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Speakers

David J. Andrea

Executive Vice President of Research, Center for Automotive Research

David Andrea is Executive Vice President of Research, Center for Automotive Research (CAR). He is a member of CAR’s executive management team and has overall responsibility for CAR’s research agenda, including day-to-day management of CAR’s research operations. One of CAR’s founders, he was instrumental in CAR’s formation as a nonprofit organization in 2003. He served as CFO and director of forecasting, and was also involved in CAR’s predecessor organization, the Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation (OSAT) at the University of Michigan. Formerly, David was Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) where he was responsible for directing industry benchmarking surveys, expanding OEM and media relations, and administrating several OESA councils. David has also served in a number of positions in his 30 years in the automotive industry, including positions as director of forecasting at AutoPacific; automotive equity analyst at Roney & Company; and chief economist at CSM Worldwide. David holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business economics from Miami University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He serves on the finance committees of SAE International and the SAE Detroit Section; is a member of the Detroit Economic Club, the National Association for Business Economics, and the Automotive Press Association; and was past president of the Detroit Association for Business Economics. At this year’s Outlook Conference, he presented “Technology Trends in Economic Cross Currents – The Auto Industry Doubles Down.”

David W. Berson

Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

Dr. Berson leads a team of economic analysts delivering economic forecasts and analyses that are used to inform and strengthen the organization’s business strategies and operating plans. David is a noted economic expert, who holds a doctorate in economics and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in history and economics from Williams College. He is a frequent speaker to media and industry groups on the economic outlook, housing, and mortgage markets, as well as the author of numerous publications. Prior to joining Nationwide, David served as the Chief Economist & Strategist and Head of Risk Analytics for The PMI Group, Inc. Previous to that, David was Vice President and Chief Economist for Fannie Mae, Chief Financial Economist at Wharton Econometrics, visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and assistant professor of economics at Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate School. His government experience has included staff economist on the Council of Economic Advisers and economic analyst at the Treasury Department and the Office of Special Trade Representative. He is a past President of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). At this year’s Outlook Conference, he presented “Another House Price Boom?”

Richard T. Curtin

Director, University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

Dr. Curtin has been a featured annual speaker at the Economic Outlook Conference since 1976, when he became Director of the University of Michigan’s world-renowned Surveys of Consumers at the Institute for Social Research. He is an expert on the American household as consumer, and his research into the measurement of consumer sentiment has produced the only survey measure which is an official component of the Index of Leading Economic Indicators. His monthly report on consumer confidence is extensively reported in the international media, and is widely used by businesses and financial institutions, by federal agencies responsible for monetary and fiscal policies, and by academic researchers. In recent years, he has consulted with officials seeking to establish consumer surveys in Russia, China, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Jamaica, and Trinidad. For his forty-first appearance at this year’s Outlook Conference he presented “The Outlook for Consumption in 2017.”

William C. Dunkelberg

Professor Emeritus of Economics, Temple University
Chief Economist, National Federation of Independent Business

Dr. Dunkelberg, professor emeritus of economics and former dean of the School of Business and Management at Temple University, is a nationally known authority on small business, entrepreneurship, consumer credit, and government policy. He is a Fellow and past president of NABE, the National Association for Business Economics. Since 1971, he has served as Chief Economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). In that capacity, he is responsible for NFIB’s monthly survey of the attitudes and plans of independent business leaders, and he authors a monthly report that explains the survey results. He is much in demand on the national stage, having appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and numerous local news and business TV and radio shows. He has B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Michigan. At this year’s Outlook Conference, he presented “Two Outcomes, Neither Is Desirable.”

Gabriel M. Ehrlich

Associate Director, RSQE, University of Michigan

Gabriel Ehrlich is the Associate Director of RSQE. Prior to joining RSQE, he worked in the Financial Analysis Division at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), where he forecast interest rates and conducted analysis on monetary policy and the mortgage finance system. His academic research focuses on several areas of housing and land economics as well as the effects of wage rigidity on labor market outcomes. His work has been discussed in The Economist magazine and The Washington Post. Gabriel completed his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan, with fields in macroeconomics and public finance. This is his second tour of duty at RSQE, as he served as a Graduate Student Research Assistant during his graduate studies. He has also worked as a financial analyst in the mortgage banking industry. He earned his undergraduate degrees in finance and economics at the University of Maryland, where he was chosen by the faculty as the outstanding graduate in finance during his senior year. Gabriel is co-author of “The U.S. Economic Outlook for 2017–2018,” which was presented by Daniil Manaenkov at this year’s Outlook Conference, as well as “The Michigan Economic Outlook for 2017–2018,” which was presented by George Fulton.

