PEP pioneers: Christopher Scott's vision and leadership shaped PEP's early years for lasting success

April 2023

Recognizing Christopher Scott, a key figure in PEP's history, whose leadership as the first chairman and mentorship within the organization have left a lasting impact on its development and success.

This article is part of an ongoing series showcasing the collaborative efforts behind PEP's accomplishments to recognize the dedicated individuals who have played an important role in our organization's achievements. For more than two decades, we have supported locally-led development in the Global South thanks to their contributions.

Christopher Scott

Christopher Scott was the first chairman of PEP’s former scientific committee, adeptly juggling the roles now managed by both the program committee and board of directors throughout much of the 2000s.

His wise and kindly leadership was crucial in steering PEP through its formative years, during which the foundational policies and procedures that continue to shape the organization's activities were conceived and established. Chris also played a key role for many years as a trainer, mentor and resource person for the non-experimental micro group under the esteemed direction of the Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos.

His multifaceted contributions have left a lasting impact on PEP's development and success.

Chris Scott on his time with PEP: 

"Major institutional innovations in economics research and training occur very rarely. When they do, their importance may not be realised immediately because their significance can only be fully appreciated after much time has passed. So, it gives me great pleasure to reflect on my involvement with PEP in its infancy. By that time I had experience of two institutional frameworks of economic research and training involving North and South. The sustained bilateral relationship between Northern supervisor and Southern Ph D student common to many Northern universities and the intense, but intermittent multilateral training events in the South favoured by certain international organisations based in the North which often had little follow-up. From the start, I was aware that the design of PEP had the potential to capture the benefits of the former, while avoiding the defects of the latter. The experience of the last twenty years has shown how successful PEP has been in fulfilling this potential.

"The early PEP conferences were rewarding in so many ways. They were extremely well organised and fostered an atmosphere of serious analysis, robust discussion, mutual support and engagement with key policy issues. These meetings brought together researchers from across the world in a forum which was unique at the time. Particularly gratifying was the opportunity to follow a research project from its inception to a conclusion involving presentations to PEP meetings and final publication as journal articles.

 "So, thank you PEP for giving me the opportunity to get involved in one of the most innovative and successful initiatives in economics research and training that I witnessed during my professional life as an academic. It was a privilege to chair PEP’s original scientific committee and observe at first hand how the organisation developed over time. My congratulations to all those who contributed in different ways to PEP’s achievements in the last two decades and my best wishes to all those committed to ensuring its future success."

— Christopher Scott


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