Susan Aaronson

Susan Aaronson
Research Professor of International Affairs
Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University

Susan Ariel Aaronson is Research Professor of International Affairs and a Cross-Disciplinary Fellow at the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. She is currently the Carvalho Fellow at the Government Accountability Project and was the former Minerva Chair at the National War College. Aaronson’s research examines the relationship between economic change and human rights. She is currently directing projects on digital trade and digital rights, repression and civil conflict; trade, trust and transparency; and whistleblowers at international organizations such as the UN and WIPO. Her work has been funded by major international foundations including MacArthur, Ford, and Rockefeller; governments such as the Netherlands, U.S., and Canada; the UN, ILO, and World Bank, and U.S. corporations including Ford Motor and Levi Strauss. Dr. Aaronson is a frequent speaker on public understanding of globalization issues and international economic developments. She regularly comments on international economics on "Marketplace" and was a monthly commentator on "All Things Considered," "Marketplace," and "Morning Edition." She has also appeared on CNN, the BBC, and PBS to discuss trade and globalization issues. Aaronson was a Guest Scholar in Economics at the Brookings Institution (1995–1999); and a Research Fellow at the World Trade Institute 2008-2012.

Dr. Aaronson is a member of Working Group 2 of the Freedom Online Coalition (24 governments working on digital rights); the Advisory Board for Human Rights Under Pressure (a doctoral program funded by the German and Israeli government to teach human rights); and the Advisory Board of Business and Human Rights.org. Aaronson is also the Director of the eBay Policy Scholars and worked with Professor Esther Brimmer to develop a new international affairs curriculum on international Internet issues for GWU. In recent years, she has been a pro-bono advisor to the UN Special Representative on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights, and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. She has also consulted for the ILO; the World Bank; Free the Slaves; the Ford Foundation; the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; the Progressive Policy Institute the Stanley Foundation; several corporations; and the governments of Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands, among others. In her spare time, Aaronson enjoys triathlons and ballet.

Recent Events and Presentations

May 9, 2016

No one disputes that digital trade is an essential component of the 21st century economy, however, so it is critical to establish a clearer definition of just what constitutes unwarranted protectionism and under what circumstances governments are justified in limiting cross-border data flows. Please join ITIF for a debate between ITIF President Rob Atkinson and George Washington University Professor Susan Aaronson.