Faculty News and the Passing of a Beloved Mentor 

Principal Lecturer and Co-Director of the Undergraduate program Haideh Salehi-Esfahani is officially retiring as of the end of this academic year. Salehi-Esfahani will remain on as Co-Director of the Undergraduate Program for a period of time, and will teach one large section of Principles of Microeconomics each year. Having joined our Department in 1990, Salehi-Esfahani has taught thousands of students over the years in courses ranging from Principles of Microeconomics, to courses on the Development of the Middle East and Central Asia. Beloved by her students and colleagues alike, Salehi-Esfahani has won several teaching awards throughout her time in the department. We are so grateful she will be partially staying on for a few more years! Salehi-Esfahani received her B.Sc. in Mathematical Economics and Econometrics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Salehi-Esfahani gave a faculty interview in April of 2015, speaking on one of her most popular courses, Intro to Microeconomics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12Fp62vFoUM

Recently, Affiliate Professor Greg Duncan was appointed to a National Academy of Sciences Workshop Panel. The workshop is titled, “Measuring the Transformation of Retail Trade and Related Activities,” and took place over two days in late June. The panel was made up of economists from various Universities and research institutions throughout the country, with a goal to review the issues related to measuring productivity in retail-related industries. Also sitting on the panel is Dale Jorgenson, the Samuel W. Morris Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Dr. Jorgenson winner of the John Bates Clark Medal in 2000. Duncan holds a concordant position at Amazon, where he is a Principal Economist.

Adjunct Professor of Economics Anirban Basu has recently been conducting research to help predict outcomes of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Published in a May article on geekwire.com, Basu’s research shows that the initial predicted death toll numbers may not be accurate and that the actual death toll will be between 350,000 to 1.2 million.

Basu is a Professor of Health Economics in the Departments of Pharmacy, Health Services, and an Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of Washington. He is also the Stergachis Family Endowed Director at the Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute.

It is with a heavy heart that we note the passing of a beloved mentor, Thomas Christopher Abbott. Tom was newer to the mentorship program, but his impact was nonetheless great. Tom brought a great tenacity and joy to his mentoring, which his students will never forget. Tom graduated with a BA in Economics in 1974. He spent nearly fifty years in commercial real estate, working at Cushman & Wakefield, Trammell Crow, CBRE, and Colliers. He is survived by his wife Mary, their three children, and two grandchildren. Tom will be greatly missed by the Department of Economics. Thomas Abbott full obituary.