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The University of Michigan’s 71st Annual

Economic Outlook Conference

November 16–17, 2023

Daniil Manaenkov

Dr. Daniil Manaenkov has been engaged in tracking and forecasting the U.S. economy for almost 20 years. He has been leading RSQE’s national forecasting team since 2013. Prior to joining RSQE, he worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, where he managed the bank's macroeconomic forecasting model. Daniil testifies regularly in front of the Michigan Legislature and briefs the Governor of Michigan annually on RSQE's national economic outlook. Governor Rick Snyder sent Daniil a personal thank-you letter for his contributions to the state budget process. Daniil frequently shares his views on national economic conditions with various media outlets, with the list of recent interviews featuring CNBC, CGTN America, WXYZ-TV Detroit, NPR's Marketplace, and the Wall Street Journal. Daniil also leads RSQE’s development and adoption of cutting-edge time series and machine learning forecasting methods and contributes to RSQE's forecasting project with the City of Detroit. Daniil’s main areas of expertise are macroeconomics, monetary economics, and applied econometrics. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota, and holds a Master of Science degree in applied mathematics and physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Daniil recently coauthored The U.S. Economic Outlook for 2022–2024, and The Detroit Economic Outlook for 2022–2027.

Daniel H. Cooper

Daniel H. Cooper is a vice president and economist in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Research Department, where he heads the Household Decision-making group. Cooper regularly contributes macroeconomic analysis to aid in the monetary policy deliberations of the Bank's president. His main research interests involve household behavior, although he also focuses on topics related to monetary policy and the labor market. Cooper's recent work has centered on the effect of credit access on consumption, the effect of fluctuations in bank lending on consumption, the effect of monetary policy on house price appreciation, and the effect of minimum wage changes on inflation and consumer spending. He is currently working on projects involving the effect of student debt burdens on consumer behavior, the impact of monetary policy shocks on consumption, how economic conditions impact retirement decisions, and the impact of the pandemic-related stimulus payments on expenditures. Cooper has a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Amherst College and a master’s and PhD in economics from the University of Michigan.

Joanne Hsu

Joanne W. Hsu (pronounced “shoo”) is the Director of the Surveys of Consumers and a Research Associate Professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She earned her PhD in economics at the University of Michigan and her AB in economics and international relations at Brown University. Her research is primarily in the fields of household finance, labor economics, and survey methods, with a current focus on financial sophistication and cognition, and consumer experiences with debt. She previously served as a principal economist in the Division of Research and Statistics at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where her work included the Survey of Consumer of Finances and the consumption forecast, as well as a visiting professor at the Department of Economics, Howard University.

Mark Barrott

Partner, Automotive/Mobility Practice Leader
Plante Moran 

As the leader of our automotive/mobility practice, I help automotive clients define future strategies, develop executable plans, and realize their long-term objectives. The magnitude and speed of the transition in the industry requires long-term thinking combined with the practical experience of knowing what matters in this industry. Many of my clients are automotive suppliers looking to adapt to emerging technologies, market challenges, and risks. They appreciate that I bring innovative solutions to their most complex challenges. I was attracted to this career because of the variety of projects I could work on. I believe the best client relationships are made by working shoulder to shoulder to achieve meaningful results. I love that this profession challenges me every day. I enjoy sharing our thought leadership with diverse audiences that are either directly or indirectly impacted by the industry transition. It’s a great opportunity to engage with broader perspectives and enhance the depth and relevance of our insights and analysis. I received a B.A. in urban planning and a M.S. in economics from Oxford Brookes University in the UK. Outside of work, I enjoy cycling, golf, tennis, and cooking. Both our daughters run cross country and track, so we love watching them compete in their events. Fun fact: Nearly 25 years ago, we moved from the UK to the United States for a work assignment — and never went back. Everything is less stressful, and we love the four seasons. A Michigan summer is so much more pleasant than an English “summer.”

David W. Berson

David W. Berson is Chief US Economist for Cumberland Advisors, a mid-sized wealth management firm based in Sarasota, FL. He provides analyses of the US economy and impacts on financial markets for Cumberland's board of directors, portfolio managers, and clients. Previously, he was the Chief Economist for Nationwide Insurance, where he managed a team of economists and was in charge of providing forecasts and analyses of the economy as well as financial and insurance markets that were used by Nationwide's senior leadership team and business units for strategic and corporate planning purposes. He also acted as Nationwide's primary spokesperson on economic and financial market conditions, prospects, and policy. Berson was previously SVP & Chief Economist and Head of Risk Analytics at the PMI Group, where he headed modeling and forecasting for the company. Prior to that, he was VP & Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, where he advised the company on national and regional economic, housing, and mortgage market policy and conditions. He has also been Chief Financial Economist and Head of Regional Economic Analysis 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 experiences have included Staff Economist on the Council of Economic Advisers and Economic Analyst at the Treasury Department and the Office of the Special Trade Representative. Berson is currently President of the National Business Economic Issues Council (NBEIC), is a former President of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), and is a frequent speaker to media and industry groups on the economy, housing, and financial markets. He has a BA in History and Economics from Williams College, a Master of Public Policy and a PhD in Economics from the University of Michigan, and has a Certified Business Economist (CBE) designation from NABE.

