Katherine Milkman is the Evan C. Thompson Endowed Term Chair for Excellence in Teaching and a tenured professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a secondary appointment at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Her research relies heavily on big data to explore ways that insights from economics and psychology can be used to change consequential behaviors for good, such as savings, exercise, vaccination take-up and discrimination. In her TEDx talk, she describes some of her key findings on this topic.
Katherine has received numerous awards for her research including an early career award from the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences. When under 30, Milkman was named one of the world’s top 40 business school professors under 40 by Poets and Quants and she was a finalist for the Thinkers 50 2017 Radar Thinker Award. Her dozens of published articles in leading social science journals such as Management Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and The Journal of Finance have reached a wide audience through regular coverage in major media outlets such as NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, and Harvard Business Review. She also frequently writes for The Washington Post about the behavioral economics of everyday life. In 2018, she began hosting Charles Schwab’s popular podcast “Choiceology with Katy Milkman,” which explores key lessons from behavioral economics about decision making.
Katherine has been recognized with many accolades for her ability to communicate ideas to students. She is a repeated recipient of the excellence in teaching award for the Wharton undergraduate division, was voted Wharton's “Iron Prof” by the school’s MBA students for a PechaKucha-style presentation of her research, and has repeatedly been one of ten finalists for the Anvil Award for Wharton’s most outstanding MBA teacher.
She is the president-elect of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, an APS Fellow, and an associate editor at Management Science, where she has handled manuscripts about behavioral economics since 2013. She has worked with numerous organizations on research and/or consulting, including Humana, Google, Wipro, Cummins Engines, the U.S. Department of Defense, 24 Hour Fitness and the American Red Cross.
She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University (summa cum laude) in Operations Research and Financial Engineering and her PhD from Harvard University's joint program in Computer Science and Business.