In Memoriam: Public Policy Professor Michael Intriligator

Professor Michael Intriligator, a professor of economics, political science and public policy at UCLA who played an influential role in the establishment of the School of Public Affairs, died on June 23 after a three-year battle with melanoma.

“All of us at UCLA Luskin are saddened by Mike’s passing,” Dean Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., said. “He was the kind of faculty colleague every dean hopes for: thoughtful, courteous, inquisitive, and immensely dedicated to his field of inquiry. My colleagues and I will miss him deeply.”

Intriligator came to UCLA in 1963 as an assistant professor of economics after earning his M.A. from Yale and his Ph.D. at MIT. A tremendous scholar, he left an indelible mark on his colleagues across campus as he later joined the political science and public policy departments, where he taught courses on international relations, econometrics and economic theory.

Ever an active figure, Intriligator also served as director of the UCLA Center for International and Strategic Affairs, the predecessor of the current Burkle Center for International Relations. In addition, he was a Senior Fellow of the Milken Institute and the Gorbachev Foundation of North America; authored more than 300 journal articles and other publications in economics; served as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Russian Academy of Sciences; and was vice chair and board member of Economists for Peace and Security.

Closer to home, Professor Intriligator was central to establishing the UCLA School of Public Affairs, the development of the Public Policy curriculum and initial recruitment of the Public Policy faculty (then Policy Studies). After his retirement in 1994, he continued to be a prominent figure in the lives of many faculty members and students, as the long-time organizer of the Marschak Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Mathematics in the Behavior Sciences at UCLA.

“Mike was a valued colleague and a dear friend to the Department of Public Policy,” Public Policy department chair Michael Stoll said. “He played a very influential role in the development of the Department and in recruiting leading scholars from around the country to join the Department as founding members. Even after his formal service as a UCLA faculty member he remained involved in life on campus, and was a key advisor to many.”

Mike is survived by his wife Devrie (a research physicist at Carmel Research Center and a world renowned expert on space plasma physics) and four sons: Kenneth (professor of physics at UC San Diego), William (conductor of the Dubuque, Iowa, and Cheyenne, Montana, symphony orchestras), James (professor of psychology, Bangor University in Wales), and Robert (a Los Angeles-based composer).

The Intriligator family is holding a memorial service on Thursday, July 3, 11 a.m., at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 3663 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. A reception at the temple will immediately follow the service; RSVP is not necessary, but, if possible, please email Robert Intriligator or call him at 310-922-7765 for a guest count. The family will invite guests at the reception to share their impressions of and anecdotes about Intriligator. Information regarding donations in lieu of flowers will be provided at the memorial service.

UCLA’s Department of Economics has published a memorial written by Distinguished Professor of Economics John Riley. You can read that here.

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