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About the Speaker

Elinor (Lin) Ostrom earned the Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA in 1965 and is currently Senior Research Director at Indiana University where she has directed the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis since 1973. She is also the Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity at Arizona State University.


Dr. Ostrom is the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, which she received “for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons.” The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Ostrom’s “research brought this topic from the fringe to the forefront of scientific attention”...“by showing how common resources – forests, fisheries, oil fields, or grazing lands – can be managed successfully by the people who use them, rather than by governments or private companies.” Ostrom’s work, in this regard, challenged conventional wisdom, showing that common resources can be successfully managed without government regulation or privatization.


Dr. Ostrom has received seven honorary doctorates and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in 2003. She has served on the boards of the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Dr. Ostrom has received a multitude of grants and funded research from both domestic and foreign agencies.


Her published research spans numerous articles and more than 25 books, including The Samaritan’s Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid, Linking the Formal and Informal Economy: Concepts and Policies, and her most recent work, Working Together: Collective Action, the Commons, and Multiple Methods in Practice.

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