Distinguished Economist Named Cullen Chair in Rutgers Econ Department

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–At the June 18 Board of Governors meeting, professor Jennifer Hunt was named the James Cullen Chair in Economics at Rutgers University.

Currently, she is completing her term in the second of two senior-level positions with the federal government in Washington, D.C. and will return as a Rutgers faculty member in the fall of 2015.

On June 10, 2004, the Cullen Chair in Economics was created in recognition of James G. Cullen, who was formally national steering committee chair of The Rutgers Campaign: Creating the Future Today, a six-year long fundraising campaign that raised $615 million by its completion in June 2004.

Cullen, the former president and CEO of Bell Atlantic, graduated from Rutgers in 1964 and was inducted into the university’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2002.

Previously a Rutgers professor of Economics, Hunt left in January 2013 to serve as the chief economist in the U.S. Department of Labor where she helped develop and craft U.S. labor policy for the Obama administration.

In March 2014, she took on a position at the Department of the Treasury to work as the deputy assistant secretary for microeconomic analysis. While there, she has focused on issues regarding student loan reform, income inequality, occupational licensing, and the solvency of the Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs.

“We are proud that many Rutgers economists have shared their expertise with all levels of government,” said Peter March, executive dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.

“Professor Hunt’s research, and that of her colleagues, addresses many of the day’s most important economic issues, and their eagerness to share their knowledge provides a valuable service to not only policymakers but to all citizens.”

In 1987, Hunt received her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institue of Technology, and in 1992, she received her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard in 1992.

As an academic, her scholarship has focused on such areas as employment and unemployment policy, wage inequality, immigration and innovation in the U.S., America’s science and engineering workforce, crime and corruption, and the 2008-2009 recession in Germany.

As a professor, Hunt has held positions at McGill University, the University of Montreal and Yale University.

Currently, she is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London, and serves on the Scientific Advisory Council of the Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg.