In Memoriam: Dr. Suzanne Scotchmer, 2013 Economics Distinguished Alumnua

Suzanne Scotchmer on the UW campus, June 2013. Suzanne Scotchmer on the UW campus for the department graduation ceremony, June 2013. 

The Department of Economics was deeply saddened by the news that alumna Dr. Suzanne Scotchmer, BA '70, passed away in late January from cancer. Dr. Scotchmer was recognized last June at the economics graduation ceremony as the department's 2013 Distinguished Alumnus for her professional achievements in the field, which were many.

Dr. Scotchmer was Professor of Economics, Law and Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, where she completed her PhD in economics in 1980. She previously held teaching or visiting appointments at a variety of distinguished institutions, including Harvard University, UCLA, USC, the New School of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, the University of Auckland, University of Cergy-Pontoise (Paris), Tel Aviv University, and University of Paris (Sorbonne). She also held research fellowships at Yale University and Stanford University, served on committees of the National Research Council and was research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Dr. Scotchmer was widely considered one of the most significant scholars of applied economic theory, particularly in game theory, club theory, and patent law and incentives for research and development. A Fellow of the Econometric Society, Dr. Scotchmer authored more than 20 books, was a highly sought-after international public speaker, and served as a consultant to the U.S. Justice Department on antitrust. 

In her speech to the graduating class of 2013, Dr. Scotchmer stressed the importance of staying true to one’s ideals, embracing uncertainty, and being honest and open about personal beliefs. As one of the few women working and writing in the field of theoretical economics, she was particularly inspirational and influential to women around the world studying and working in economics.

Dr. Scotchmer grew up in Pelican on Chichagof Island in Alaska, a town with a population of 130. The family has requested that those wishing to remember Dr. Scotchmer's life do so with a donation to the American Cancer Society.

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