John died April 11, 2021, in Chevy Chase, Md., at age 83 after a lengthy illness. 

Born June 7, 1937, in Hereford, United Kingdom, he attended the London School of Economics. He earned a Ph.D. in economics in 1963 from Princeton, where he rubbed shoulders with giants in his field including William Baumol and Oskar Morgenstern. 

A founding senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, John was an accomplished economist and scholar, contributing to economic policy for decades and publishing numerous books and journal articles. 

A macroeconomist and expert on exchange rates, John gained a measure of fame that eludes most economists when he outlined the “Washington consensus”: a description of policy orthodoxy in the late 1980s that became a flashpoint for intense global debate. His goal was to gather a list of macroeconomic best practices, the better to boost the welfare of people in developing economies.

He was a lifelong birdwatcher and conservationist who saw more than 4,000 species of birds, and supported many causes. 

John is survived by his wife of 47 years, Denise; children André Williamson ’91, Daniel Williamson ’93, and Theresa Williamson; sisters Chris Evans and Wyn Jones; and seven grandchildren. 

Graduate alumni memorials are prepared by the APGA.

Graduate Class of 1963