About Katherine

Katherine Milkman is the Evan C. Thompson Endowed Term Chair for Excellence in Teaching and a tenured associate professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a secondary appointment at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Her research relies heavily on big data to explore ways that insights from economics and psychology can be used to change consequential behaviors for good, such as savings, exercise, vaccination take-up and discrimination. In her TEDx talk, she describes some of her key findings on this topic.

Katherine has received numerous awards for her research including an early career award from the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences. When under 30, Milkman was named one of the world’s top 40 business school professors under 40 by Poets and Quants and she was a finalist for the Thinkers 50 2017 Radar Thinker Award.  Her dozens of published articles in leading social science journals such as Management Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and The Journal of Finance have reached a wide audience through frequent coverage in major media outlets such as NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, and Harvard Business Review. She is also a regular contributor to The Washington Post, writing about the behavioral economics of everyday life.

Katherine has been recognized with many accolades for her ability to communicate ideas to students. She received the excellence in teaching award for the Wharton undergraduate division in 2015 and 2016, was voted Wharton's “Iron Prof” by the school’s MBA students for a PechaKucha-style presentation of her research, and was one of ten finalists in 2014 and 2015 for the Anvil Award for Wharton’s most outstanding MBA teacher.

She is an elected member of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making’s Executive Board and was an associate editor for the Behavioral Economics Department at Management Science from 2013-2017.  She has worked with numerous organizations on research and/or consulting, including Humana, Google, Wipro, Cummins Engines, the U.S. Department of Defense and the American Red Cross.

Katherine co-directs the Behavior Change for Good Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, whose work is being chronicled by Freakonomics Radio

She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University (summa cum laude) in Operations Research and Financial Engineering and her Ph.D. from Harvard University's joint program in Computer Science and Business.