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Stuart Butler, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Prior to joining Brookings as a senior fellow, Stuart Butler spent 35 years at The Heritage Foundation, as Director of the Center for Policy Innovation and earlier as Vice-President for Domestic and Economic Policy Studies. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy and a visiting fellow at the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. He is a member of the editorial board of Health Affairs, serves on the panel of health advisers for the Congressional Budget Office and is a member of the Board on Health Care Services of the Institute of Medicine. He also serves on advisory councils for the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the Kaiser Institute for Health Policy and the March of Dimes.

Maya MacGuineas, President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Maya MacGuineas is the President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Maya testifies regularly before Congress and has published broadly, including articles in The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Financial Times and the Los Angeles Times. Once dubbed “an anti-deficit warrior” by The Wall Street Journal, Maya comments often on broadcast news and is widely cited by the national press. In the spring of 2009 Maya did a stint on The Washington Post editorial board, covering economic and fiscal policy.


Shai Akabas, Director of Fiscal Policy, The Bipartisan Policy Center

Akabas joined BPC in 2010 and staffed the Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force that year. He also assisted Jerome H. Powell, who was later appointed to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, in his work on the federal debt limit in 2011. Akabas has conducted research on other federal fiscal policy issues, including entitlement reform, tax reform, and sequestration, and is currently helping to steer BPC’s Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings. Prior to joining BPC, Akabas worked as a satellite office director on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2009 campaign for reelection. Born and raised in New York City, he received his B.A. in economics and history from Cornell University and an M.S. in applied economics from Georgetown University.

Barry Anderson, Independent Budget Consultant

Barry Anderson has extensive expertise and experience in budget processes, both in the U.S. and with nations abroad. Most recently, he reviewed state budgets as the deputy director at the National Governors Association. Before that, he headed the Budgeting and Public Expenditures Division at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. Prior to joining OECD, Mr. Anderson was a budget adviser at the International Monetary Fund. Before joining the IMF, Mr. Anderson served in various positions dealing with federal budgeting in the United States Federal Government, including as the deputy director and then the acting director of the Congressional Budget Office, as the senior career official at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and at the General Accounting Office. He has also been a member of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, and has lectured on the U.S. budget process at American University, the George Washington University, and the Office of Personnel Management.

James Brumby, The World Bank

Jim Brumby began his post as Director on March 1, 2015. He previously served as the  Practice Manager for the EAP región based in Jakarta, Indonesia and as the Sector Manager and Lead Economist for the Indonesia country program. Throughout his professional life he has been engaged in public management reform at the state, national, and international levels, joining the Bank in 2007 where he had a leading role in public financial management reform in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management group. In 2009 he was appointed Sector Manager, Public Sector & Governance, with line responsibility for the Vice Presidency’s staff working on a number of critical  areas in governance including anticorruption, legal and judicial reform, public financial management, and civil service reform. His experience also spans a number of managerial positions in IMF, OECD, and Victoria State Government in Australia.

Dan Crippen

Dan Crippen is the former executive director of the National Governors Association (NGA). From 2011 to 2015, he worked with governors to identify and prioritize the most pressing issues facing states and oversaw the day-to-day operations of the association. Prior to his work at NGA, Crippen served as the director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1999 to 2002, supporting the Congressional budget process and providing expert analysis to guide and inform economic decision making.
Since the CBO, Crippen has worked in the private and nonprofit sectors primarily on healthcare—including Medicaid, health IT, and healthcare for elderly and complex patients. He serves on the Board and Audit Committee for CLEAResult, is an advisory board member for MIT Center for Finance and Policy, is a trustee and a member of the trustee and Finance/Audit Committee for Center of Health Care Strategies. Crippen completed his undergraduate work at The University of South Dakota and earned a PhD and a master's degree in public finance from Ohio State University.

