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Last modified: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

IU professor Elinor Ostrom named to Time's list of 100 most influential people

April 18, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Time magazine has named Indiana University faculty member Elinor Ostrom to the 2012 Time 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Ostrom, a 2009 Nobel Prize laureate, is Distinguished Professor and Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. She is also a professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and senior research director at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.

Elinor Ostrom

Photo by Ric Cradick

Elinor Ostrom

Print-Quality Photo

The complete Time 100 list and related tributes appear in the April 30 issue of Time magazine, available on newsstands on Thursday, April 19, and now at The list, now in its ninth year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world's most influential individuals.

"The Time 100 is not a list of the most powerful people in the world, it's not a list of the smartest people in the world, it's a list of the most influential people in the world," Time managing editor Richard Stengel has said. "They're scientists, they're thinkers, they're philosophers, they're leaders, they're icons, they're artists, they're visionaries -- people who are using their ideas, their visions, their actions to transform the world and have an effect on a multitude of people."

"This is a great honor, and one that I never would have expected," Ostrom said. "Certainly it reflects well on the research that has been done, and continues to be done, by our many colleagues at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University."

Ostrom received the 2009 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, commonly called the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons." She was the first woman to receive the prize, which she shared with economist Oliver Williamson of the University of California, Berkeley.

"This latest recognition for Lin Ostrom is just further confirmation of the enduring power of her ideas and the remarkable impact she has had on Indiana University, the study of economics and society at large," said Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie. "I am proud to call Lin a colleague and am absolutely delighted that her talents and influence have been recognized by Time magazine in this way."

An IU faculty member since 1965, Ostrom co-founded the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis with Vincent Ostrom in 1973. She served as president of the Public Choice Society from 1982 to 1984 and president of the American Political Science Association in 1996-97. She was the first woman to chair the IU Bloomington Department of Political Science in 1980-84. She received her B.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1954; her M.A. at UCLA in 1962; and her Ph.D. at UCLA in 1965.

Ostrom has received honorary degrees from TERI University in India, UniversitÚ Montpellier in France, Michigan State University, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, McGill University in Canada, Humboldt University in Germany, Uppsala and Luleň universities in Sweden and other institutions.

She is the author of hundreds of journal articles and more than two dozen books, including "Governing the Commons," "Understanding Institutional Diversity," "The Samaritan's Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid" and "Working Together: Collective Action, the Commons, and Multiple Methods in Practice."