University News

A Q&A with Professor Barbara Schone

October 30, 2019

Barbara Schone is Teaching Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the McCourt School of Public Policy. She also serves as the Faculty Director of the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program. She has been affiliated with Georgetown since 1998. At McCourt she teaches core classes in Microeconomics and Quantitative Methods and elective courses related to Health Demand. She has received the Leslie Whittington Teaching Award on several occasions.

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in Economics?

I pursued my Ph.D. in Economics directly after college. The appeal of Economics to me was that I was able to use the analytical skills that played to my strengths but apply those skills to questions about the real world. I continue to see that as the real strength of Economics.

Throughout my career, I have conducted research in both academic and government settings. I have also been teaching almost continually since my graduate school days. More recently, I have taken on administrative responsibilities that have allowed me to exercise different parts of my brain. I feel very fortunate that I have found a career that continues to motivate me.

2. What is the best piece of advice you have received?

In one of my first job interviews when I was still in graduate school I wasn’t knowledgeable about who would be interviewing me, and I ended up underestimating that person and his ability to understand the work that I was doing. This misstep was brought to my attention by someone who knew that person somewhat later, who gave me important advice: Never underestimate the people with whom you interact.

3. What book is on your nightstand right now?

The stack of books on my nightstand continues to grow, and I wish I was making more progress. On top of the stack is Intimacy and Separateness in Psychoanalysis. This is not the typical kind of thing that I read but is of interest to me because it was written by my uncle.

4. What is something most people don’t know about you?

I have a real love of 1970s R&B music and have wondered if my interest in that music somehow came from my mother’s cousin who managed and wrote songs for The Orioles, one of the first R&B vocal bands.