Chris Demuth, Distinguished FellowHudson Institute 

Christopher DeMuth is a Distinguished Fellow at Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. He was President of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) from 1986-2008 and D.C. Searle Senior Fellow at AEI from 2008-2011. DeMuth served as Administrator for Information and Regulatory Affairs in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and as Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief, during President Ronald Reagan's first term of office. He holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Chris Edwards, DirectorTax Policy Studies, Cato Institute

Chris Edwards is the director of tax policy studies at Cato and editor of He is a top expert on federal and state tax and budget issues. Before joining Cato, Edwards was a senior economist on the congressional Joint Economic Committee, a manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and an economist with the Tax Foundation. Edwards has testified to Congress on fiscal issues many times, and his articles on tax and budget policies have appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and other major newspapers. He is the author of Downsizing the Federal Government and coauthor of Global Tax Revolution.  He holds an MA in economics.  He was a member of the study committee on the fiscal future of the United States  of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Public Administration in 2008 and 2009.

Mike Franc, Director of D.C. Programs, The Hoover Institution

Michael Franc is the Hoover Institution’s director of DC programs, where he oversees research and outreach initiatives to promote ideas and scholarship in the nation’s capital. He holds a dual appointment as a research fellow.  Prior to joining Hoover, Franc served as policy director and counsel for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He also served as the Vice President of government relations for the Heritage Foundation from 1997-2013. During this time he managed all the think tank’s outreach with Capitol Hill and the Executive Branch. He also completed a tour of duty as communications director for former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) and worked for the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He has been quoted widely in the print and broadcast media, and was a regular contributor to The National Review Online and other publications. Franc has a BA from Yale University and a JD from Georgetown University.

Jason Fichtner, PhD, Senior Lecturer and Associate Director of International Economics and Finance, Johns Hopkins

Jason J. Fichtner is a Senior Lecturer of International Economics and an Associate Director of the International Economics and Finance (MIEF) program at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He teaches courses in public finance and cost-benefit analysis. He is also a Fellow with the Bipartisan Policy Center. His research focuses on Social Security, federal tax policy, federal budget policy, retirement security, and policy proposals to increase saving and investment. 

Previously, he was a Senior Research Fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Fichtner also served in several positions at the Social Security Administration, including as Deputy Commissioner of Social Security (acting), Chief Economist, and Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy. He also served as a Senior Economist with the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress, as an Economist with the Internal Revenue Service, and as a Senior Consultant with the Office of Federal Tax Services at Arthur Andersen, LLP.

Joshua Gotbaum, Guest Scholar, The Brookings Institution

Joshua Gotbaum has alternated extensive experience in business and finance with public service. During the Carter administration, he worked on White House energy and economic policy staffs. From 1981-94, he was an investment banker with Lazard, advising businesses, unions and governments on strategic transactions, mergers and restructurings in Europe and North America.He was the first CEO of The September 11th Fund, a $500+ million charity designed to assist family, institutions, and communities. He then ran Hawaiian Airlines as its Chapter 11 Trustee; the airline became the most profitable airline in America and emerged from bankruptcy with its creditors fully repaid. He then helped a variety of investment firms to acquire and restructure businesses as varied as educational tutoring, auto parts, and the production of kosher chicken. He also served as a corporate director for TD Bank and Safety-Kleen, Inc.

He has appeared on CNN, Fox, Bloomberg, and MSNBC and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and other publications. He has testified before both houses of Congress on matters ranging from retirement plans to defense housing. He has a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School and a JD from Harvard Law School. He has an AB in Sociology from Stanford.

Matthew Green, Professor of Politics, Catholic University of America

Dr. Green is a professor of politics at Catholic University, an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, and a former president of the National Capital-Area Political Science Association.  His research and teaching interests include the U.S. Congress, political leadership, American elections, American political development, and the politics of the District of Columbia.

Robert F. Hale, Adjust Senior Fellow at Center for New American Studies and Senior Executive Advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton

The Honorable Robert F. Hale is currently an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a Senior Executive Advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton.  From 2009 until 2014 Mr. Hale served as Comptroller and Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Defense. During those years he managed $600 billion budgets in time of war and oversaw efforts by the Department to minimize the problems caused by the 2013 sequestration and government shutdown.  He also made significant financial improvements in defense financial management, making tangible progress toward auditable financial statements and establishing a course-based certification program for defense financial managers. From 1994 to 2001 Mr. Hale served as the head of Air Force financial management, managing that service’s budgets and spearheading efforts to create a test-based certification program.  Mr. Hale also spent 12 years as head of the defense group at the Congressional Budget Office, where he frequently testified as an expert witness before Congressional committees.  He was the Executive Director of the American Society of Military Comptrollers and held analytic and management positions at LMI government consulting and the Center for Naval Analyses.  Early in his career he served as a Navy officer. 

