Aaron Chatterji

Duke's Fuqua School of Business

Mark Burgess & Lisa Benson-Burgess Distinguished Professor of Business and Public Policy


Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji, Ph.D. is the Mark Burgess & Lisa Benson-Burgess Distinguished Professor of Business and Public Policy at Duke University. Ronnie works at the intersection of academia, public policy and business, investigating the most important forces shaping our economy and society. His primary appointment is in the Fuqua School of Business, from where he has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in the top journals in strategic management, economics, finance and organizational studies. His most recent book, co-authored with Michael Lenox, is “Can Business Save the Earth?” (Stanford University Press).

Chatterji is committed to public service, both at the national level and in his home state of North Carolina. He is currently on leave from Duke, serving as the Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Biden Administration. In this role, he is the principal economic adviser to the Secretary of Commerce and responsible for policy development related to U.S. competitiveness, innovation, trade and economic growth. He previously worked for President Obama as a Senior Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). Chatterji also served on the North Carolina FIRST Commission and the Governor’s Entrepreneurial Council, two statewide bodies advising Governor Roy Cooper on economic policy. During his sabbatical leave in 2020, Ronnie ran for State Treasurer of North Carolina, winning a statewide primary election and earning the endorsements of President Biden, Vice President Harris and former President Obama.

He has received several awards for his research, including the Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in entrepreneurship, the Rising Star award from the Aspen Institute, and the Strategic Management Society Emerging Scholar award. Chatterji has authored several op-ed pieces in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, including influential essays introducing the concept of CEO activism with co-author Michael Toffel. He writes widely for management and policy audiences with several recent pieces in Harvard Business Review and for the Brooking Institution.

Ronnie has won multiple teaching awards at Duke, both for his teaching in the core curriculum and electives. He created a new elective on business and politics that was profiled in national media and has become one of the most popular courses at the Fuqua School of Business. He is a frequent keynote speaker and experienced facilitator who has worked with top companies in finance, healthcare, technology, energy, retail, and sports.

Chatterji is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and was previously a visiting Associate Professor at The Harvard Business School. He also holds a secondary appointment at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

Ronnie was previously a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and worked as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs. He received his Ph.D. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and his B.A. in Economics from Cornell University.