Mary Lovely Named Inaugural Recipient of the Merget Fellowship Award

Astrid MergetThe Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is pleased to announce Mary Lovely, professor of economics and Melvin A. Eggers Economics Faculty Scholar, as the inaugural recipient of the Merget Fellowship award. The fellowship is made possible by generous gifts to the Astrid Merget Fund honoring two-time alumna and former associate dean of the Maxwell School Astrid Merget ’68 MPA/’73 PhD (SSc).

Awarded each semester, the Merget Fellowship will support innovative teaching from across the social science disciplines at the graduate and undergraduate levels in areas of foreign policy, global security, security and intelligence, development, and international economics and finance. The Fellowship is based at the Maxwell School’s Washington, D.C., headquarters at the Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS).

"Astrid Merget was an active member of a generation of Maxwell students who believed that national policy mattered. She and her classmates aspired to public service in Washington, and they made a difference when they achieved their dreams,” says University Professor Sean O’Keefe ’78 MPA, whose major contribution started the Fund and whose continuing generosity helped make the Fellowship possible. “One of her goals for Maxwell was to establish a presence in Washington. Her fondest dream was for faculty and doctoral students to teach, engage research, and participate in the public policy process.”

Merget held a series of distinguished positions in government and in academia before passing away in 2014. At Maxwell, she was the inaugural Louis A. Bantle Chair in Business and Government Policy, chair of Public Administration, and senior associate dean, before leaving to become the dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, and later executive vice chancellor and provost at the Louisiana State University. In addition to her academic work, Merget held senior positions in the federal government. She was senior adviser to the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and special assistant to the assistant secretary for policy development and research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Inaugural Merget Fellow Mary Lovely is a scholar of international economics and an expert on China’s economic development. Lovely served as co-editor of the China Economic Review from 2011–15. Her current research projects investigate the effect of China’s foreign direct investment policies on trade flows and entry mode, the relationship between proximity to export markets and cross-city wage variation, and the influence of Chinese tariff reductions on labor shares of value in its manufacturing firms.

Lovely recently completed studies of American manufacturing employment and outsourcing to low-income countries, the role of intellectual returnees in the success of China’s photovoltaic solar industry, and the structure of Chinese reforms of state-owned enterprises. Regularly sought after by national and international media for her expertise on trade with China, Lovely has recently spoken with the Associated Press, The Financial Times, NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the BBC, and France 24, among others.

A former chair of the Department of International Relations at Maxwell, Lovely will teach students in Washington, D.C., who are enrolled in Maxwell’s Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) and Executive Master’s in International Relations (EMIR in DC) degree programs during the fall 2018 semester. 

“Professor Mary Lovely is precisely the kind of talented and inspired member of the faculty that Astrid had in mind. Without a doubt, Astrid would be very proud,” adds O’Keefe.

To make a gift to the Merget Fund, please contact Norma Shannon, director of Ddevelopment, by phone, 315-443-5504, or by email,

To learn more about the Maxwell School’s Washington, D.C., based programs, please visit