Keith Hall, Professor of Practice, Georgetown University, McCourt School of Public Policy

Hall is the former director of the Congressional Budget Office and started at Georgetown University in July, 2019. Hall has served in multiple leadership roles in the federal government, including as the thirteenth Commissioner of the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Chief Economist for the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, and as the Chief Economist and Director of Economics at the International Trade Commission.

Jim Hearn, Budget Officer at  Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)

Hearn has been a budget officer at PCAOB since 2012, where he specializes in analysis of legislation for its economic and budgetary effects. Since 2011, he has also been a Fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration. Prior to working for PCAOB, Hearn was the Deputy Staff Director and Director for Fedderal Programs and Budget Process for the Senate Budget Committee. Hearn earned his BA in Political Science from Boston University and his MPP in Economics from University of California, Berkeley. 

Bill Hoagland, Senior Vice President, Bipartisan Policy Center 

 G. William Hoagland joined the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) in September 2012 as senior vice president. In this position he helps direct and manage fiscal, health, and economic policy analyses for BPC. Prior to joining CIGNA Hoagland completed 33 years of federal government service, 25 spent as staff in the U.S. Senate. While in the Senate, he participated in major federal budget legislation including the 1985 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Budget Deficit Reduction Act, the 1990 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, and the historic 1997 Balanced Budget Agreement.  Hoagland is an affiliate professor of public policy at the George Mason University and a board member of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the National Advisory Committee to the Workplace Flexibility 2010 Commission. In 2009 he was appointed to the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform. He was a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force that published “Restoring America’s Future” in November 2010. He holds degrees from Purdue University and the Pennsylvania State University.

Susan Irving, Director Federal Budget Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Susan Irving is the director of Federal Budget Issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office.  She has served on the faculty of GAO’s Training Institute, been a Lecturer in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; and a Fellow at the Institute of Politics, Harvard University.  She has previously served as Legislative Director, U.S. Senator Max Baucus.  She has been Vice President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; Staff Director, President's Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President; and Legislative Assistant to Senator Abe Ribicoff.  Her Ph.D. in Public Policy is from Harvard University.

Philip Joyce, Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland's School of Public Policy

Philip Joyce is a Professor of Public Policy in the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. His teaching and research interests include public budgeting, performance measurement, and intergovernmental relations.  He is the author of The Congressional Budget Office:  Honest Numbers, Power, and Policy making (Georgetown University Press, 2011), and coauthor of two books—Government Performance: Why Management Matters (Johns Hopkins, 2003) and Public Budgeting Systems, 9th Edition (Jones and Bartlett, 2013).  Joyce is Editor of Public Budgeting and Finance, is a Past President of the American Association and Budget and Program Analysis and is a Past Chair of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)’s Center on Accountability and Performance (CAP).  Dr. Joyce’s public sector experience includes four years with the Illinois Bureau of the Budget and five years with the United States Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In 1992 he received the CBO Director’s Award for Distinguished Service.  He received his Ph.D. from the Maxwell School.

Patrick Louis Knudsen, Former House Budget Committee

Patrick Louis Knudsen is a former long-time policy director for the House Budget Committee and researcher on the congressional budget process. Patrick also spent time at the Heritage Foundation.

Kevin Kosar, R Street Institute

Kevin R. Kosar is senior fellow and governance project director with the R Street Institute. He is the author of the R Street policy study “Three steps for reasserting Congress in regulatory policy. Prior to joining R Street, Kosar was a research manager and analyst at the Congressional Research Service, an agency within the Library of Congress. There, he advised members of Congress and committees on a range of legislative issues.

