top of page

Malcolm Gillis
President Emeritus, Rice University

University Professor
Ervin Kenneth Zingler Professor of Economics


Malcolm Gillis spent the first twenty-five years of his professional life teaching economics and bringing economic analysis to bear on important issues of public policy in nearly twenty countries, from the U.S. and Canada to Ecuador, Colombia, Ghana, and Indonesia.  From 1986 to 2004 his career was devoted primarily but not exclusively to university leadership, including positions at Duke University as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science and Dean of the Graduate School. He has continued to publish in his scholarly specialties throughout his career.


His research and teaching activities fall into three broad categories: fiscal economics, economic development and environmental policy.  He has published over 70 journal and book articles.  He is author, co-author, or editor of eight books, including a widely acclaimed 1988 publication, Public Policies and the Misuse of Forest Resources, Tax Reform in Developing Countries, and the leading textbook in the field, Economics of Development (5th edition, 2002), now available in five languages.

His publications are not listed in this shorter C.V., but may be found in the Full C.V. included on this website:


His record features university leadership as well as substantial service to his profession, governments, foundations and memberships in several non-profit and for-profit boards of directors, as follows:


University Leadership
Dean of graduate school and vice provost, Academic Affairs, Duke University, 1986-1991
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Duke University, 1991-1993
President, Rice University, 1993-2004


Academic Appointments
Assistant Professor of Economics, Duke University, 1967-1969
Institute Fellow, Harvard Institute for International Development, 1972-1984
Professor of Public Policy and Economics, Duke University, 1984-1993
Z. Smith Reynolds Distinguished Professor, Duke University, 1990-1993
Professor of Economics, Rice University, 1993-
Ervin Kenneth Zingler Professor of Economics, Rice University, 1996-
University Professor, Rice University, July 2004-
Visiting Professor of Public Policy Studies and Distinguished Research Fellow, Duke University Center  for International Development, Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, 2004-
Executive Director and Founder, Texas/UK Consortium for Nanotechnology and Biotechnology, 2002-      2011
Executive Director and Co-founder, Boniuk Center for the Study of Religious Tolerance (Rice University), 


Service to Professions and to Government Institutions
Co-editor, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1979-84 (the oldest journal in economics)
Executive Committee, Association of American Universities, 1994-1995 and 2002-2004
Chairman, Tax Committee, Association of American Universities, 1997-1999
Board of Directors, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, 1998-2005
Board of Directors, Houston Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, 1996-1998
Member, Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers, State of Alaska, 1981-1984
Chairman, Visiting Committee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1983
Member, Visiting Committee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1976-1984
Consultant, Navajo Nation, 1986, 1990
Board Member, American Forestry Association, 1980-1983
Chairman, Economic Futures Commission, Governor and State Legislature of North Carolina, 1991-1992
Member, Government Performance Audit Committee, State of North Carolina Legislature, 1991
Board Member, North Carolina Air Cargo Authority, 1990-1993
Member, Governor’s Task Force for Economic Growth, State of Texas, 2002
Vice-Chairman, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, 2002-2004, Member, 1992-2004
Board Member, Southern Association Colleges and Schools, 1995-1998
Member, International Advisory Committee, Hainan Province, China, 1980-1984
Member, Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science, Industry and Community Affiliates         
  Committee, 1997-2004


University Boards
Board of Directors, Jacobs University Bremen (Germany). Founding member. 1998-2012
Board of Trustees, Pyongyang University for Science and Technology. Founding member. 2008-2012
Chair, Advisory Board, TAN TAO University (Vietnam). Founding member. 2008-2012
Member, Advisory Board, Catholic University of Chile,  1999-2012


Selected For-Profit Boards
Member, International Advisory Group, KPMG, 1982-1994
Member, Board of Directors, AECOM Technology Corporation, Los Angeles – Chairman, Nominating        
  Committee, Member Audit and Compensation Committees, 1998-
Member, Board of Advisers, Texas Commerce Bank, 1993-1998
Member, Board of Directors, Service Corporation International, 2004-
Member, Board of Directors, Introgen Therapeutics, Inc., 2004-2009
Member, Board of Directors, Halliburton Company, 2005-
Member, Board of Directors, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), 2005-2008
Member, Board of Directors, Cormedics, 2009-2012
Member, Board of Directors, Nano-Tox, 2008-2012


