BFI NewsFeb 23, 2021

Quentin Johnson to Join the Becker Friedman Institute as Director of Diversity and Inclusion Programs

Johnson to lead UChicago Summer Institute for Expanding Diversity in Economics

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) at the University of Chicago is pleased to announce that Quentin Johnson has joined its leadership team. Johnson joins BFI as Director of Diversity and Inclusion Programs and will manage the newly launched Expanding Diversity in Economics program, an innovative University of Chicago Summer Institute designed to identify and support talented undergraduate students from a broad range of backgrounds interested in the study of economics.

“We are delighted to welcome Quentin to the University of Chicago and the BFI team,” said Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and Director of BFI. “Quentin brings valuable leadership and insights that will guarantee thoughtful outreach and development of the Summer Institute as we look to make it part of the solution to economics’ inclusion problem.”

Johnson previously served as Senior Economics Outreach Specialist for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where he developed and managed diversity and inclusion outreach and recruitment, including strategic partnership development with colleges, universities, professional and community organizations for the Board’s economics community. During his tenure with the Federal Reserve Board, Johnson conducted successful outreach to expand diversity within the intern program, the research assistant program, and the economist ranks. In addition, he launched a number of community engagement and mentoring initiatives.

A graduate of Morehouse College with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in math and economics, Johnson previously worked in admissions for both Morehouse and American University. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from American University.

“I am excited and honored to join this groundbreaking program at the University of Chicago,” said Johnson. “The commitment of the Becker Friedman Institute to expand diversity in the economics field can serve as a national model to really drive the inclusive skill building and community building necessary to move economics into the 21st-century and make it more representative of our society.”

Economics is less diverse in terms of students and faculty relative to other fields. The first-of-its-kind, three-week Summer Institute, Expanding Diversity in Economics is designed to attract extraordinary students from colleges and universities around the country who would not otherwise consider studying economics. The goal is to diversify the pool of undergraduate students majoring in economics, who may go on to a graduate program or a career drawing on this important set of skills.

Participants will be exposed to a range of economic topics taught by a broad group of economists from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, and the Harris School of Public Policy in addition to high-profile outside guests. The Summer Institute will also promote a mentoring network, linking participants with faculty for guidance and support, and providing opportunities for ongoing research experience during the academic year.

“The Summer Institute and its accompanying programs are a big undertaking for BFI that will benefit tremendously from Quentin’s input and direction,” said Erik Hurst, the Frank P. and Marianne R. Diassi Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at Chicago Booth, and Deputy Director of BFI. “His work with the Federal Reserve Board has been extremely impactful and we look forward to his meaningful influence within the University of Chicago community as well.”

The deadline for Summer Institute applications is March 14, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and public safety concerns, the 2021 Summer Institute will be held virtually, from July 18 – August 6. For more information and to apply visit: