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2019 AFEE President's Letter

January 30, 2019

Dear AFEE Colleagues,

In this time of economic and social upheaval characterized by political conflict, income and wealth inequality, dizzying technological change and other developments, the significant contributions by institutionalists in formulating public policy and inspiring our students must not be overlooked. For this reason, I thank the entire AFEE membership for their tireless work in helping achieve our conception of the “good society,” which Dell P. Champlin and Janet T. Knoedler describe as one “…organized to utilize the productive capacity of its modern technology and the working rules of its economic institutions to provision all of its members.” (JEI, June, 2005, pp. 458, original emphasis). Moreover, because our efforts will be more powerful if undertaken collectively, it is important that everyone renews their AFEE membership and participates in the organization’s activities to strengthen and expand the influence of institutional economics.

I wish to thank several people whose accomplishments warrant our appreciation. Charles J. Whalen should be applauded for the energy, expertise, and commitment he brought to his term as AFEE President last year, having achieved a number of noteworthy milestones such as completing the transition to the new editor of the JEI, overseeing the formulation of a new investment policy, exploring ways to expand AFEE membership and outreach, and making improvements in AFEE’s website and social media presence. On a personal note, Charles was a valuable mentor to me as President-Elect, especially regarding the organization of the 2019 Annual Meeting. As always, I am grateful to Secretary-Treasurer Eric Hake and Coordinator Teresa Rowell for their expert assistance and timely advice. Finally, I appreciate the help of Geoff Schneider and Stephen Paschall on important projects.

I invite each of you to join me in congratulating the following people who were recognized at the Atlanta meeting: Janet Knoedler for the Veblen-Commons Award, Stephen Paschall who received the AFEE Service Award, James H. Street Award winner Manuel Ramon Souza Luz, and Wilfed Dolfsma for the Clarence E. Ayers Award. Also, congratulations to Natalia Bracarense and Karol Gil-Vasquez for receiving the 2018 Editor’s Choice for the Outstanding Article in the JEI. We also are excited to have Daphne Greenwood and Ann Davis join the AFEE Board of Directors, and thank outgoing Directors Iciar Dominguez Lacasa and Stephen Paschall for their valuable contributions. Next, a special thanks and congratulations to Christopher Brown for his superb work as JEI editor, and for being chosen President-Elect for 2019. Finally, given the expertise and dedication Bill Waller brings to the position of new JEI editor, we know the journal will be in good hands.

The Appendix to this letter contains the Committee assignments and charges for the upcoming year. The services provided by committee members and chairs are crucial to AFEE’s future, and each of us owe a debt of gratitude to these volunteers. Please note that the Appendix includes a reminder about the “working rules” committees must follow to comply with the requirements specified in the Association’s governing documents. Although the committee charges are many, I wish to highlight a few. These include expanding AFEE’s reach – especially in underrepresented regions like Africa and Asia, managing our finances so that AFEE can ensure the publication of the JEI and fund the scholarly activities of its members, increasing our membership by reaching-out to graduate students and scholars in related disciplines, expanding AFEE’s social media impact, collaborating on the construction of a new quality ranking of heterodox journals, and many others. I look forward to working with each of the committees and the membership over the coming year to accomplish these and other objectives.

With warm regards,


David A. Zalewski
AFEE President, 2019



Appendix and Committees