Announcement
October 12, 2021

The Mercatus Center Announces the Creation of the George Gibbs Chair in Political Economy

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The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is pleased to announce the creation of the George Gibbs Chair in Political Economy, in memory of George Williams Gibbs, III.   Senior Research Fellow Veronique de Rugy will be the inaugural chair holder, effective immediately. 

A native and lifelong resident of Jacksonville, Florida, Gibbs began his own shipyard at the age of 27. He carefully grew the company throughout his life, eventually employing 3,000 people and building around 350 vessels for businesses across the globe. Aware of the vital role that markets played in his company’s success, Gibbs was also an active member of the Jacksonville business community, serving as a board member of the Jacksonville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Vice President of Business and Industry for the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce. 

“George was very aware of the importance of the economic freedoms that gave him the chance to build his business,” said Ann Gibbs, George’s wife. “By establishing this chair at Mercatus, George’s passion for supporting entrepreneurism will ensure that future generations have the opportunity to create their own legacies.”

“George and Ann’s long-standing support for Mercatus has been critical in supporting policy research, particularly on the impact of government favoritism on economic growth,” said Daniel M. Rothschild, Executive Director of the Mercatus Center. “Given Veronique’s work in this area, and her ability to widely convey her findings through her popular writing and interviews, she is the obvious choice to honor George’s legacy.” 

de Rugy is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center and a nationally syndicated columnist for the Creators Syndicate. Her popular weekly columns address economic issues ranging from lessons on creating sustainable economic growth to the implications of government tax and fiscal policies. de Rugy is also a leading expert on the economic consequences of the corporate welfare of the Export-Import Bank. She has testified numerous times in front of Congress a variety of topics, including the effects of fiscal stimulus, corporate welfare, debts and deficits, and regulation on the economy.

“I am honored to be named as the initial holder of the George Gibbs Chair,” said de Rugy. “Entrepreneurs like George are the true drivers of economic growth and it’s critical that people looking to start or grow businesses have the opportunity to compete on an even playing field, free from government intervention and favoritism.” 

The latest research from de Rugy is on mercatus.org and an archive of de Rugy’s columns is available on Creators’ website. For media inquiries, please contact Matthew Boyer at 703-993-8094 or mboyer@mercatus.gmu.edu