Olivia S. Mitchell
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor
Executive Director, Pension Research Council; Director, Boettner Center on Pensions and Retirement Research
The Wharton School

Faculty & Staff >> Biography

Dr. Olivia S. Mitchell is the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor at the Wharton School, as well as Professor of Insurance/Risk Management and Business Economics/Policy; Executive Director of the Pension Research Council; and Director of the Boettner Center on Pensions and Retirement Research; all at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Concurrently Dr. Mitchell serves as a Research Associate at the NBER; as an independent director on the Wells Fargo Advantage Fund Trusts Board; as Co-Investigator for the Health and Retirement Study at the University of Michigan; and Associate Director of the Financial Literacy Center, a RAND/Wharton/Dartmouth Consortium. Dr. Mitchell's main interests are public and private pensions, insurance and risk management, financial literacy, and public finance. She received the MA and PhD degrees in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the BA in Economics from Harvard University.

Mitchell has visited or taught at numerous institutions including Harvard University, the NBER, Cornell University, the Goethe University of Frankfurt, the Singapore Management University, and the University of New South Wales. She was awarded the Fidelity Pyramid Prize for research improving lifelong financial well-being; the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession; and the Roger F. Murray First Prize from the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance. She was also honored with the Premio Internazionale Dell'Istituto Nazionale Delle Assicurazioni (INA) from the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome. Her Social Security reform study won the Paul Samuelson Award for “Outstanding Writing on Lifelong Financial Security” from TIAA-CREF. Previously she chaired Wharton/s Department of Insurance/Risk Management, and she was a member of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security in 2001. She was a Public Member of the US Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council and served on the Board of Directors of Alexander and Alexander Services, Inc., the Advisory Board for the Central Provident Fund of Singapore, the National Academy of Social Insurance Board, the Board of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, and the GAO Advisory Board. She also co-chaired the Technical Panel on Trends in Retirement Income and Saving for the Social Security Advisory Council. She has spoken for and consulted with many public and private groups including the World Economic Forum, the International Monetary Fund, the Investment Company Institute, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the White House Conference on Social Security, the Q Group, the President’s Economic Forum, and the World Bank; and she has provided testimony to committees of the US Congress, the UK Parliament, the Australian Parliament, the US Department of Labor, and the Brazilian Senate. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese, having lived and worked in Latin America, Europe, and Australasia.

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