Caitlin Pierce

What was an activity at Dartmouth that you loved?

I was an O.L.E. (Outdoor Leadership Experience) Mentor for 4 years.

What was your first job after Dartmouth?

Special Assistant for the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change at U.S. Department of State (this was part of a two year fellowship I did as a Master's student at Princeton University's School for Public and International Affairs-- formerly Woodrow Wilson School ).

What's your current job?

I currently live in Arizona and work for Resolution Copper-- a joint venture of Rio Tinto and BHP, which are the two largest global mining companies. I lead the project's Communities & Social Performance Team. Copper is a key resource of the clean energy transition-- electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines alone have 3.6 tonnes of copper per megawatt etc-- and Resolution Copper has the potential to provide up to 25% of annual US copper demand once under production. My team is responsible for leading the project's efforts to mine this resource in a way that is socially responsible and contributes to sustainable economic development, preservation of cultural heritage, and progress of nearby communities and Native American Tribes. This is my second private sector project (the first was a hydropower project in Myanmar!). Before that I worked primarily for human rights NGOs overseas.

What have you found particularly useful about your economics major?

I had no interest in being an economics major when I started at Dartmouth. I thought Econ was just for people who wanted to be investment bankers, and I was set on being a social justice warrior. But my freshman winter I needed a 3rd class and so decided to take Econ1 with a friend. I didn't do very well in the class, and I thought it was dumb "shifting lines around a graph" -- that all changed in the final two weeks when we started reading parts of Freakenomics and learning basic econometric ideas. I became completely fascinated about using numbers and data to try to measure the impact of policies and come up with ways for how social outcomes or environmental conservation could be improved. Externalities and utility bundles were other really fascinating tools for thinking through the "gray" areas of economic development and societal progress. These tools are what sucked me into being an econ major and led me to do a Masters in Public Policy directly after college. Even though I can (sadly) no longer really remember how to use Stata, I've continued to use the thinking behind these toolds in all sorts of different ways in my international development career over the past ten years.