Harvard Kennedy School


Karen Dynan: The American Consumer and Economic Growth


Harvard Kennedy School
Professor of the Practice of Economics, FAS

Karen Dynan is a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. She served as Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2014 to 2017, leading analysis of economic conditions and development of policies to address the nation’s economic challenges. 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 for 17 years, playing a leadership role in a number of areas, including macroeconomic forecasting, household finances, and the Fed’s response to the financial crisis. Dynan also served as a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2004 and as a visiting assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University in 1998. Dynan teaches in the Harvard Economics Department and at the Harvard Kennedy School; she is also currently a nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Dynan’s research focuses on fiscal and other types of macroeconomic policy, consumer behavior, and household finances. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and her A.B. from Brown University.

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