Wharton Faculty > Biography
Dr. Olivia S. Mitchell is the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor of Insurance and Risk Management, and the Executive Director of the Pension Research Council, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She also directs the Boettner Center on Pensions and Retirement Research; is a Fellow of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center and the Leonard Davis Institute: and sits on the Board of the Penn Aging Research Center.Concurrently Dr. Mitchell is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Co-Investigator for the Health and Retirement Study at the University of Michigan. She also serves on the Advisory Committee to the Central Provident Fund of Singapore.
Dr. Mitchell's main areas of research and teaching are international private and public insurance, risk management, public finance, and compensation and pensions. Her extensive publications (18 books and over 100 articles) analyze pensions and healthcare systems, wealth, health, work, wellbeing, and retirement.
Dr. Mitchell received the MA and PhD degrees in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the BA in Economics from Harvard University. Her coauthored study on Social Security reform won the Paul Samuelson Award for “Outstanding Writing on Lifelong Financial Security” from TIAA-CREF and she also received the Premio Internazionale Dell'Istituto Nazionale Delle Assicurazioni (INA) from the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Italy ex aqueo. She previously taught at Cornell University, and she has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Singapore Management University, and the University of New South Wales. She served on President Bush’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security (www.csss.gov) the US Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council.
She is a member of the Wells Fargo Advantage Fund Trusts Board of Directors; previously she served on the Board of Alexander and Alexander Services, Inc.; the National Academy of Social Insurance Board; and the Executive Committee for the American Economic Association. She also co-chaired the Technical Panel on Trends in Retirement Income and Saving for the Social Security Advisory Council; and she was a Board member for the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession as well as the GAO Advisory Board. She has spoken for groups including the World Economic Forum; the International Monetary Fund; the Investment Company Institute; the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; the White House Conference on Social Security; the President’s Economic Forum; and she has provided testimony to committees of the US Congress, the UK Parliament, the Australian Parliament, and the Brazilian Senate. She regularly mentors doctoral students and she speaks Spanish and Portuguese, having lived and worked in Latin America, Europe, and Australasia. More information is available at http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/faculty/mitchelo.html