George A. Fulton

Director, RSQE, and Research Professor, IRLEE, University of Michigan

Professor Fulton is a specialist in regional economic modeling, forecasting, and economic development. He has participated in the Michigan Economy project in RSQE since the mid-1980s, and holds the rank of Director in the RSQE unit and Research Professor at the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy (IRLEE), where he is Director of the Center for Labor Market Research. He is a principal adviser to the University Administration and to the State government on the economic situation in Michigan, and twice a year provides testimony to the Michigan legislature on Michigan’s fiscal and economic prospects. He is also chair of three principals receiving testimony from the city of Detroit for its Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference held semi-annually. Dr. Fulton has published widely in the academic literature and is quoted frequently in the regional press. He has also been an exceptionally successful teacher of economic forecasting procedures; and his presentations, whether in a classroom or at a conference, always sparkle with wit and clarity. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Michigan and his B.A. in economics from the University of British Columbia. At this year’s Outlook Conference, he presented “The Michigan Economic Outlook for 2017–2018.”

Min Gong

Professor of Economics and Vice Director, Center for Macroeconomic Research, Xiamen University, China

Min Gong is Professor of Economics and Vice Director of the Center for Macroeconomic Research at Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, China. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Fudan University, Shanghai. She served as a visiting scholar at the Institution for Economic Research at Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, and as a Freeman Fellow at the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois. Professor Gong’s research interests include economic growth, macroeconomic policy, and international economics. At this year’s Outlook Conference, she presented “China’s Macroeconomic Outlook: Quarterly Forecast & Analysis.”

Donald R. Grimes

Senior Research Area Specialist, IRLEE and RSQE, University of Michigan

For almost four decades, Don Grimes has been engaged in economic forecasting for state and local governments. He is frequently called upon by those units to analyze policy and to evaluate economic strategies. He received his master’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan, and is currently a Senior Research Area Specialist at the University’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy (IRLEE), where he is Assistant Director of the Center for Labor Market Research. His primary research interests are in labor economics and economic forecasting. Don is co-author of “The Michigan Economic Outlook for 2017–2018,” which was presented by George Fulton at this year’s Outlook Conference.

Daniil Manaenkov

U.S. Forecast Lead, RSQE, University of Michigan

Daniil Manaenkov is the head of the national economic forecasting team at RSQE. His responsibilities include participation in the U.S. modeling effort; the preparation of the national economic forecasts; and the presentation of the results at conferences, including testimony to the state legislature and the Governor’s annual economic briefing. Among twenty-six participating organizations, RSQE’s national forecasting team led by Daniil was recognized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago as having the best overall forecasting performance for 2014. Daniil received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota and an MSc in Applied Mathematics and Physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. His research interests include macroeconomics, financial economics, and monetary economics. Prior to joining RSQE Daniil worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, where he was involved in forecasting the U.S. economy. Daniil is co-author of “The U.S. Economic Outlook for 2017–2018,” which he presented at this year’s Outlook Conference.

Michael R. McWilliams

Michigan Forecasting Specialist, RSQE, University of Michigan

Michael McWilliams is the Michigan Forecasting Specialist at RSQE. His work focuses on generating forecasts of the Michigan economy and state revenues. Michael earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan in 2016, concentrating in environmental economics and public finance. He previously completed an M.Sc. in economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science and worked at Resources for the Future, a think tank in Washington, D.C. Michael has also worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Transportation and Air Quality. Michael is co-author of “The Michigan Economic Outlook for 2017–2018,” which was presented by George Fulton at this year’s Outlook Conference.

Ben S. Meiselman

RSQE and Department of Economics, University of Michigan

Ben Meiselman is a member of RSQE’s forecasting team, and is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics. His fields are public finance, macroeconomics, and energy. In 2012–13, Ben was a staff economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he received the Robert M. Solow Award for Distinguished Service. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and government & politics from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in economics from the University of Michigan. Ben is co-author of “The U.S. Economic Outlook for 2017–2018,” which was presented by Daniil Manaenkov at this year’s Outlook Conference.

