A College of the William and Marie, a research powerhouse that helped shape the field of economic studies for decades, has lost one of its most distinguished academics, who died Tuesday in Virginia, the university said.
Theodore K. Johnson, 62, a professor of economics and public policy at the university, was a pioneer in the field and one of the most influential scholars of his time.
He was an adjunct professor of the university’s business school and a member of the faculty of the college’s economics department, the college said.
He also served as the president of the Economic and Social Research Council, a nonpartisan, independent research organization that sponsored several studies about the economic impacts of climate change.
The University of Virginia is in the process of naming the next president of its College of Business and Economics.
Johnson, a native of Baltimore, Md., was known for his academic rigor and strong commitment to public policy, including a policy brief for President Donald Trump in which he argued for a carbon tax.
Johnson was a founding member of a research team led by his wife, Susan, that worked for more than a decade to make economic analysis more accessible to the public and to policymakers, according to the college.
He had an active role in the development of several studies on the effects of climate on economic activity, including one in 2011 that found the U.S. economy grew by an average of 0.4 percent during the Great Recession.
Johnson taught a wide range of topics, from international economic issues to economic policy, from the study of climate to the study and development of global financial markets, the College of Engineering said.
In addition to his work in economics, Johnson was a leading proponent of using technology to address climate change, and he also was a senior research associate for the Center for Climate Change Communication at the George Washington University.
He died at home in Virginia.
The College of Arts and Sciences said in a statement that it was saddened to learn of Johnson’s death.
“His leadership of our research and our efforts to bring research into the public interest has inspired many people, especially in recent years, as we’ve become more aware of the impacts of global warming,” the statement said.