Cornell University

November 5 2008

Internationalizing ILR

Fields honored as first Windmuller chair

Gary Fields was 25 when he started teaching labor economics at Yale University.

John WindmullerSix years later, in 1978, he was recruited by the ILR School, where another international and comparative labor professor -- gentleman scholar John P. Windmuller – was setting a brisk pace.

Professor Fields was named this semester as ILR's first John P. Windmuller Chair in International and Comparative Labor.

"He was a great man," Fields said, referring to Windmuller, renowned for his research in international and comparative labor.

Windmuller retired from ILR in 1987.  He died in 2003. Read the memorial statement written by ILR colleagues in honor of Windmuller (pdf).

John WindmullerWindmuller was a key figure in internationalizing the ILR School, where a global focus is now part of every department, Fields said.

Fields said the Windmuller chair will enable him to do more of the work which impassions him – "teaching, research, and fighting global poverty."

Fields, who does much of his work in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, urges others to think about impoverished people when they think about the world economy.

Two-and-a-half billion people in the world live on less than $2 a day, said Fields, who teaches and conducts research in labor economics, workplace management and development economics.

Fields' outreach work with national and international organizations includes the World Bank.  This fall, he presented a paper at a World Bank event entitled "A Debate on Labor Markets in Developing Countries." View Fields' presentation.