Meet the New McDonough Faculty: Anita Rao
We are pleased to welcome new faculty members to the Georgetown McDonough community this fall.
In our Meet the New McDonough Faculty Series, learn more about the interests, specialties, experiences, and personalities behind the talented academics inside the Rafik B. Hariri Building on Georgetown’s campus.
We spoke with Anita Rao, associate professor of marketing, about what she hopes to accomplish at Georgetown through her engagement with students, research, classroom teachings, and beyond.
What are you most looking forward to when it comes to working at Georgetown McDonough?
Collaborating with my new colleagues and learning from an amazing group of faculty members.
What institution or previous line of work are you coming from?
University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
What is your area(s) of expertise and which subject(s) are you most passionate about?
My area of expertise is marketing. More specifically, empirical (quantitative) marketing. And even more specifically, false advertising, misinformation, health and nutrition. I am passionate about investigating the implications of asymmetric information sharing between consumers and firms. Firms know more about their products than consumers and selectively choose how to market and advertise their products. This can sometimes lead to harmful consequences: the spread of misinformation, distortion of information, and market power. Identifying this using data is something my research addresses.
What is your favorite quote and why?
My favorite quote is, “Nothing can stop someone who knows where they are going.” I think having a goal is half the problem solved. Once you have a goal, the rest is easy! Determination and hard work will get you there.
What is your favorite podcast or book and why?
I really enjoy books written by Michael Crichton (author of Jurassic park, State of Fear, Congo, etc.). I love that he researched a topic thoroughly and generated amazing science fiction from it. Most of his books helped me learn about topics such as global warming, gene editing, and dinosaurs in a relatively easy-to-digest and fun way.
How would you describe yourself in a few words?
I like to use micro-level data (consumer browsing and detailed consumer purchase history) to answer puzzles that help address questions relevant to our everyday consumption (be it watching a movie, booking travel, or eating).
What do you hope to ultimately bring to the McDonough community?
I hope to use data science to answer questions that are relevant to policy and day-to-day well-being (e.g. health and nutrition).