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The University of Michigan’s

65th Annual Economic Outlook Conference

will take place in Ann Arbor on November 16–17, 2017

David 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).

Gabriel Ehrlich

Director, University of Michigan RSQE

Gabriel Ehrlich is Director of the University of Michigan’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics. His research focuses on macroeconomics and regional economics. Prior to joining RSQE, Gabe worked in the Financial Analysis Division at the Congressional Budget Office. He testifies twice per year to the Michigan Legislature on the state’s fiscal and economic prospects. His work has been discussed in The Economist magazine and The Washington Post, and his article Economic Effects of Medicaid Expansion in Michigan was recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Gabe received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan. He is the coauthor of The Michigan Economic Outlook for 2018–2019.

Eric Lupher

President, Citizens Research Council of Michigan

Eric has been President of the Citizens Research Council since September of 2014. He has been with the CRC since 1987, the first two years as a Lent Upson-Loren Miller Fellow, and since then as a Research Associate and, later, as Director of Local Affairs. Eric has researched such issues as state taxes, state revenue sharing, highway funding, unemployment insurance, economic development incentives, and stadium funding. His recent work focused on local government matters, including intergovernmental cooperation, governance issues, and municipal finance. Eric is a past president of the Governmental Research Association and also served as vice-chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC), an advisory body for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), representing the user community on behalf of the Governmental Research Association. Eric holds a B.A. in International Relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University and a Masters in Public Administration from Wayne State University.

Charles Marohn

Founder and President, Strong Towns

Charles Marohn - known as "Chuck" to friends and colleagues - is a Professional Engineer (PE) licensed in the State of Minnesota and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He is the Founder and President of Strong Towns. Marohn has a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute. Marohn is the lead author of Thoughts on Building Strong Towns — Volume 1 and Volume 2 — as well as A World Class Transportation System. He hosts the Strong Towns Podcast and is a primary writer for Strong Towns’ web content. He has presented Strong Towns concepts in hundreds of cities and towns across North America. Chuck grew up on a small farm in Central Minnesota. The oldest of three sons of two elementary school teachers, he joined the Minnesota National Guard on his 17th birthday during his junior year of high school and served for nine years. In addition to being passionate about building a stronger America, he loves playing music, is an obsessive reader and religiously follows his favorite team, the Minnesota Twins. Chuck and his wife live with their two daughters and two Samoyeds in their hometown of Brainerd, Minnesota.

Kevin Perese

Principal Analyst, Tax Analysis Division, Congressional Budget Office

Kevin Perese is a Principal Analyst in the Tax Analysis Division at the Congressional Budget Office. Mr. Perese is an economic demographer who has worked on a broad range of microsimulation and forecasting models in government, business, and nonprofit sectors over the course of his career. Most recently, he has studied and authored several reports on how federal spending and revenue policies affect the distribution of household income and trends in income inequality. Previously, he worked on numerous revenue forecasting models and also worked in CBO’s long-term modeling group where he estimated marital formations in CBO’s Long-Term dynamic microsimulation model. Prior to working at CBO, Mr. Perese worked at Fannie Mae forecasting mortgage delinquencies and defaults and at the Urban Institute where he worked on a variety of microsimulation models. He holds a BS with honors in economics from the Pennsylvania State University and an MA in demography from Georgetown University.