Selected Non-Profit Boards of Directors and Advisory Committees
Amazon Center for Environmental Education & Research, 2005-
Founding Director, International University Bremen, Bremen, Germany 1997-
St. Luke’s Hospital, Houston, Texas, 1993-2003
Amigos de las America, Houston, Texas, 1994-2000
Institute of International Education, 1994-
Houston Symphony, 1993-1999
Texas Aviation Hall of Fame and Flight Museum, 1995-
Houston Advanced Research Center, 1993-2004
Houston Technology Center, 1997-2004
BioHouston, Chairman, Board of Directors, 2007-2010
BioHouston, Board of Directors, 1999-2006
Greater Houston Partnership, 1993-2004
Houston Super Bowl XXXVIII Host Committee, 2003-2004
National Council for Science and the Environment, 1996-2000
Texas Aviation Hall of Fame and Flight Museum, 1995-2011


Selected University Service, Duke University and Rice University
Chairman, University Commission on Reform of Curriculum, Duke University, 1985-1986
Chairman, Editorial Advisory Board, Duke University Press, 1986-1991
Founder, Duke Center for Tropical Conservation, 1988
Co-Founder, Center for World Environment and Sustainable Development, Raleigh/Durham, N.C.,   1990


Awards, Honors
Doctor of Laws, Rocky Mountain College, Billings, Montana, 1992
Alumni Award Gold Medal, Association of Rice Alumni, 2004
Life Member, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, 1993-
Honoree, People of Vision, 1996
Honoree, Distinguished Award, Institute for International Education, 2003
Distinguished Fulbright Professor, Catholic University of Chile, 1989
NASA Distinguished Service Medal, 2004
Ally Award, Center for the Healing of Racism, 2004
MIT Enterprise Forum Leadership Award, 2004
Black Graduate Student Association Service Award, 2004
Honoree, Leadership Award, Center for the Healing of Racism, 2004
Honoree, Arab American Cultural Association Philanthropic Award, 2006


Service to Federal Government
Vietnam Education Foundation, Chairman, Board of Directors, 2007
Vietnam Education Foundation, Board of Directors, 2005-2007
Houston Campaign for U.S. Savings Bonds, Chairman, Board of Directors, 2001-2002
National Academy of Sciences Board on Sustainable Development, 1997-2000
Member of Committee on Energy Taxation, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, 
  February 1979-July 1980.  Committee’s work culminated in two NRC/NAS publications: 
  (1) A Taxonomy of Energy Taxes (Washington, D. C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1979) and 
  (2) Energy Taxation:  An Analysis of Selected Taxes (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 
Board Member, CRDF (A Federal Government supported organization for promotion of International 
  Collaboration in Science), 2008-2012


Selected Consultancies, Governments and Private Firms
Alaska – Consultant on Energy Taxation, Consultant on Corporation Income Tax, Consultant on Pipeline 
  Litigation, Consultant on Royalty Litigation, Consultant on ARCO Acquisition, 1981-1999
Bolivia – Consultant, Hard Minerals 1976-1978, Consultant on Taxation, 1978
Canada – Consultant, Department of Regional Economic Expansion, 1981, Ministry of France, Canada 
  Sales Tax
Colombia – Consultant on Tax Reform 1968, Consultant on Energy, 1991-1992
Ecuador – Consultant on Energy Contracts, 1981-1983
Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Consultant on Economics Education, Ford       
  Foundation, 1976-1978
Consultant, Navajo Nation, Energy Taxes, 1981-1982
Consultant, Nacomas Petroleum, Los Angeles, 1982
Consultant, Pakistan World Bank, Public Sector, 1987
Consultant, United States Treasury, Value-Added Tax, 1984
Consultant, Zambia, United Nations Consultant, Energy Issues, 1983
Consultant, World Bank (Pakistan and Colombia), 1979-1982









2010 - present

2010 - present

bottom of page