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Charles J. Whelan, PH.D.

Charles Wheelan informal author

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy

209A Rockefeller Hall

HB 6106

Departments:  Economics, Education


B. A. Dartmouth College

Master's Princeton University

PH.D., University of Chicago

Charles Wheelan is a senior lecturer and policy fellow at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College.  He joined the Dartmouth faculty fulltime in June of  2012. From 2004 to 2012, Wheelan was a senior lecturer in public policy at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. 


Wheelan is the author of numerous books. In 2013, Wheelan published Naked Statistics:  Stripping the Dread from the Data (W.W. Norton).  Shortly after publication, the book reached the New York Times bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction.  The New York Times called the book “sparkling and intensely readable.”


Wheelan’s first book, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, was published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2002.  The book, an accessible and entertaining introduction to economics for lay readers, was released in paperback in September 2003 and is now published in 14 languages, including Arabic and Hebrew.  The Chicago Tribune described Naked Economics as “clear, concise, informative and (gasp) witty.”


Wheelan’s first novel, The Rationing, was published by W.W. Norton in 2019. He is also the author of The Centrist Manifesto and the founder and co-chair of Unite America, an organization dedicated to bridging the partisan divide and electing a more representative and functional government.

In March of 2009, Wheelan ran unsuccessfully for Congress as the representative from the Illinois 5th District in the special election to replace Rahm Emanuel.  In its editorial assessing the race, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “Voters will find a ballot filled with impressive and thoughtful candidates . . . especially Charlie Wheelan, a University of Chicago lecturer who combines a razor-sharp mind with a boatload of charm and an impressive expertise in economics and foreign policy. We expect great things from Wheelan in the future.

Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Chicago, Wheelan was Director of Policy and Communications for Chicago Metropolis 2020, a business-backed civic group promoting healthy regional growth in the Chicago area. 


From 1997 to 2002, Wheelan was the Midwest correspondent for The Economist.  His story on America’s burgeoning ex-convict population was the August 10, 2002, cover story.  He has written freelance articles for the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other publications. 


Wheelan holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago, a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.  He lives in Hanover, New Hampshire.

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