Three finalists for executive director of IU's Ostrom Workshop to visit campus

Nov. 6, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington has announced three finalists in the search for a new executive director of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Finalists will visit the campus in November and December to make public presentations and meet with faculty, staff and students.

Finalists for the position were identified by a search committee made up of senior faculty from across the Bloomington campus and chaired by Vice Provost for Research Sarita Soni. The finalists and their campus visit dates are:

  • Lee Alston, professor of economics and environmental studies and director of the Program on Institutions in the Institute of Behavioral Science at University of Colorado at Boulder. Alston will visit on Monday, Nov. 11. His research presentation titled "Beliefs, Leadership and Critical Transitions: Brazil, 1964-2014" is scheduled at 4:30 p.m., Indiana Memorial Union, Walnut Tree Suite; reception immediately following.
  • Catherine Eckel, the Sara and John Lindsey Professor in Liberal Arts and director of the Behavioral Economics and Policy Program at Texas A&M University. Eckel will visit on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Her research presentation titled "Solidarity Among the Poor" is scheduled at 4:30 p.m., Indiana Memorial Union, State Room East; reception immediately following.
  • Claudia Pahl-Wostl, professor of resources management and director of the Institute of Environmental Systems Research at the University of Osnabruck in Germany. Pahl-Wostl will visit on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Her research presentation titled "Governing the Transformation Towards Sustainability" is scheduled at 4:30 p.m., Indiana Memorial Union, State Room East; reception immediately following.

"We are very impressed with the quality of the applicants for this important position to lead the internationally recognized Ostrom Workshop on the IU Bloomington campus," Soni said. "Their visits provide excellent opportunities for the Workshop’s extensive community on campus to meet and engage with prospective director candidates."

Vincent and Elinor Ostrom, who both died in June 2012, co-founded the Workshop in 1973 and served as its co-directors for decades. Under their leadership, the Workshop built an international reputation. Elinor Ostrom was a co-recipient of the 2009 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, generally known as the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

Lee Alston has held faculty positions at Williams College, University of Illinois and the University of Colorado. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University in 1973. Alston was formerly the director of the Program on Environment and Society and now serves as director of the Program on Institutions and co-director of Center on the Governance of Natural Resources, all within the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado.

Alston has been a research associate at the National Bureau for Economic Research since 1995 and is a former president of the International Society for the New Institutional Economics. He is author or co-author of seven books and more than 70 articles about economics, governance and institutions.

Catherine Eckel has held faculty positions at the University of British Columbia, Virginia Tech and the University of Texas at Dallas, where she was founder and director of the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Economic Science. An experimental economist, Eckel has participated in interdisciplinary research teams focusing on topics such as charitable giving; cooperation and risk tolerance in poor, urban settings; enhancing preparation for natural disasters; and the organization of care provision.

Her research is funded by private foundations and the National Science Foundation. Eckel has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than 20 NSF grants and served for two years as an NSF program director for economics. From 2005 to 2012, she was co-editor of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. In 2012, she received the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award from the Committee on the Status of Women of the American Economic Association for her work advancing women in economics.

Claudia Pahl-Wostl worked in the fields of mathematical modeling, integrated assessment and human ecology at the Swiss Federal Institute for Science and Technology in Zürich before joining the Institute of Environmental Systems Research. She has participated in and coordinated several European Union projects concerning water management, including NEWATER, a project involving 40 partner organizations with case studies in Europe, Africa and Central Asia. In 2012, Pahl-Wostl was awarded the Bode Foundation Water Management Prize for pioneering interdisciplinary work on "governance in times of change" and comparative analyses of water governance in large river basins.

For more information on the Ostrom Workshop and the executive director candidates, visit the website for the director search