COVID-19 has caused fear, grief, upheaval, and loneliness; it has also led us to appreciate compassion, resilience, selflessness, and adaptability. It has laid bare the social inequalities that too many people live with day in and day out, pandemic or not, and it has caused us, as individuals and as societies, to think more deeply about the balance between self-determination and interdependence, individual freedoms and responsibility to the common good.
In this series of live-streamed conversations, esteemed alumni and friends of the College will discuss current and future impacts of the public health crisis within the United States and globally. Audience members may submit live questions for the Q&A portion of each conversation.
Joseph Stiglitz '64 is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute. A recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chairman of the (US president's) Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. He has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 2001 and received that university's highest academic rank (university professor) in 2003.
In 2011 Stiglitz was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz's work focuses on income distribution, risk, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics and globalization. He is the author of numerous books, and several bestsellers. His most recent titles are People, Power, and Profits, Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy, Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited, The Euro and Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy.
David Novak '91 was appointed to the Amherst College Board of Trustees in 2018. He is Co-President at the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), and is based in London. He joined the firm in 1997 and moved to London in 2000. He is responsible for CD&R’s European business and is a member of the firm’s Executive and Investment committees. Prior to CD&R, he worked at Morgan Stanley in the private equity and investment banking divisions.
Since graduating from Amherst, Novak has served as international chair of Amherst’s Lives of Consequence campaign, chair of the executive committee of the Alumni Council, class agent, associate class agent, member of the 25th Reunion Gift Committee and volunteer for the Amherst Alumni Outreach Volunteer Program.
Novak currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American School in London and on the Board of the Valerie Fund, which supports children with cancer and blood disorders. Other prior charitable activities have included service on boards associated with Maccabi GB, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Right to Play UK. He currently serves as an advisor to Ahren Innovation Capital. In 2009 he was selected to join the Forum of Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum.
Novak graduated from Amherst with a B.A. in economics, cum laude, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School with honors. He and his wife, Jane, have two boys.