Marina von Neumann Whitman

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Marina von Neumann Whitman
Whitman speaks at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in 2015
Born (1935-03-06) March 6, 1935 (age 88)
CitizenshipUnited States
Automobile executive
EmployerUniversity of Michigan
Board member ofNational Bureau of Economic Research

Institute for International Economics
Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton
Chase Manhattan Corporation and Bank
Procter and Gamble

Robert Freeman Whitman
(m. 1956)
Malcolm Russell Whitman

Laura Mariette Whitman

John von Neumann

Marietta (Kövesi) von Neumann (later Mrs. J.B.H. Kuper)[1]


Marina von Neumann Whitman (born March 6, 1935) is an American economist, writer and former automobile executive. She is a professor of business administration and public policy at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business as well as The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.[2]

From 1979 until 1992 she was an officer of the General Motors Corporation, first as vice president and chief economist, and later as vice president and group executive for public affairs, which included the Economics, Environmental Activities, Industry-Government Relations and Public Relations staffs. She also serves or has served as a director of several leading multinational corporations and research and policy institutions, including the Institute for Advanced Study and Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Prior to her appointment at GM, Whitman was a member of the faculty in the Department of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh, beginning as an instructor in 1962 and becoming Distinguished Public Service Professor of Economics in 1973. She served as a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers in 1972–73, while on leave from the university.[3] She was a director at the Council on Foreign Relations between 1977 and 1987.[2] She is also a former member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[4]

Whitman received a B.A. in government from Radcliffe College (now Harvard University), graduating at the top of her class, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Columbia University. The author of many books, monographs and articles, she is the recipient of numerous fellowships, honors and awards, and holds honorary degrees from over twenty colleges and universities.

Her father was the polymath John von Neumann,[2] one of the foremost mathematicians of the 20th century. She is married to Robert Freeman Whitman, professor emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburgh, and has two children and two grandchildren. Her step-brother is George H. Kuper,[1] former president and chief executive officer of the Council of Great Lake Industries and an independent consultant in the areas of public policy, environmental and energy issues. Her daughter, Dr. Laura Mariette Whitman (1964-2023), was a noted specialist in internal medicine and out-patient medical education at Yale University.[5] Laura was married to David L. Downie, a scholar of international environmental policy, who is the son of Leonard Downie, Jr., the journalist and long-time editor of the Washington Post.

Published books[edit]

  • The Martian's Daughter. A Memoir, The University of Michigan Press, 2012.
  • New World, New Rules: The Changing Role of the American Corporation, Harvard Business School Press, 1999
  • Reflections of Interdependence: Issues for Economic Theory and U.S. Policy, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1979.
  • Government Risk-Sharing in Foreign Investment, Princeton University Press, 1965


  1. ^ a b Saxon, Wolfgang (June 10, 1993). "Obituary - Dr. J. B. Kuper, 83, A Nuclear Physicist At Brookhaven Lab". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ a b c d Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. Document Number: H1000105765. Fee. Retrieved 2008-12-17. Entry Updated 2004-11-09.
  3. ^ Marina von Neumann Whitman: The Martian's Daughter. A Memoir, The University of Michigan Press, 2012. Footnotes 3 (on page 162) and 4 (on page 163).
  4. ^ "Former Steering Committee Members". Bilderberg Group. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
  5. ^ *Yale University: In Memoriam: Laura M. Whitman, MD

External links[edit]