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Bill Burke ’00 Receives Horizon Ribbon

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    Bill Burke '00 with wife Cassie (Dowling) '00 and their two children.
August 14, 2013
William Burke ’00, a former economics and drama major at Washington College, has been named the recipient of the Horizon Ribbon Award, which recognizes graduates of the last 15 years who are already leaving their mark through leadership, service or scholarship.

Bill is a research scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Food Security and the Environment. His focus on Africa began when he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Gambia, West Africa, from 2001 to 2003. There, on the west coast of Africa, he learned to speak fluent Mandinka.

Returning from The Republic of The Gambia in 2003, Burke headed to graduate school at Michigan State University, earning a master’s degree in agricultural economics in 2009. In early 2010, Bill returned to Africa to begin a long-term overseas assignment in Lusaka, Zambia. In addition to carrying out fieldwork as a doctoral candidate, he spent his time in Zambia providing research, outreach and capacity-building services for the USAID and SIDA-funded Food Security Research Project. His work in Zambia focused on several aspects of the heavily subsidized maize and fertilizer sectors. The International Association of Agricultural Economists’ flagship journal, Agricultural Economics, recognized his work on the effect of subsidies on private retail activity with its 2009 prize for Best Paper. 

After completing his doctorate in agricultural economics at Michigan State University in 2012, Burke remained in Zambia as an assistant professor of international development. He joined Stanford’s Center on Food Security and the Environment in September 2012.

At Stanford, he’s continuing his research on agricultural issues in the Guinea Savannah region of Africa, and teaching a course for graduate students on quantitative analysis and the practical side of conducting fieldwork in developing countries.

Outside of his work in Africa, Burke is the author of the “craggit” command in Stata (a data analysis and statistical software), which facilitates the estimation and interpretation of John Cragg’s more flexible alternative to the popular “tobit” econometric model for corner solution dependent variables.

Bill will receive his award at Fall Convocation on Tuesday, August 27. 

The Horizon Ribbon Award is one of three awards given annually on behalf of the Alumni Association. To nominate outstanding alumni, view lists of past recipients or learn more, please visit our alumni awards page


Last modified on Oct. 16th, 2013 at 9:18am by Michael Deck.