Elaine Buckberg, Ph.D. is a senior fellow of the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability at Harvard University. Previously, she was Chief Economist of General Motors (GM) from 2018 to March 2023. At GM, Elaine was responsible for assessing the impact of worldwide economic developments on the corporation, and for providing advice on various competitive and economic policy issues. Elaine also headed long-term forecasting of auto segments and vehicles, including forecasting and analysis of EV adoption. She led and participated in major strategic projects at the intersection of policy and business. Elaine represented GM with senior U.S. and foreign government officials and was a frequent public speaker on GM’s behalf.
Before joining GM, Elaine was a Principal at The Brattle Group, a global economic consultancy, where she conducted research on infrastructure financing and provided expert testimony in high profile financial litigation matters. She also headed Brattle’s Washington, D.C. office.
From 2013-16, Elaine served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination in the Office of Economic Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department. In that role, she advised the Treasury Secretary and other top officials on a wide range of domestic policy issues including infrastructure, housing and housing finance reform, financial regulatory reform, virtual currency, and retirement security. While at Treasury, Elaine played a leading role in initiating and executing President Obama’s Build America Investment Initiative on infrastructure, including authoring two white papers on public-private partnerships and innovative infrastructure financing.
Prior to joining Treasury, Elaine was a Senior Vice President at NERA Economic Consulting, where she provided expert testimony and consulting in litigation and regulatory disputes on a wide range of topics including hedge funds, structured finance, valuation of complex derivatives, and foreign exchange. She was actively involved in firm management as a member of NERA’s Board of Directors and head of the Strategy Committee.
As a Vice President at Morgan Stanley, she was a currency strategist and then worked in Market Risk Management. Elaine began her career as an Economist at the International Monetary Fund.
She received her Ph.D. in Economics from MIT and her B.A. from Yale.
The Salata Institute
The Salata Institute supports interdisciplinary research that leads to real-world action, including high-risk/high-reward projects by researchers already working in the climate area and new endeavors that make it easier for Harvard scholars, who have not worked on climate problems, to do so. Faculty interested in the Climate Research Clusters program should note an upcoming deadline for concepts on April 1, 2024.