Dr. Lisa D. Cook is a Professor in the Department of Economics and in International Relations at Michigan State University. As the first Marshall Scholar from Spelman College, she received a second B.A. from Oxford University in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Dr. Cook earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Among her current research interests are economic growth and development, financial institutions and markets, innovation, and economic history. She was a National Fellow at Stanford University and served in the White House as a Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama. She served as President of the National Economic Association and currently serves as Director of the American Economic Association (AEA) Summer Training Program. She is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer. In 2019, she was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the AEA.
She is on the Board of Editors of the Journal of Economic Literature, and her publications have appeared in other peer-reviewed journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Growth, Explorations in Economic History, and the Business History Review, as well as in a number of books. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Economic History Association, and Harvard Business School, among others.
Dr. Cook has held positions or conducted postdoctoral research at the National Bureau of Economic Research; the Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis, New York, and Philadelphia; the World Bank; the Brookings Institution; the Hoover Institution (Stanford University); Salomon Brothers (now Citigroup); and C&S Bank (now Bank of America).
She is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, the Advisory Board of the Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Advisory Board of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution, and the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Institute. She received the Founders Prize for best paper in Social Science History in 2018 and the Impactful Mentor Award for mentoring graduate students from the AEA Mentoring Pipeline program in 2019.
Prior to this academic appointment and while on faculty at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, she was also Deputy Director for Africa Research and Programs at the Center for International Development at Harvard University, was Managing Editor of the Harvard University-World Economic Forum Africa Competitiveness Report, and contributed to the Making Markets Work program at Harvard Business School. With fellow economist and co-author Jeffrey Sachs, she advised the governments of Nigeria and Rwanda, and, as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, she was Senior Adviser on Finance and Development at the Treasury Department from 2000 to 2001. From November 2008 to January 2009, Dr. Cook was on the Obama Presidential Transition Team and led the review of the World Bank and International Affairs division of the Treasury Department.
She speaks English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Wolof.