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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Catherine Mann to leave IBS

Published: October 3, 2014
Section: News

Catherine Mann, a professor at the International Business School (IBS) at Brandeis since 2006, is leaving her position to work for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OEDC) as its Chief Economist. She will be the first American to hold the title at the institution, which was founded to help post-war Europe make effective use of the Marshall Plan.

Mann will depart for the position in October to take over for Pier Carlo Padoan who left in February to become Italy’s Finance Minister.

Mann has had a prolific career, which includes work with think tanks and policy institutions in Washington, D.C., including the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers at the White House and the World Bank. Currently, she is researching capital flows, international trade and the dollar. She is the author of two books and several articles in the Review of International Economics.

Mann calls the IBS, a school of 500 students that was founded in 1994, an “international environment” and a place for “lively debate, questioning economic theories and passion for learning.”

“IBS doubled in size,” said Mann of her time as a professor. The school “has expanded its programs to include the undergraduate business major and B.A./M.B.A., but the infrastructure stayed the same. IBS is a leader at the university in using IT in the classroom.”

Prateek Singh, a second year M.B.A. student at IBS who is currently enrolled in Mann’s Global Economic Environment (GEE) course, said she “makes complex stuff easy [to understand] when she teaches it.” Singh referred to Mann as “the brightest jewel in Brandeis IBS” due to his positive interactions with her. Because of Mann’s open-door policy, students like Singh are able to engage her in “intellectually stimulating discussions on [the] world economy.”

Mann’s former GEE student René D. Sánchez Flores called the course “very dynamic with debates every class.” Because of the class’ liveliness and Mann’s tendency to share her opinion on topics of debate Flores says it was a, “pleasure … taking a class with her.”
Singh and Sanchez both concurred that Mann will be dearly missed at IBS.

Mann said that she will miss both her students and teaching at IBS. She looks forward to working again in her area of interest and expertise: international economic policy.

Mann’s interest in the position at the OEDC stems from her previous work. She will experience diverse work ranging from researching and writing policies in fields from “trade, labor, monetary and fiscal policy.” Her responsibilities include researching effectively and being able to work with individual countries and showing them how the “research has applicability to the policy issues that the country faces.” Because of its excellent work, “countries come to the OECD for advice and for insights on their country’s structure and challenges.”

Mann departs IBS at Brandeis after eight years of distinguished work.