Jill McCluskey named first female director of WSU’s School of Economic Sciences

Head shot of SES Director Jill McCluskey
Jill McCluskey, new director of WSU’s School of Economic Sciences.

Renowned as both a world class scholar and a gifted mentor, Jill J. McCluskey has been named director of WSU’s School of Economic Sciences.

McCluskey, who replaces outgoing Director H. Alan Love, will become the school’s first female director and will begin her tenure August 16, 2019.

“I want to help students, colleagues, and the School of Economic Sciences succeed,” said McCluskey, who brings over 20 years of service to WSU. “Our faculty and our students are outstanding, and I think we have the potential to be recognized as one of the top five Agricultural & Applied Economics departments in the country and top forty Economics departments.”

As Regents Professor and Distinguished Professor of Sustainability in the School of Economic Sciences, she has served as the associate director of SES since 2015.

Focusing on product quality and reputation, sustainable labeling, consumer preferences for new technology, and representation of women in STEM, McCluskey’s research has garnered international acclaim and won numerous awards. She is past president and fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and she is currently a member of the Board on Agricultural and Natural Resources of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

In 2018, McCluskey won the WSU Association for Faculty Women’s Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award, in part for her research into the ways that work-life and partner accommodation policies can affect the representation of women in STEM.

“Economics has the power to change policy,” McCluskey said. “It can be used to design policies that have positive outcomes for society and maximize profits for industry. That is what I love and find so fascinating about it.”

As director, McCluskey hopes to use her experience to promote positive outcomes both within the School of Economic Sciences and with external stakeholders.

“One of my goals is to recognize outstanding faculty with new Distinguished and Endowed Professorships,” McCluskey said. “I’d also like to see us create new partnerships with industry and deepen our engagement with stakeholders.”

McCluskey recognizes that these are big goals, but she’s confident that SES can attain them.

“I will deliberately listen and work to build consensus,” she said. “I’m grateful to have had wonderful colleagues and mentors of my own, and I’m honored by the trust now placed in me. I will encourage everyone to be optimistic, dream big, work hard, and help others. When we do that, together we can achieve great things.”

Addressing the transition of leadership, CAHNRS Dean André-Denis Wright expressed his gratitude for Alan Love’s tenure and shared his optimism for the school’s future. “We deeply appreciate Dr. Alan Love’s eight years of service as director of the School of Economic Sciences,” said Dean Wright. “As we prepare to welcome Dr. Jill McCluskey as the new director, I am grateful for the legacy of outstanding leadership within the School of Economic Sciences, and I am confident that the school will continue to thrive under her direction.”