Elinor Ostrom (1933 - 2012) was the Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science, and Co-Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University Bloomington.
In 1973 she co-founded The Workshop in Political Theory and Public Policy at Indiana University with her husband, Vincent Ostrom. Considered an expert on collective action, trust, and the commons, her institutional approach to public policy was considered distinct enough to be thought of as a separate 'school' of Public Choice Theory (See Mitchell 1988). She authored many books in the fields of organizational theory, political science, and public administration.
Ostrom received her PhD in political science from UCLA in 1965. She was a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 1999 she became the first woman to receive the prestigious Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science and in 2005 received the James Madison Award by the American Political Science Association. She was awarded a Honorary Doctorate at ISS in 2002. In 2008, she received the William H Riker Prize in political science, and became the first woman to do so.
In 2009 Elinor Ostrom was awarded the Nobel economics prize (together with Oliver Williamson) for her work with on economic governance - the way authority is exercised in economic systems. Ostrom was the first woman to receive this prize.