Economics Visiting Committee

The mission of the University of Washington Department of Economics Visiting Committee is to contribute to the achievement of academic excellence among the students and faculty in the department.

Recognizing the UW’s vital regional role in economics education and public policy formation, members of the Economics Visiting Committee pledge their support to the Department in any number of ways. Among the goals of the committee are that its members will:

  • provide a stable and significant source of funding to the Department,
  • actively advise the Department chair and other faculty on any matters in which they are seeking outside input,
  • advocate on behalf of the Department to the business community and in civic arenas,
  • and share their experience and expertise with students as mentors, instructors, and internship advisers.

One very successful outcome of these efforts has been the Economics Mentorship Program, which has proven to be an effective use of Visiting Committee resources in its ability to reach, engage, and instruct undergraduate students. Given the challenging economic climate, more than ever students moving into the workforce are faced with tough competition for satisfying careers; the mentorship program, pairing students with seasoned and successful business leaders, thus provides participating students a distinct advantage.

Current Visiting Committee members are encouraged to nominate individuals from among community leaders, donors, and alumni for potential membership. Members realize that to the extent that the individual and collective expertise and wisdom in the business community is valued by the Department stakeholders, the business community will support the efforts of the Department and work to advance its mission.

The future financial health of the Department lies in large part on the ability of the Visiting Committee to build a committed group of alumni and friends at all stages of their careers who recognize the value of an economics education and who will, in turn, foster such relationships with future alumni. 

Visiting Committee members serve a three-year term, which may be renewed. The committee has a chairman and small executive board that sets policy and plans for coming programs. Meetings are held quarterly during the academic year and are generally lunchtime meetings on the UW campus.

Members are presented with new and innovative research and insight into current worldwide economic conditions by economics faculty and students, and visiting economics policy makers. Members have been given the opportunity to meet informally with such guests as Dean Furbush, Executive Vice President of NASDAQ, Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1995 Nobel Laureate in economic sciences, and the Honorable Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. The opportunity to be back on campus and the camaraderie among the members is also a benefit.

The Economics Visiting Committee was established during the 1989-1990 academic year and has steadily grown in membership and visibility ever since.

The Visiting Committee is looking for individuals who are committed to the UW Department of Economics and are willing to contribute to the advancement of its academic excellence and reputation. Interested parties who would like to learn more about the Visiting Committee please contact the Outreach Director, Jacques Lawarree, at