Austin L. Wright

About me

I am an Associate Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at The University of Chicago.  

For academic year 2021-2022, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Yale University School of Management.  For academic years 2022-2024, I am a faculty affiliate of the The Georg Walter Leitner Program in International and Comparative Political Economy.

My research focuses primarily on the political economy of conflict. My work addresses important topics in management and operations research, clarifying nuanced mechanisms to improve a variety of policy interventions. My work is supported by the Becker Friedman Institute, National Science Foundation, World Bank, United Nations, and Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts.  I am a faculty affiliate of the Pearson Institute,  Becker Friedman Institute, and Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

At Harris, I primarily teach in the Applied Statistics Core, with a focus on using causal inference tools to better understand public policy interventions. I have received several teaching prizes, including the 2023 Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award (Harris), the 2017 Outstanding Junior Faculty of the Year Award (Harris), and the 2015 George Kateb Prize for Best Preceptor (Princeton). I was also selected to give the 2021 Last Lecture for graduating students. 

During my time at Harris, I have founded and currently direct four credential programs, linking students from a diverse set of educational and professional backgrounds with the rigorous programming and analytical training we provide to our degree students. 

I received my B.A. and B.S. from The University of Texas at Austin and my Ph.D. from Princeton University.  Before attending graduate school, I was a Teach For America corps member in New Orleans, Louisiana where I taught mathematics.  

I am a father (to three amazing children), a first generation college graduate, a Texan of Hispanic heritage, a Toyota Land Cruiser fanatic, and an avid fisherman. I am also founder and Chief Research Officer of Bison Analytics, a data science and policy evaluation consulting firm.

CV: You can find my CV here