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Angela Lyons

Profile picture for Angela Lyons

Contact Information

Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics
440 Mumford Hall
1301 W Gregory Dr
M/C 710
Urbana, IL 61801
Associate Professor


Dr. Angela Lyons is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois and the Director for the Center for Economic and Financial Education. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin. Her work currently focuses on emerging issues in development and behavioral economics, with emphasis on economic and financial inclusion, financial and digital literacy, fintech, poverty and inequality, and the economic empowerment and protection of vulnerable populations. To date, Dr. Lyons has assisted over 40 countries in designing practical and sustainable models to improve the economic and financial resilience of communities worldwide. She is currently a member of the T20 (or Think20), which is the research and policy advice network of the G20. The T20 provides policy recommendations to assist the G20 Leaders in addressing pressing global challenges and creating more inclusive, resilient societies around three main pillars - people, planet, and prosperity. She has served now on the T20 under three G20 Presidencies (Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Italy). As a member of the T20, Dr. Lyons makes concrete recommendations on the future of work and education in the digital age, as well as how to leverage the digital transition to promote the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most recently, Dr. Lyons was appointed to the Data Governance Council for the Global Fintech Index (GFI), the first real-time ranking of fintech ecosystems worldwide. She also chairs the Data Taskforce for the Fintech Diversity Radar, the first global data platform to measure gender diversity in fintech and women's contributions to the digital economy. Currently, she is working on research, in partnership with key humanitarian organizations (UNHCR, WFP, and UNICEF), which examines the economic vulnerabilities and challenges facing Syrian refugees in Lebanon to better inform strategies needed to support and enhance their livelihoods and resiliency.

Research Interests

Household finance; behavioral economics; international development; global economic and financial inclusion; digital finance and inclusion; poverty and wealth inequality; financial security of vulnerable populations; financial education and consumer protection; microfinancing for small and medium-sized enterprises


Research Description

My research program uses applied economic tools to address policy-relevant questions in development and behavioral economics. Specifically, my work focuses on emerging issues related to economic and financial inclusion, financial and digital literacy, fintech, poverty and inequality, gender diversity among MSMEs, and the economic empowerment and protection of vulnerable populations worldwide.


  • Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2001
  • M.S., University of Texas at Austin, 1997


Highlighted Publications