Chuck Lyon

Vice President of Risk Management, American Express (Retired)

Initial Placement:

Ph.D. Applied Economics, University of Minnesota

Advisor: Gary Thompson

Peace Corps

Country of Service: Dominican Republic
Service Years: 1984-1986
Service Sector: Agricultural Development

How did the AREC program connect your service and help you prepare for your professional experiences?

The AREC program enabled me to place a rigorous framework around what I had observed as a PCV working with campesinos in The DR. Why, for example, would marginalized farmers in the mountains of the The DR plant the same two or three crops year after year as opposed to practicing more sustainable (and potentially more financially rewarding) forms of agriculture? After my MS degree, I obtained a PhD in Ag Econ at Minnesota and then went to work for American Express. The fundamentals of economic theory, public policy, development economics, and econometrics that I learned in my AREC program informed my PhD experience as well as my 25 year career at Amex. Economics became a convenient and fairly robust way to interpret the complexities of human behavior in our world.

Why would you recommend that an RPCV join our M.S. program?

The student would gain an excellent understanding of the basic tenants of Applied Economics as well as extremely valuable applied skills and be prepared to follow either a career in academia, government, or private industry.