University News

Event – MDI Distinguished Lecture “Using Data to Make Better Economic Policy in the 21st Century” by Karen Dynan, Ph.D.

Dr. Karen Dynan generously allowed her slides to be shared publicly. View them here.

On March 23, 2023 from 3:00-4:00pm at Riggs Library, the McCourt School of Public Policy’s Massive Data Institute (MDI) will host the second MDI Distinguished Lecture. This lecture will be given by Karen Dynan, Ph.D., Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy at Harvard University and former Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Lecture Abstract: The last two decades have seen significant advances in the economic data available to policymakers. The new economic data toolkit includes more timely and more granular data based on administrative records from private sources as well as new surveys. While these advances are yielding important benefits for managing the economy, they are still a work in progress. Dynan will discuss the gaps that these data have filled, as well as the issues that remain. She will also identify constructive next steps for public and private actors in using and improving data for economic policymaking.

About Karen Dynan, Ph.D.: Karen Dynan, Ph.D. is a Professor of the Practice in the Harvard University Department of Economics and at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is also a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. She previously served as Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2014 to 2017. From 2009 to 2013, Dynan was vice president and co-director of the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. Before that, she was on the staff of the Federal Reserve Board, leading work in macroeconomic forecasting, household finances, and the Fed’s response to the financial crisis. Dynan has also served as a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers (2003-2004) and as a visiting assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University (1998). Her current research focuses on fiscal and other types of macroeconomic policy, consumer behavior, and household finances. Dynan received her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and her A.B. from Brown University.

Accommodations: Please contact with any questions about the event, and by March 16, 2023 for accessibility requests.

About the MDI Distinguished Lecture Series: The Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by the Massive Data Institute (MDI) brings leading scholars from around the world to Georgetown University to share cutting edge research at the intersection of technology and policy. The lecture is followed by a reception.

About the Massive Data Institute (MDI): At Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy, the Massive Data Institute (MDI) is an interdisciplinary research institute that connects experts across computer science, data science, public health, public policy, and social science to tackle societal scale issues and impact public policy in ways that improves people’s lives through responsible evidence-based research. For more information on MDI, please visit

Transportation: Georgetown University is accessible for faculty, staff, students and visitors through many convenient transportation options, including our free university shuttle, public transportation, bicycling, carsharing and other means. Learn more about transportation options here.

See here (Interactive map) or here (PDF) for a Georgetown University campus map.

Members of the Public: Georgetown University looks forward to your upcoming visit. This event is following University public health guidelines. Please complete Step #1 now which can be found at this link: and you will be notified about Step #2 the morning of March 23, 2023. Check-in will be taken at the door.

Questions? Please contact

Distinguished Lecture