W. Kip Viscusi (Vanderbilt) Elected as SBCA Vice President; James K. Hammitt (Harvard) and Jack Wells (U.S. Department of Transportation) Elected as Board Members

January 9, 2014

Read more about the new additions below, or view the full Board of Directors online here.

Viscusi_picW. Kip Viscusi, Vice President
W. Kip Viscusi is Vanderbilt's first University Distinguished Professor, with tenured appointments in the Department of Economics and the Owen Graduate School of Management as well as in the Law School. Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty Professor Viscusi was the Cogan Professor of Law and Economics and Director of the Program on Empirical Studies at Harvard Law School. He has also been the Allen Professor of Economics at Duke University and Professor of Economics at Northwestern University. Professor Viscusi is the award-winning author of more than 20 books and over 300 articles, most of which deal with different aspects of health and safety risks. His pathbreaking research has addressed a wide range of individual and societal responses to risk and uncertainty, including risky behaviors, government regulation, and tort liability. He is widely regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on benefit-cost analysis. Professor Viscusi's estimates of the value of risks to life and health are currently used throughout the Federal government. He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Department of Justice on issues pertaining to the valuation of life and health. In the Carter administration, he was Deputy Director of the Council of Wage and Price Stability, which was responsible for White House oversight over all new federal regulations. He has served on different panels of the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for over a decade. Professor Viscusi is the founding editor of the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, which he has edited since 1988. His textbook with Harrington and Vernon, Economic of Regulation and Antitrust, has retained its monopoly position in that field.

James K. Hammitt, Board Member
James K. Hammitt is professor of economics and decision sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health, director of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, and visiting professor at the Toulouse School of Economics (France). His research and teaching concern the development and application of benefit-cost, decision, and risk analysis to health and environmental policy in the U.S. and elsewhere. Topics include: evaluation of policies toward global scale, long term environmental threats with important scientific uncertainties such as global climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion; assessment of ancillary benefits and countervailing risks induced by risk-reduction activities; the precautionary principle and other approaches to risk management; and characterization of individual and social preferences over health and environmental risks using revealed-preference, stated-preference, and health-utility methods. He has served on the EPA Science Advisory Board, its Environmental Economics Advisory Committee, and chaired its panel on expert elicitation and the Advisory Council on Clean Air Compliance Analysis. He also served on NRC/IOM committees on methods for valuing health risk for regulatory analysis, the external effects of energy production and use, and the health, environmental and social effects of the food system, among others. He holds advanced degrees in applied mathematics and public policy from Harvard, was senior mathematician at RAND, and held the Pierre-de-Fermat chair at the Toulouse School of Economics.

Jack Wells, Board Member
As Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Jack Wells is responsible for overseeing all benefit-cost analysis that is conducted within the Department, including analyses of both safety regulations and infrastructure investments. He oversees the preparation of guidance on key parameters for use in benefit-cost analyses, such as values for statistical life and values of time. This guidance is used both within the Department and by other economists in the transportation community. He oversees research on improving the methodologies for conducting benefit-cost analysis, such as methods for valuing benefits of transit systems and bike paths and methods for estimating the value of time in freight transportation. Mr. Wells has previously served as Chief Economist at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Editor of the Journal of Transportation and Statistics, Senior Economist at the U.S. General Accounting Office, and Assistant Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He has a Ph.D. from Yale and a B.A. from Harvard, both in Economics.