Ronald Leven Joins Duke Financial Economics Center as Huff Professor of the Practice

Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Ronald Leven Joins Duke Financial Economics Center as Huff Professor of the Practice
Professor Ron Leven

The Department of Economics is pleased to welcome Dr. Ronald Leven as Huff Professor of the Practice with the Duke Financial Economics Center (DFE). Originally from St. Louis, Leven is a second-generation economist—his father also worked in the field. Any chance his kids will carry on the torch? “I did try to convince both of my daughters to go into economics and get three generations, but they keep saying ‘Don't go there, Dad!’” 

While he may not have been able to convince his daughters to be economists, Leven has nevertheless had a successful career in the world of finance. After obtaining his doctoral degree from Rice University, Leven started his career at the New York Federal Reserve as an international economist focusing on sovereign risk issues. From there, he worked at a variety of institutions such as W.R. Grace, Lehman Brothers, and JP Morgan. Leven also spent time in both Singapore and Tokyo, working as the Head of Asian Local Markets Research. After spending nearly six years abroad, Leven returned to the United States to manage a hedge fund. Leven’s career then took him to Thompson Reuters, where he was hired as Head of Foreign Exchange and Economic content for their Eikon product, the competitor to the Bloomberg terminal. For three years, he ran a team that built analytical tools and set up screens for market professionals. During this time, Leven was also an adjunct professor of economics at New York University and Columbia University. 

Leven has always loved teaching economics, so when his former coworker at JP Morgan and the current director of the DFE, John Caccavale, talked to him about becoming a professor of the practice, he quickly responded, "Am I interested? This is my dream job!" This fall, Leven will be teaching ECON377, Financial Derivatives and Financial Engineering, and ECON379, Emerging Markets. In the spring, he will be teaching on the Duke in New York: Financial Markets and Institutions study away program. He’s looking forward to interacting with undergraduate students, and says of teaching, “It doesn’t matter how many times I teach a class, every time there's something new I realize or an aspect I hadn't fully appreciated, or a student asks me something I hadn't thought of. Mentally, it's such a stimulating thing.”