Lobell and Piazzesi, both senior fellows at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), were voted into the academy in recognition of their respective contributions to original research. The academy, whose more than 2,500 active members elect new cohorts each year, was created in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln to advise on science, engineering and health policy.
Lobell is the Benjamin M. Page Professor in the Department of Earth System Science at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability whose research focuses on agriculture and food security — and how data science can be used to help improve how food is grown around the world, both to alleviate poverty and reduce land use. He has been at the forefront of advances in research techniques using data. He has, for instance, helped develop a tool that uses free, publicly accessible satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to study rural areas worldwide.
Lobell wears multiple hats at Stanford: Among other roles, he serves as the Gloria and Richard Kushel Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment and as a senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
Piazzesi, the Joan Kenny Professor of Economics in the School of Humanities and Sciences, is a pioneering macroeconomist whose research and forecasting expertise has helped shape monetary and financial market policies for two decades. Her work has looked at interest rates, booms and busts in housing markets, and risk-taking by financial institutions. Among other recent studies, she has analyzed the welfare costs of government-backed digital currencies, which a few countries have issued and many more, including the United States, are exploring.
The five other Stanford scholars who were elected to NAS are: Barbara Block, a biology professor and senior fellow at the Woods Institute; Dan Boneh, a professor of computer science and engineering; Joan Bresnan, the Sadie Dernham Patek Professor Emerita in Humanities and senior researcher at the Center for the Study of Language and Information; Alice Ting, a professor of genetics, biology, and, by courtesy, chemistry in the genetics department; and, Jelena Vuckovic, the Jensen Huang Professor in Global Leadership at the School of Engineering, professor of electrical engineering and, by courtesy, applied physics.
Other SIEPR-affiliated inductees this year are Hilary Hoynes, a former SIEPR Advisory Board member, and Emmanual Saez, a faculty visitor at SIEPR in 2017. Both Saez and Hoynes are professors at the University of California, Berkeley.