Heidi Williams Joins IFP as Director of Science Policy

June 27th 2022

We are very excited to announce that Heidi Williams is joining the Institute for Progress (IFP) as our Director of Science Policy. Heidi will be helping IFP develop and implement a metascience policy agenda in Washington, D.C., which will include continued research on the role of government in supporting science as well as direct engagement with Congress and federal science agencies.

Heidi is the Charles R. Schwab Professor of Economics at Stanford University, where her teaching and research focus on how society can best support science and innovation, and how we can best ensure that science and innovation generate broad benefits to society.

Heidi’s work in the economics of innovation is far-ranging and deeply relevant for IFP’s mission to accelerate scientific, technological, and industrial progress. Her previous research has increased our understanding of the interplay between technological development and public policy, and how to steer the path of biomedical technologies for the public good. We are thrilled to support her work in translating such findings by academic researchers into actionable policy recommendations, and in encouraging a healthier ecosystem of data and experimentation being used by federal government agencies as well as philanthropic science funders.

Complementing her role at IFP is her role as Co-Chair (with Paul Niehaus) of J-PAL’s new Science for Progress Initiative. She is also the Editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives and is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) where she is co-director (with Amy Finkelstein) of the Health Care program as well as co-director (with Ben Jones) of the Innovation Policy working group. 

Heidi received her AB in mathematics from Dartmouth College in 2003, her MSc in development economics from Oxford University in 2004, and her PhD in economics from Harvard in 2010. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2015), and has been recognized for her undergraduate teaching, graduate teaching, and graduate advising.