research. Deepening our understanding of management and bringing that knowledge into the classroom couldn’t be more exciting.”

Founded in 1925, the GSB has built a global reputation based on its management and leadership programs, including the two-year MBA, one-year Master of Science for experienced leaders (MSx), and PhD programs. Non- degree certificate programs include Executive Education courses and Stanford Ignite, a part-time program in innovation and entrepreneurship offered at Stanford and in five countries around the world. In addition, the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (Stanford Seed) is a unique business school–led initiative working to end the cycle of global poverty.

The Knight Management Center, home to the GSB, opened in 2011 to the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum environmental certification. The complex offers flexible classroom spaces for hands-on experiential learning and team-based learning, and convening space for roughly 1,000 graduate students.

The GSB draws on the energy of Silicon Valley, one of the world’s most dynamic economic centers, to bring innovation into the classroom with case study protagonists, guest lecturers and co-teachers. Moreover, faculty scholars benefit from access to data from a wide range of organizations around the world.

Among the school’s 124 distinguished tenure-track faculty are three Nobel laureates and 19 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio is among the lowest of any graduate business program.

The Class of 2016 has a total of 410 students. International students from 62 countries represent 44 percent of the class. Forty-two percent of the Class of 2016 are women, and U.S. minorities represent 23 percent, both all-time highs. The GSB has a 6.1 percent admission rate, and the deliberately small size enables students to engage deeply with world-known faculty as well as their peers.

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