Frances Lee, Princeton University

Frances E. Lee is professor at Princeton University. She teaches courses in American government, the public policy process, legislative politics, and political institutions. Her research interests focus on American governing institutions, especially the U.S. Congress. She is co-editor of Legislative Studies Quarterly, a scholarly journal specializing in legislatures. She is author of Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign (University of Chicago Press, 2016), Beyond Ideology: Politics, Principles and Partisanship in the U.S. Senate (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and coauthor of Sizing Up the Senate: The Unequal Consequences of Equal Representation (University of Chicago Press 1999). She is coauthor of a comprehensive textbook on the U.S. Congress, Congress and Its Members (Sage / CQ Press). Her research has also appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Legislative Studies Quarterly.

Donald Marron, Director of Economic Policy Initiatives, The Urban Institute

Donald Marron, the Urban Institute's director of economic policy initiatives since June 2013, is an expert on U.S. economic policy and federal budgeting. Since joining the Urban Institute in May 2010 as director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, his work has focused on tax reform and America's long-run fiscal challenges. From 2002 through early 2009, he served in senior government positions, including as a member of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, acting director of the Congressional Budget Office, and executive director of Congress's Joint Economic Committee.  He has taught at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, consulted on major antitrust cases, and served as chief financial officer of a health care software startup. Marron appears frequently at conferences and on TV and radio to discuss economic policy. He also works to popularize economics through his blog ( He is the editor of 30-Second Economics, a short book that introduces readers to 50 of the most important theories in economics.

Anthony McCann, Adjunct Lecturer, University of Maryland and Georgetown University

S. Anthony (Tony) McCann serves on the faculty of Georgetown University and the University of Maryland teaching courses in Public Policy and Budgeting. He recently retired from the position of chief financial officer for the Health Resources and Services Administration-an agency of the federal Department of Health and Human Services overseeing the formulation and execution of the agency’s $7 billion budget. 

 Prior to joining HRSA, McCann was Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Mr. McCann also served as an Assistant Secretary for management in both the Department of Health and Human Services the Department of Veterans Affairs, directing the budgetary, financial, procurement, IT, Grants and general administration and planning functions. His Congressional experience includes an appointment as the Clerk and Staff Director of the subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee that funds most of the Federal Government’s discretionary programs in health, education and labor. 

Roy T. Meyers, Professor of Political Science and Affiliate Professor of Public Policy at UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Roy T. Meyers is Professor of Political Science and Affiliate Professor of Public Policy at UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County).  He was an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office from 1981-1990.  He teaches courses on budgeting and financial management, the policy process, the Congress, and environmental policy, and was the founding director of the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program.  He is the author of Strategic Budgeting (1994), which won the Brownlow Prize from the National Academy of Public Administration, and the editor of the Handbook of Government Budgeting (1999). His PhD is from The University of Michigan.

Joe Minarik, Senior Vice President and Director of Research, Committee for Economic Development

Minarik was the chief economist of the Office of Management and Budget for the eight years of the Clinton Administration, helping to formulate the Administration’s program to eliminate the budget deficit, including both the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 and the bipartisan Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Prior to his service in the Clinton Administration, Minarik worked closely with Senator Bill Bradley on his efforts to reform the federal income tax, which culminated in the Tax Reform Act of 1986, writing Making Tax Choices in 1985; and served as Chief Economist to the House Budget Committee in 1991-92 and 2001-05, and staff director of the Joint Economic Committee in 1989-90.  Recently, he served on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force and the National Academy of Science’s Our Fiscal Future project, two national efforts to reduce the federal budget deficit.

Minarik received three graduate degrees in economics from Yale University, earning his Ph.D. in 1974. He earned his B.A. in economics from Georgetown University in 1971. Minarik writes a regular post for CED’s blog, In the Nation's Interest (see here).

Walter Oleszek, Senior Specialist in American National Government at CRS and Adjunct Professor at American University

Walter J. Oleszek is senior specialist in American national government at the Congressional Research Service. In 1993, he served as policy director of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress. He is an adjunct professor of political science at American University and a frequent lecturer on political affairs. Oleszek is the author of several books, including Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process, Fourth Edition(CQ Press, 1995). He is also co-author of Congress and its Members, Seventh Edition (CQ Press, 2000), with Roger H. Davidson as well as Congress Under Fire: Reform Politics and the Republican Majority (Houghton Mifflin, 1997), with C. Lawrence Evans.