Damien Moore

Assistant Director for Financial Analysis, Congressional Budget Office

Damien Moore became CBO’s Assistant Director for Financial Analysis in March 2012, having been the division’s deputy assistant director since its inception in 2010. Starting as an analyst at CBO in 2005, he began working with colleagues in the Budget Analysis Division, Macroeconomic Analysis Division, and elsewhere in the agency on a range of federal financial issues, including estimates of the cost of federal credit and insurance programs and analysis of federal actions taken in the wake of the recent financial crisis. Damien Moore has written on CBO’s budgetary treatment of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and on policy options for federal student loans and the housing and mortgage markets. He has made major contributions to the agency’s analysis of a wide range of federal financial activities, playing a key role in formulating and applying analytical techniques that have been used in baseline projections, cost estimates, and reports. Before joining CBO, Damien Moore was a lecturer at the University of Sydney Business School. He also worked as a consulting economist for the Australian firm Access Economics. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University and bachelor’s degrees in economics and commerce from the Australian National University. At this year’s Outlook Conference, he presented “The Financial Condition of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s Multiemployer Program.”

Daniel E. Sichel

Professor of Economics, Wellesley College

Dan Sichel came to Wellesley College in 2011 from the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. At the Fed, he was part of the senior management team that provided analytic support to Chairman Bernanke, other members of the Federal Reserve Board, and the FOMC. He worked on a range of macroeconomic issues, including helping to guide the Fed’s forecast and analysis of the U.S. economy. He went to the Federal Reserve in 1988 after earning a Ph.D. in Economics at Princeton University. He remained at the Fed until 1993, when he joined the Brookings Institution as a Research Associate and while there authored a book, The Computer Revolution, that analyzed the relationship between information technology and economic growth. In 1995, Dan was appointed the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Macroeconomic Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department and then returned to the Fed in 1996. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan in 1983. Dan’s research interests and publications are in macroeconomics, productivity and economic growth, technology, and economic measurement. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, a group administered by the National Bureau of Economic Research that brings together academics and practitioners working on economic measurement. At this year’s Outlook Conference, he presented “Seven Reasons to be Optimistic about Productivity.”

Aditi Thapar

Assistant Research Scientist, RSQE, University of Michigan

Aditi Thapar is an Assistant Research Scientist with RSQE. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Boston University and her M.A. from the Delhi School of Economics. Her research interests include topics in macroeconomics and monetary economics. She taught at New York University prior to moving to Michigan and was the Head of Global Economics at Iron Harbor Capital Management, LLC where she produced quarterly forecasts of the U.S. economy and co-authored their quarterly economic outlook reports based on the forecasts. Aditi is co-author of “The U.S. Economic Outlook for 2017–2018,” which was presented by Daniil Manaenkov at this year’s Outlook Conference.

Justin Wolfers

Professor of Economics and Public Policy, University of Michigan

Justin Wolfers is a Professor of Economics and a Professor of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He is also an editor of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity; a member of the Congressional Budget Office Panel of Economic Advisers; a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Sydney; a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research; a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution; a Senior Fellow of the Peterson Institute for International Economics; a Research Fellow with the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn; a Research Affiliate with the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London; an International Research Fellow with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy; and a Fellow of the CESifo in Munich. He was previously a Visiting Professor at Princeton, an Associate Professor at Wharton, an Assistant Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and an economist with the Reserve Bank of Australia. Dr. Wolfers earned his Ph.D. in economics in 2001 from Harvard University, and was a Fulbright, Knox and Menzies Scholar. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics in his native Australia at the University of Sydney in 1994, winning the University Medal. He was recently named by the IMF as one of the “25 economists under 45 shaping the way we think about the global economy.” Wolfers’ research focuses on labor economics, macroeconomics, political economy, law and economics, social policy, and behavioral economics. Beyond research, he is a contributing columnist for the New York Times, and appears frequently on TV, radio, and in print. He is also a popular teacher, with many teaching awards to his name. At this year’s banquet session and in the spirit of the election season, he offered his insights on “Forecasting Elections.”