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John E. Lee, Jr. & Marie Lee

Throughout his career, Dr. John E. Lee has been a champion for excellence and relevance in agricultural economics research. He insists that agricultural economists (especially those employed in the public sector) have special responsibilities to analyze implications of alternative public policies and make the implications of these alternatives transparent to policymakers and the public. He also argues that it is in the public interest to invest in the institutions and experts that provide such transparent analysis. In addition, Dr. Lee has always believed in providing young economists with opportunities to lead, excel, and make valuable contributions to the profession and society.

John Lee worked 31 years for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS). From October 1981 through June 1993 he was Administrator of ERS. In this role he was responsible for formulating, implementing, and managing ERS programs together with a staff of approximately 800 people including more than 500 economists. From August 1993 through June 2001 he was Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Mississippi State University. He has held leadership positions in a variety of professional organizations and served on numerous committees, task forces, and boards of directors.

Dr. Lee has been an AAEA member since 1958. He received the AAEA Outstanding Policy Research Award (1980), served as chair of the AAEA membership committee (1975-77), was a member of the AJAE editorial council (1971), served as President of the AAEA Foundation Governing Board (1991-93) and is a founding member of four AAEA Foundation Appreciation Clubs (Black, Waugh, Sundquist, and Paarlberg). He was elected a fellow of the AAEA in 1990.

Marie Lee worked in the AAEA business office from 1985 until 1988. During much of this time she was office manager. She was part of a team that modernized the AAEA business office and introduced computerized membership and financial databases. She provided subscription, editing, and production services during the early years of Choices magazine. She was involved in the implementation of AAEA Foundation activities including the appreciation clubs. Marie worked on planning, organizing, and managing several AAEA annual meetings including one of the first annual meetings held away from a university campus, in Reno, Nevada.