Rudolph Penner, Institute Fellow, The Urban Institute

Rudolph G. Penner is an Institute fellow at the Urban Institute and holds the Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Public Policy. Previously, he was a managing director of the Barents Group, a KPMG Company. He was director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1983 to 1987. From 1977 to 1983, he was a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Previous posts in government include assistant director for economic policy at the Office of Management and Budget, deputy assistant secretary for economic affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisors. Before 1975, Dr. Penner was a professor of economics at the University of Rochester.  In 2003, he received the Jesse Burkhead Award for the best article published in Public Budgeting and Finance in 2002.

Sam Berger, Senior Adviser, Center for American Progress

Sam Berger is a senior adviser at American Progress. His areas of expertise include health care policy, government reform, regulatory policy, appropriations, and administrative law. From 2015 to 2017, Berger served as a senior policy adviser at the White House Domestic Policy Council, where his work focused on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. From 2010 to 2015, Berger worked at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in various roles, including senior counselor and policy adviser. While at the OMB, Berger worked on a variety of legal and policy issues, including the government shutdown, sequestration, executive orders, and presidential memoranda. Berger is a graduate of Swarthmore College and received his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Steve Redburn, Professorial Lecturer in Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University

Steve Redburn is an authority on financial management, government performance, and public policy with over 25 years of experience as a senior government official in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2008 and 2009 he directed a study on the fiscal future of the United States for a joint committee of the National Research Council and the National Academy of Public Administration.  In 2010 and 2011 has project director for the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform.  He currently directs fiscal studies for the Center on the Public Service, School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, George Mason University and is a professorial lecturer in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University.

Robert Reischauer, President Emeritus, The Urban Institute 

Robert D. Reischauer, Ph.D., is president emeritus of the Urban Institute, a nonprofit, non-partisan policy research and education organization that examines the social, economic, and governance problems facing the nation. He led the Urban Institute for twelve years before he stepped down in February 2012. Between 1989 and 1995, he served as the director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and was CBO's assistant director for human resources and deputy director of CBO from 1977 to 1981. Reischauer was previously a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program of the Brookings Institution (1986-89 and 1985-2000) and senior vice president of the Urban Institute (1981-86). Reischauer is the Senior Fellow of the Harvard Corporation, one of two public trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. He was a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission from 2000-09 and was its vice chair from 2001-08. He also chaired the National Academy of Social Insurance’s project, “Restructuring Medicare for the Long Term.” He holds a  Ph.D. from Columbia.

Molly Reynolds, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution

Molly Reynolds is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings. She studies Congress, with an emphasis on how congressional rules and procedure affect domestic policy outcomes. Reynolds received her Ph.D. in political science and public policy from the University of Michigan and her A.B. in government from Smith College, and previously served as a senior research coordinator in the Governance Studies program at Brookings. 

Alan Rhinesmith

Alan Rhinesmith has broad experience with the federal budget process.  He joined the Office of Management and Budget in 1976 and served in several senior executive positions at OMB from 1984 – 2005, focusing on federal housing and credit programs and financial market regulation.  He was chief of staff to the Citigroup Chief Economist from 2005- 2008 and was the senior policy advisor on the staff of the Congressional Oversight Panel on the Troubled Asset Relief Program from 2009-2011.  More recently he contributed to the Volker Alliance’s 2014 Report on “Reshaping the Financial Regulatory System” and conducted an analysis of federal credit programs for the Arnold Foundation. He is a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration.  He has BA (economics) and Masters in Public Policy degrees from the University of Michigan.

