"This is a wonderful honor for Amy, recognizing
the tremendous role she is playing in the health insurance
and health care conversation taking place across the country.
I am delighted that President Obama has recognized
Amy's path-breaking research."
— Dean Deborah Fitzgerald
Highest US government honor for early career science and engineering professionals
On Friday, Nov. 5, President Barack Obama named Amy Finkelstein, Professor of Economics in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and six other researchers from MIT as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Of her award, Finkelstein writes, "Needless to say I'm very honored by the award which—given that the vast majority of my academic training and professional life has been at MIT—I consider as much an award for the Institute as for myself."
Advancing critical national goals
Established in 1996, and coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the awards honor and support scientists and engineers whose work shows promise in advancing the nation’s goals, tackling grand challenges, and contributing to the American economy. The award recipients receive research grants for up to five years to further their studies in support of critical government missions.
Impact on health insurance and health care policy
Commenting on the award to Professor Finkelstein, Dean Deborah Fitzgerald said, "This is a wonderful honor for Amy, recognizing the tremendous role she is playing in the health insurance and health care conversation taking place across the country. I am delighted that President Obama has recognized Amy's path-breaking research."
"Science and technology have long been at the core of America’s economic strength and global leadership," President Obama said in a statement. "I am confident that these individuals, who have shown such tremendous promise so early in their careers, will go on to make breakthroughs and discoveries that will continue to move our nation forward in the years ahead.”
Nominated by the National Institutes of Health
Ten federal departments and agencies join together to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers for the awards. Finklestein was nominated by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. The awardees will be honored at a White House ceremony at a date to be announced.
Seven awardees from MIT
This year, a total of 85 individuals nationwide were honored by the White House, and MIT had the greatest number of recipients from a single institution. All seven MIT recipients are:
- Scott J. Aaronson, the TIBCO Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS);
- Amy N. Finkelstein, professor in the Department of Economics;
- Manolis Kellis, EECS associate professor;
- Michael T. Laub, assistant professor in the Department of Biology;
- Laura E. Schulz, Class of 1943 Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences;
- Katrin Wehrheim, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics;
- Martin W. Zwierlein, assistant professor in the Department of Physics.
2010 Presidential Early Career Awards
White House Press Release
Seven at MIT win Presidential Early Career Awards
Amy Finkelstein webpage
Department of Economics
MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Amy Finkelstein on Health Care reform in the US
Research Portfolio | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
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Dr. Amy Finkelstein is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also the co-Director of the Public Economics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where she is a Research Associate. She is a co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics.
Dr. Finkelstein’s research is in the areas of public finance and health economics. Her two primary research interests are market failures and government intervention in insurance markets, and the impact of public policy on the health care sector.
Dr. Finkelstein received her AB summa cum laude in Government from Harvard University in 1995, and an M.Phil. in Economics from Oxford University in 1997, where she was a Marshall Scholar. She received her PhD in Economics from MIT in 2001. Prior to joining the MIT faculty in 2005, she was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.
Photo credits: Ed Quinn, Spectrum Magazine