Benjamin Klutsey is the Mercatus Center’s next executive director


Benjamin Klutsey has been named the next executive director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Benjamin Klutsey
Benjamin Klutsey. Photo provided. 

Klutsey will start on June 1, succeeding current executive director Daniel M. Rothschild, who will step down after 10 years in the role. 

“I'm thrilled to be taking on the role of executive director at the Mercatus Center,” Klutsey said. “Mercatus has been an intellectual home for me, as well as a place of personal and professional growth. I look forward to building on the organization’s successes and continuing our work to produce the talent, ideas, and programs that uphold and advance the classical liberal tradition.”

“I’ve worked with Ben for over a decade and seen firsthand how his passion for ideas, commitment to intellectual integrity, and willingness to experiment has helped Mercatus become a stronger, smarter, and more interesting organization,” Rothschild said. “I know that there is no one better suited to lead Mercatus’ next chapter, and I am excited for more of the greater Mercatus community to have the opportunity to get to know and work with Ben.”

Klutsey first worked at the Mercatus Center as a research fellow from 2008-10. His work focused on financial markets and the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis. Klutsey then spent four years at the Institute of International Finance before returning to Mercatus to manage the financial regulation and monetary policy research programs. In this role, Klutsey co-edited the book “Reframing Financial Regulation” with Hester Peirce. 

For the past three years, Klutsey has been the founding director of Mercatus’ Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange, an initiative dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for pluralism as a fundamental pillar of a free, flourishing, and prosperous society. Most recently, Klutsey starred in “UNDIVIDE US,” a documentary about the power of open discourse and civic exchange. 

“I am pleased to welcome Ben into this new role,” said Tyler Cowen, faculty director of the Mercatus Center. “I have worked with Ben for many years and know that he’ll be stepping into this position with excitement and a passion for the Mercatus mission. I would also like to thank our current executive director, Dan Rothschild, for his 10 years of service. He has grown Mercatus into the organization that it is today, and he will be greatly missed.”

Over the past decade, support for the Mercatus Center has grown by more than 140 percent, with more than 3,500 students receiving graduate and undergraduate support. The organization launched five podcasts, started an online magazine, and published groundbreaking research on topics like the Ex-Im Bank and the true cost of Medicare for All. Additionally, the Mercatus Center offered a swift and robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a rapid response COVID-19 policy brief series and Fast Grants, a quick-turnaround funding program for scientists working on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Fast Grants raised more than $50 million and awarded 260 grants toward critical research in less than six months.

As a university-based research center at George Mason, Mercatus seeks to bridge the gap between academic research and policy problems by advancing an understanding of the economics of public policy. Mercatus scholars conduct research, identify talent and train students around the world, and share research findings with the media, policymakers, and fellow academics.