Emily Chamlee-Wright is a senior affiliated scholar and Board Member at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. She is the President and CEO of the Institute for Humane Studies. She was previously Provost and Dean at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. Prior to joining Washington College, she was Elbert Neese Professor of Economics and Associate Dean at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. Her primary research interests include development economics and cultural economics. She writes and teaches about indigenous markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Chamlee-Wright is the lead researcher for Phase I of the Mercatus Center Gulf Coast Recovery Project and the socio-cultural category of research.
Dr. Chamlee-Wright's first book, The Cultural Foundations of Economic Development (Routledge 1997) was based on ethnographic research she conducted in the urban markets of Ghana. In 2000, Dr. Chamlee-Wright published her second book, Culture and Enterprise, co-authored with Don Lavoie (Routledge 2000), which attempts to reconcile two distinct disciplinary fields: the study of culture and the study of markets. She is currently working on a book titled The Learning Society (University of Michigan Press), exploring the intersection between markets and social capital.
Dr. Chamlee-Wright's more recent ethnographic work is a study of urban market women in Zimbabwe, documenting their strategies for economic survival and accumulation. In general, Chamlee-Wright is interested in the ways in which cultural and market processes affect one another.
Dr. Chamlee-Wright was a W.K. Kellogg National Leadership Fellow. She received her Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University.