News Release

Carol Graham Named V.P. and Director of Expanded Program on Governance Studies

July 8, 2002

Carol Graham, a political economist specializing in the human and social impact of economic development, has been appointed vice president and director of the newly renamed Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution, incoming president Strobe Talbott announced today.

Graham, who has been a senior fellow and the deputy director in the Economics Studies Program as well as the co-director of the Brookings Center on Social and Economic Dynamics, replaces Paul C. Light, who decided earlier this year to step down as director of Governmental Studies after three exceedingly productive years leading the program. During his tenure, Light launched the Presidential Appointee Initiative and managed the Volcker Commission, where he will continue to serve as Senior Adviser. Light plans to focus more time on directing the Brookings Center for Public Service, which he founded in 1999, and on his research activities as the Dillon Senior Fellow in Governance Studies.

Announcing Graham’s appointment, Talbott said, “Carol has the ideal background and range of interests to build on the strengths of the Brookings Institution’s expertise in the workings of American government and media while expanding our agenda to address governance in multiple dimensions. Those include the changing role of the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and philanthropic groups; the relationship among the federal, state, and local governments; and the evolution of the international system, especially in the challenge it poses to American leadership. Hence our decision to change the name of the program from ‘Governmental’ Studies to ‘Governance’ Studies. The new designation captures what Brookings has done so well for so long, while at the same time reflecting the wider scope that Carol and her colleagues have in mind.”

The Center on Social and Economic Dynamics, which combines novel computational modeling techniques — developed at Brookings by Robert Axtell and Joshua Epstein — with new kinds of data to explain complex social and economic phenomena, will be jointly affiliated with the Economic Studies and Governance Studies programs. Graham co-directs the Center with Peyton Young.

More generally, the new Governance Studies program will collaborate with the Economic and Foreign Policy Studies programs, and serve as a link between the two.

In describing the changing focus of the program she will head, Graham said that the challenges of the present and future “will require new analysis in areas that transcend national borders and academic disciplines. Deep understanding of the structure and limitations of our own political institutions is the starting point. Better understanding of our own democracy is essential to thinking about our nation’s ability to lead in addressing issues of global concern, as well as those issues that cross public and private sector lines,” she said.

Improving public management and the function of public sector institutions, Graham said, “is a challenge for governance in all countries, and particularly in the developing ones. America’s efforts to improve the organizational economics of an interdependent world can, in the end, improve our own patterns of governance.”

Graham first joined Brookings in 1988, when she was a one-year Brookings Research Fellow, then returned in 1995 as a senior fellow. She served as special adviser to the executive vice president of the Inter-American Development Bank while on a Council on Foreign Relations Fellowship in 1997-98, and has also has served as a consultant to the deputy managing director of the IMF, a visiting fellow at the World Bank, an assistant professor at Duke University, and a visiting professor in the department of Economics at Johns Hopkins University. She has advised a number of governments in Latin America, Africa, and Asia on the design of social welfare policies and social insurance systems.

Graham’s most recent book was Happiness and Hardship: Opportunity and Insecurity in New Market Economies, which she co-authored with Stefano Pettinato (Brookings Institution Press, 2002). She and Pettinato published shorter articles on the same topic in the Journal of Development Studies and the Journal of Happiness Studies. Her other publications include New Markets, New Opportunities? Economic and Social Mobility in a Changing World (Brookings, 2000), which she wrote with Nancy Birdsall; Private Markets for Public Goods: Raising the Stakes in Economic Reform (Brookings, 1998); and Safety Nets, Politics, and the Poor: Transitions to Market Economies (Brookings, 1994).

Graham earned her Ph.D. from Oxford University, her Master’s degree at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and her undergraduate degree at Princeton University. She and her husband, John Mann, live with their three children in Washington, D.C.

The Brookings Institution is an independent, nonpartisan research organization that seeks to improve the performance and quality of U.S. public policies. In addition to the newly renamed Governance Studies program, research is conducted through the Economic Studies and Foreign Policy Studies programs. Brookings research and analysis reaches government policymakers, business decisionmakers, and the public through congressional testimony, policy briefs, media interviews, op-ed columns, magazine and journal articles, books, workshops, conferences, and the Internet.

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