Market design involves bringing market innovations to practice. As such, in addition to my academic position at the University of Maryland, I have a number of entrepreneurial roles that keep me close to practice. These activities (Cramton Associates, Innovative Auctions, and Rivada Networks) complement my market design research in many industries, including electricity, communications, transport, insurance and finance.

Current roles

Founder and Chairman, Cramton Associates, a consulting firm that since 1993 has provided expert advice on auctions and market design to clients worldwide in many industries. For over two decades, I have advised governments in the design and implementation of simple and effective auction markets. I also have advised bidders participating in high-stake auction markets in many countries and in many industries.

Chief Economist, Innovative Auctions, a premier provider of online auction systems and auction facilitation services. Innovative Auctions has over 20 years of experience with high-stakes auctions, and has been involved in over 100 auctions in a variety of functions ranging from auction design and software development to provision of software-as-a-service, auction administration, training, and stakeholder communication.

Chief Economist, Rivada Networks, a global communications company introducing an open access wireless market to promote competition and support public safety. Rivada Networks is the parent of Rivada Space Networks, which is building a global orbital communications network, employing state-of-the-art congestion management via open access.

Prior roles

Chief Economist and Director, 2017-2023, Tremor, a company creating a smart market for trading risk in reinsurance.

From 2018-2022, member of Academic Advisory Board, CartaX, a company creating a market for trading private equity and other financial securities.

From 2015-2021, independent director of the board, ERCOT, the independent system operator of the Texas electricity system. ERCOT has a straightforward mission: “To serve the public by ensuring a reliable grid, efficient electricity markets, open access and retail choice.”

Chairman, Market Design Inc. (with Lawrence Ausubel, R. Preston McAfee, Paul Milgrom, Alvin Roth, and Robert Wilson), a consulting firm that worked with governments and companies in designing and implementing state-of-the-art auctions, 1995 to 2016 (President since 1999, Chairman since 2003). Major projects:

  • Design auction market for rough diamonds.
  • Design auction and suggest market reforms for British Columbia timber market.
  • Design and implement auction to sell electricity capacity in France for Electricite de France and in Belgium for Electrabel.
  • Design and implement auction to sell gas capacity in Germany and France.
  • Design and implement U.K. auction to procure greenhouse gas emission reductions.
  • Design and implement spectrum auctions in U.S., Canada and Mexico.
  • Comment on design of spectrum auctions in Australia and U.S.
  • Design and implement electricity auctions in California and New England
  • Design auctions to divest electricity generation plants and power purchase agreements in U.S. and Canada.

Chairman and Founder, Spectrum Exchange (with Lawrence Ausubel, Paul Milgrom, and Market Design Inc.), a firm to create value for the public by promoting the efficient exchange of spectrum. 1999 to 2009. Although Spectrum Exchange was unsuccessful in organizing the exchange of TV broadcast spectrum at the turn of the century, the idea is now a central part of the U.S. national broadband plan. The plan calls for  incentive auctions, which will address the key regulatory problems, especially holdup by individual broadcasters, that made success impossible ten years ago.

Director, Arpent Technologies, a company developing a market for road use to eliminate congestion through scheduling, routing, and real-time road pricing.

Founder, Criterion Auctions, a consulting firm that provides auction support services to governments and companies in high-stake auctions. December 2000 to June 2007. Criterion Auctions merged with Navigant Economics.

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