Allen Schick, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland School of Public Policy

Dr. Schick came to the Maryland School of Public Policy from the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, where he served as a senior specialist. His professional history includes research positions at the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution and teaching positions at Tufts University and Syracuse University. Schick's extensive list of publications includes Congress and Money: Spending, Taxing, and Budgeting (American Society for Public Administration, 1987), Making Economic Policy in Congress (American Enterprise Institute, 1984), The Capacity to Budget (1990), The Budget Puzzle (1993) and The Federal Budget: Politics, Policy, Process (1995). He is founding editor of the professional journal, Public Budgeting and Finance. Schick consults for many organizations at federal, state, and local levels. He directed a multinational study of budget practices in various industrialized countries and presently directs a study of the far-reaching reforms in the public sector in six countries: Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United States. Among Schick's awards are the Guggenheim Fellowship and the American Society for Public Administration Waldo Prize.

John Sides,  Associate Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University

John Sides is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. He specializes in public opinion, voting, and American elections. His books include The Gamble, a study of the 2012 presidential election. He has also written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, Salon, Boston Review, and Bloomberg View. Sides received his Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley, in 2003.

Paul Van de Water, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Paul N. Van de Water is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where he specializes in Medicare, Social Security, and health coverage issues.  Previously he was Vice President for Health Policy at the National Academy of Social Insurance. From 2001 to 2005 Van de Water served as Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the Social Security Administration, where he managed the agency’s policy analysis, research, and statistical activities. From 1999 to 2001, he was Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics at Social Security.  Van de Water worked for over 18 years at the Congressional Budget Office. From 1994 to 1999 he was Assistant Director for Budget Analysis, supervising the agency’s budget projections, analyses of the President’s budget, cost estimates of legislative proposals, and estimates of the cost of federal mandates on state and local governments.  Van de Water holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

James Wallner, Senior Fellow, R Street Institute

James Wallner is a senior fellow of the R Street Institute and member of R Street’s Governance Project and Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group teams. He researches and writes about Congress, especially the Senate; the separation of powers; legislative procedure; and the federal policy process.

James joined R Street in July 2017 from the Heritage Foundation, where he was group vice president for research. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the politics department and the Congressional and Presidential Studies Program at the Catholic University of America as well as in the Department of Government at American University. Additionally, James is a Fellow at American University’s Center of Congressional and Presidential Studies.

David Wessel, Director,  Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Montery Policy, The Brookings Institution

David Wessel is director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, which provides independent, non-partisan analysis of fiscal and monetary policy issues in order to further public understanding and to improve the quality and effectiveness of those policies.  He joined Brookings in December 2013 after 30 years on the staff of The Wall Street Journal where, most recently, he was economics editor and wrote the weekly Capital column.  He is a contributing correspondent to The Wall Street Journal, and appears frequently on NPR’s Morning Edition.

David is the author of two New York Times best-sellers: “In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic” (2009)  and “Red Ink: Inside the High Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget” (2012.)   He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes, one in 1984 for a Boston Globe series on the persistence of racism in Boston and the other in 2003 for Wall Street Journal stories on corporate scandals. David is a 1975 graduate of Haverford College.  He was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia University in 1980-81.

Susan Willie, Congressional Budget Office

Susan Willie is Chief at the Mandates Unit of the CBO. Over the last two years, she was the Director of the Building a Better Budget Process at the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. Prior to joining Convergence, she was a principal analyst at the CBO for more than 13 years. Her work at CBO included analyzing the budgetary effects of legislation affecting many of the federal financial regulatory agencies and the revenue effects of legislation that would change the collection of customs duties. In her earliest years at CBO, she analyzed legislation to determine its effects on state, local, and tribal governments.  From 2002 through 2006, Susan served as the director of the Government Performance Project, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts, that evaluated the quality of management performance in state governments. Susan holds degrees from Penn State and the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.


Tim Higashi, Research Analyst, The Brookings Institution, Economic Studies

Tim Higashi is a Research Analyst at The Brookings Institution in Economic Studies. He holds a B.S. and M.P.A. with honors from the Schar School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University, where he worked at the Centers on the Public Service. Prior to joining Brookings, Tim worked at the Department of Health and Human Services, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Nathan Associates Economic Consultancy. He also volunteered for two years as a community project manager in California. He has published a paper on international budgeting and the financial crisis for the OECD Public Governance Directorate, collected election data for the MIT Voting Project, and has worked extensively with Hill and Executive staff on budgeting policy and process.