Back to Top

Jill Caviglia-Harris

Dr. Jill Caviglia-Harris is a Professor of Economics in the departments of Economics & Finance and Environmental Studies at Salisbury University. As a prominent environmental economist, Jill has an impressive record of achievements as a researcher, teacher, mentor, and leader. Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in economics is an important theme in Jill's professional activities and pursuits.

Jill's research focuses on resource management in the Brazilian Amazon. She is particularly interested in understanding the tradeoffs between development and deforestation and how these tradeoffs affect the socio-economic well-being of local communities. Jill is dedicated to promoting equity and justice in her research, and she is committed to decolonizing science. To further this mission, she insists on the representation of women and minorities, which now comprise the majority of the 14-member research team on her National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project in Brazil. Jill engages in training and capacity-building efforts by participating in workshops and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students involved in the research. She plans to pass this longitudinal research to a Brazilian-led team. This transition plan supports efforts to decolonize science by having local leadership and raising the voices of the people most affected by the research.

Jill has conducted research on participation of diverse scholars in our economics associations. This work identified determinants of association membership and conference attendance, including gender, income, and professional status. Findings from Jill’s research suggest that associations’ host meetings in accessible cities, expand and improve networking opportunities, and provide support to underrepresented groups.

Jill is a faculty mentor to undergraduate and graduate students at her home institution as well as within partner organizations. At Salisbury University, she is known for advising minority undergraduate students and preparing them for graduate school. At Salisbury, Jill has been intentional about working with undergraduate students over many years, bringing them into her research in ways that will benefit the student by achieving specific learning objectives that will help prepare them for graduate school. She also works with students to develop soft and technical skills that will help them work through biases that they may face as they advance. Her university recognized her research mentoring work with the Salisbury University’s  Outstanding Research Mentor Award in 2010. Jill also works with, and mentors graduate students from universities in Brazil.

In 2020, Jill brought together a diverse group of economists to produce a video series called Anything but Dismal (AbD), which aimed to show how economics can offer robust solutions to today's biggest problems, featuring diverse economists sharing their research. The AbD project seeks to help economics become more diverse all the way through the pipeline and to use rigorous methods to learn and share how these tools affect the scholars AbD touches.

Jill has served in numerous leadership roles within our profession, including serving as president of the Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA). Jill initiated two mentoring programs within NAREA and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) to foster the next generation of economics scholars, and she currently leads both programs. Jill created NAREA's Career Advancement and Mentorship (CAM) Program in 2010. Through these programs, NAREA and AERE members are now benefiting from Jill's extraordinary vision for a more welcoming, uplifting, and professional community. In 2013-14, Jill worked on further sharpen her skills as a leader and communicator in academia through the Leopold Leadership Fellowship at Stanford University.

Jill's impact on professional mentorship spans multiple continents. Since 2019, she has been advising the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (Early Career group) on how to break down hierarchical aspects of the academy in Brazil. Jill also co-led a workshop for women in environmental economics at the 2018 6th World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists with EfD. The workshop, titled "Leading Interdisciplinary Collaborations," was developed to enhance women's global representation in economics and offer concrete skills that could be applied to advance research collaborations with scientists across fields. Additionally, this workshop promoted broader EfD initiatives to fight long-standing biases against women in economics.

In the words of Jill’s nominators “ Jill's commitment to leadership and service and her drive to make economics a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable profession have created remarkable outcomes that will continue to spark change for years to come.”