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Yale SOM Professor Assumes Top Economist Role for U.S. Department of Justice

Yale School of Management (SOM) economics professor Fiona Scott Morton will take a leave of absence from teaching to assume the chief economist role for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the school announced last week. Scott Morton has been named the first female deputy assistant attorney general for economic analysis, a role in which she will oversee a team of more than 50 economists.

In her new role, Scott Morton will be responsible for enforcing current antitrust laws, revising mergers that come before the department and exploring how antitrust policy fits into new laws, such as the new healthcare law. She will also work to deepen DOJ’s relationships with antitrust officials in the European Union, Canada and other jurisdictions.

“This is an exciting time to be working in the antitrust field,” she said in a statement. “We’ve got the many competition implications of healthcare law, whether it’s new cooperation between hospitals, primary care groups, rehab centers, etc., or the new exchanges soon to be set up. And the upturn in the economy has set off a mini merger wave, meaning there will be plenty of interesting work in M&A. My hope is that I’ll be able to be an asset to an already amazing team.”

Scott Morton expects the experience to enrich her teaching once she returns to Yale SOM’s campus. “I’ll come back into the classroom and be able to really articulate key policies and how they work in the practical world,” she said. “I expect to be able to bring a lot more insights into the classroom, particularly on enforcement and what students need to look out for when they’re managers.”

An end date for Scott Morton’s tenure with the DOJ has not been set, though it is a job traditionally held by an academic in a one- or two-year stint. She started on June 1st.

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