Stanford King Center on Global Development welcomes new faculty director
Economist Katherine Casey has been named faculty director of the King Center on Global Development, a multi-disciplinary research center that works to help improve the lives of people living in poverty around the world.
Casey succeeds Pascaline Dupas, the Kleinheinz Family Professor of International Studies, who will join the Princeton faculty this autumn. Jessica Leino, the center’s executive director and a research scholar, will serve as interim director through August 2024, when Casey returns from sabbatical in Ireland.
“I am honored and absolutely delighted to take on this new role at the King Center,” said Casey. “My career is motivated by a passion to contribute to the alleviation of global poverty and I am excited to lead the center, building on the tremendous work of Pascaline.”
Casey’s research explores the interactions between economic and political forces in developing countries, with particular interest in the role of information in enhancing political accountability and the influence of foreign aid on economic development. Her work focuses on sub-Saharan Africa.
Casey’s research has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy and Science, among others. Casey is also the 2022 - 2023 Katherine and David deWilde Faculty Scholar at the GSB and a senior fellow at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). She serves as an associate editor at Econometrica and American Economic Journal: Applied Economics; research program co-director for state capacity at the International Growth Centre (IGC); and research associate at Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). She teaches a popular course at the GSB, called “Strategy Beyond Markets,” which focuses on a firm’s interactions with nonmarket players, like politicians, regulators, and bureaucrats, in a variety of global contexts.
“Casey is one of the leading scholars of her generation on governance in lower-income countries,” Dupas said. “She is a research entrepreneur, setting up ambitious, large-scale experiments with governments and local leaders to identify scalable solutions to the challenge of low political accountability. I am delighted that she will bring her entrepreneurial spirit and energy to lead the King Center at a time when global development challenges are becoming increasingly complex and—let’s say it—political.”
Under Dupas’ leadership, the center has distributed $9 million in research funding and fellowships to Stanford faculty, students, and researchers since 2020. The center launched a Predoctoral Research Fellows Program that aims to strengthen the pipeline of scholars from low- and middle-income countries. Ei-Thandar Myint, from Myanmar, who was among the inaugural cohort of predoctoral fellows, will be starting her PhD program at UC Berkeley this autumn after two years working under Dupas’ mentorship.
"The King Center predoctoral program has been a transformative opportunity for me to pursue my dream of becoming a scholar," Myint says. "I am so grateful to be able to acquire the skills needed to make a difference, through research, particularly in the lives of individuals who grew up in developing countries and have faced challenging circumstances similar to mine."
“I am so grateful for Pascaline’s leadership at the King Center during the past three years as it navigated the pandemic while simultaneously expanding its support for faculty and students,” said Mark Duggan, The Trione Director and senior fellow at SIEPR. “Her expertise on health, education, gender, and equity-related issues in lower-income contexts, especially on the African continent, is second to none. The Stanford community has benefited tremendously from her presence since she arrived at Stanford 12 years ago.”
“We are incredibly fortunate to have an extraordinary community of experts in global development at Stanford, and Kate is one of the best,” said Jesper. Sørensen, The Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Professor at the GSB and faculty director at Stanford Seed. “Her own work is ambitious and creative, and she has a unique ability to inspire and lead both faculty and students. I am eager to have Kate take the helm and lead the King Center to further success through her deep expertise and remarkable energy.”