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Susan Offutt

  • Administrator, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1996-present
  • Executive Director, Board on Agriculture, National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, 1992-1996
  • Chief, Agriculture Branch, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the U.S. President, 1988-1992
  • Section Leader, Resource and Technology Division, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1987-1988
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1982-1987
  • Ph.D. 1982, M.S. 1980, Cornell University; B.S. 1976, Allegheny College
  • AAEA President, 2002-2003, Executive Board, 1995-1997, Foundation Board, 1992-1994
  • Committee on Food, Agriculture, and Resource Economics, 1993-1996
  • Co-editor, Review of Agricultural Economics, 2001-2004
  • Julius Shiskin Award for Economic Statistics, Washington Statistical Society, 2003
  • Distinguished Executive of the U.S. Senior Executive Service, 2002
  • Meritorious Executive of the U.S. Senior Executive Service, 2001
  • Outstanding Alumni Award, Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 1997

Susan Offutt’s leadership at the university level, in government, and within the profession has enhanced the stature of the discipline of agricultural economics and its contribution to public policy decision-making. Her first-hand experience in government has shaped her thinking about what problems are important and also how the results of economic analysis can be presented to a broad audience with maximum effect. Her training and her research interests make her an advocate for the collection of high-quality data to underpin meaningful empirical analysis. Understanding that politics is largely about the distribution of costs and benefits in a society, she has championed the collection and use of micro-level, household data in Federal policy analysis. As head of the agency, Susan has created a vibrant future for USDA’s Economic Research Service, emphasizing selection of the most timely and relevant research problems, placing priority on recruitment, motivation, and reward of the agency’s staff, and investing in information technology that boosts the quality and quantity of research performed and facilitates its dissemination. In addition to paying her dues regularly, Susan has served on the AAEA Foundation and Executive Boards, and as President of AAEA.