Philip Power

Founder and Chairman, Center for Michigan

Philip H. Power founded and was owner and chairman of the board of HomeTown Communications Network, Inc., a group of 62 community newspapers and 24 telephone directories throughout Michigan and around Cincinnati, Ohio. Best known among this group were the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, which served suburban communities in the Detroit metropolitan area. An entrepreneurial start-up in 1965, the company came to be recognized as among the very best of its sort in the country while at the same time retaining its roots as a family firm. Taken together, his newspapers won more state and national awards for excellence than any other group in the country. In March 2005, Mr. Power sold the assets of his company to the Gannett Company. His award-winning column continues to appear in Bridge Magazine, the Center for Michigan’s weekly email newsletter. Mr. Power founded in January 2006 The Center for Michigan, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) think-and-do tank aimed at curing Michigan’s hyper-partisan political culture and revitalizing its broken policy apparatus. The Center sponsors a series of “community conversations”, small bottom-up gatherings of Michigan citizens; this public engagement work has attracted 45,000 participants and is the largest in Michigan history. The Center also is working to fill the information vacuum left by the decline of newspapers by publishing Bridge Magazine, a free, on-line journal devoted to Michigan policy, economics and political issues. Bridge now attracts annually more than 1 million unique visitors. Mr. Power was appointed a Regent of the University of Michigan in 1987; he was elected to office in 1990, winning more than one million votes statewide. He led the effort to rewrite U of M rules governing the technology transfer from University laboratories into the commercial world. As a result, applications for patents, new company start-ups and IPO’s by U of M faculty and staff increased markedly. He was defeated for re-election in 1998. He received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from the U of M Alumni Association in October 2000. From 1983 to 1990, Mr. Power chaired the Michigan Job Training Coordinating Council and was a primary advisor to Governor Blanchard on human investment and job training. In 2000, Governor Engler appointed him to the Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; he served as Vice Chair of the MEDC and Chair of the Finance Subcommittee until his resignation in 2010. In 1991, Mr. Power helped found the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, a not-for-profit organization that helps communities, states, employers and others achieve world-class workforce development systems. He served as Chairman from 1991 through 2005. He served for six years as Chair of the Michigan chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and remains an honorary life member of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Power served on the Board of Directors of Jacobson Stores, Inc., SenSyTech Technologies, Inc., and the University Musical Society, in Ann Arbor. He is President of the Power Foundation. He was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Public Service, by Eastern Michigan University in 2003. Mr. Power graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan in 1960. He was editorial director of the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, and a member of Americans Committed to World Responsibility, a student organization that proposed volunteer service abroad – the original version of the idea taken up by John F. Kennedy as the Peace Corps. In 1962 he received a Marshall Scholarship to study at Oxford University in England, where he received an MA in philosophy, politics and economics. He is married to Kathleen K. Power. They have two sons, Scott T. Sutton M.D., who practices internal medicine in Denver, and Nathan E. Power, who has started a restaurant in Shanghai, China.

Stephen Oliner

State Farm James Q. Wilson Chair and Co-Director, International Center on Housing Risk, American Enterprise Institute; Senior Fellow, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate

Stephen D. Oliner is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he holds the State Farm James Q. Wilson Chair and is the codirector of AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk. Steve is also a senior fellow at the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate at the University of California, Los Angeles. His active research agenda focuses on real estate issues and the growth potential of the US economy.  He joined AEI in 2012 after spending more than 25 years at the Federal Reserve Board, where he held a variety of positions as a research economist and officer.  Steve has a Ph.D. and an M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin and received a B.A. in economics from the University of Virginia.

Claudia Sahm

Chief, Consumer and Community Development Research Section, Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Claudia Sahm is Chief of the Consumer and Community Development Research Section at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Her research interests include macroeconomics, household responses to fiscal stimulus, and consumer sentiment and expectations. Previously, Claudia worked as Principal Economist in the Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Research and Statistics and as Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers. Claudia received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

Director and Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research, and Margaret Walker Alexander Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach is director of the Institute for Policy Research and Faculty Fellow at Northwestern University, and the Margaret Walker Alexander Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy. She is also research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She studies policies aimed at improving the lives of children in poverty, including education, health, and income support policies. Her recent work has focused on tracing the impact of major public policies such as SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program) and early childhood education on children’s long-term outcomes. Schanzenbach was formerly director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, an economic policy initiative that promotes policies to enhance broad-based economic growth. She has testified before both the Senate and the House of Representatives on her research. Her research has received financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Education, the Spencer Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Smith-Richardson Foundation. She has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Review, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and the Review of Economics and Statistics, among other outlets. She graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in economics and religion, and received a PhD in economics from Princeton University.

Aditi Thapar

Assistant Research Scientist, University of Michigan RSQE

Aditi Thapar is an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Michigan’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics. 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. She is a coauthor of The U.S. Economic Outlook for 2018–2019.