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Speaker Bio: Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom is an American political scientist. She was awarded the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, which she shared with Oliver E. Williamson, for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons. She is the first woman to win the prize in this category. Ostrom is Distinguished Professor at Indiana University and the Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University in Bloomington, as well as Research Professor and the Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity at Arizona State University in Tempe. She has studied how self-organization and local-level management works to keep common resources, whether natural (e.g., forests) or man-made (e.g., police forces), viable. Combining data from diverse sources ranging from classical techniques such as surveys to modern advances such as satellite imagery, Ostrom has uncovered numerous principles that govern successful sustainability and that defy conventional beliefs. She received a received a B.A. (with honors) in political science at UCLA in 1954. She was awarded an M.A. in 1962 and a Ph.D. in 1965, both from UCLA Department of Political Science. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2001. See