Molly Dahl

Molly Dahl is Chief of the Long-Term Analysis Unit in the Labor, Income Security, and Long-Term Analysis Division at the Congressional Budget Office. In that capacity, she leads the preparation of the agency’s annual population, labor force participation, and long-term budget projections. She also leads the work on the longitudinal microsimulation model used to project Social Security spending and revenues over 75 years. Prior to becoming Chief, Molly was a Senior Advisor in the Labor, Education, and Income Security Unit, where she guided and contributed to reports on a variety of topics, including the economic effects of an increase in the federal minimum wage, the employment of foreign-born people, trends in family wealth, trends in the employment and incarceration of young men, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Before joining CBO in 2004, Molly earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics and economics from the University of North Carolina and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Jason Palmer

Jason Palmer is an Assistant Commissioner at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Regional Commissioner for the Chicago Region. In this role, he oversees for the ten-state region the production and dissemination of information and analysis on labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes used to support public and private decision making. Prior to joining the BLS, Jason was the Director of Michigan’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives (now the Michigan Center for Data Analytics). Jason received a Bachelor’s in Economics from Michigan State University, a Master’s in Labor and Industrial Relations from Wayne State University, and a Doctorate in Sociology from Michigan State University. He received his Juris Doctorate from the Michigan State University College of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and is licensed to practice law in Michigan. A lifelong stutterer, Jason’s research interests include the labor market experiences of individuals with barriers to employment, especially those with disabilities. Born and raised in the Midwest, Jason lives in Michigan with his wife Lauren, a small business owner, and their two young children.

Darius Dunn

Darius Dunn is an Economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of the principal fact-finding agencies for the federal government. He has served in this position for 6 years and currently works on the Consumer Price Index.  Darius has previously collected data for the Industrial Price Program, which publishes the Producer Price Index and Import/Export Price Index. Darius holds a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan- Flint.

Catherine Hanusa

Catherine Hanusa is a Senior Technical Economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. She has collected data for BLS for 20 years, and currently works on the National Compensation Survey and Occupational Requirements Survey.  The National Compensation Survey is focused on measuring employer costs for total compensation, comprised of wages and benefits, and includes the Employment Cost Index which is designated as a Principal Federal Economic Indicator.  The Occupational Requirements Survey collects job-related information regarding physical demands; environmental conditions; education, training, and experience; as well as cognitive and mental requirements for jobs in the U.S. economy.  In addition to collecting data, her current role also includes developing and providing training, technical assistance, and continuing education on survey concepts and procedures in support of field collection staff.  Catherine received a BA in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kristin Miller

Kristin Miller has been a dedicated employee of the State of Michigan for 18 years. At present, she holds the position of Departmental Analyst at the Center for Data and Analytics, where she has been serving for 15 years. Kristin has gained extensive experience in collecting occupational titles, employee information, and wage data from various businesses in the State of Michigan.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in business management from Oakland University in Rochester, MI. In addition to her contributions at the Center for Data and Analytics, Kristin also serves as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer for the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget and co-leads the DEI Data Team. Kristin is a lifelong resident of Michigan who enjoys spending quality time with her three sons and large extended family.

Gabriel Ehrlich

Gabriel Ehrlich is an economic forecaster at the University of Michigan, where he is the Director of the University’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics (RSQE). Gabe oversees RSQE’s forecasts of the U.S. and Michigan economies, and he presents regularly to the Michigan Legislature and Governor on Michigan’s economic and fiscal prospects. Prior to joining RSQE, Gabe worked as an economic forecaster and analyst at the Congressional Budget Office. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.

Leslie McGranahan

Leslie McGranahan is Senior Vice President: Regional Analysis and Community Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Her primary research interests relate to the effects of federal, state, and local government policy on individuals and households. She has written about numerous government programs, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, and the sales tax. She also closely follows regional and national developments in government spending and revenues.

McGranahan’s research has been published in journals, including the National Tax Journal and Journal of Political Economy. Her work has also been featured in the Chicago Fed Letter and Economic Perspectives, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s publications.

McGranahan returned to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2004 after working as a lecturer at the University of Warwick and as research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, England. She received a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University and master’s and doctorate degrees in economics from Northwestern University.

Alan Leach

Alan Leach is a demographer with the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics (MCDA). Alan has worked for the center since 2018. During this time, he has worked on several major projects including the MCDA’s first set of state and county population projections in 2019, as well as preparations for and the dissemination of 2020 census data. Before returning to Michigan, he completed a PhD at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) in ecology and evolution and worked as a research scientist for UNR and the United States Geological Survey.

Hilary Doe

As Chief Growth Officer, Hilary leads the state’s efforts to grow Michigan’s population, economy, and reputation as the best place to live, work, raise a family, and start a business. Hilary works alongside the Growing Michigan Together Council on a once-in-a-generation effort to grow Michigan’s population, boost economic growth, and make Michigan the place everyone wants to call home.

Hilary is a dynamic leader in nonprofits, technology, strategy, and public policy. She served as the national director at the Roosevelt Network, where she built and led an organization engaging thousands of young people in civic engagement and social change programming at chapters nationwide, which ultimately earned the organization recognition as a recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. She also served as Vice President of the Roosevelt Institute, where she oversaw strategy and expanded the Institute’s Four Freedoms Center, with the goal of empowering communities and reducing inequality alongside the greatest economists of our generations. Most recently, she served as President and Chief Strategy Officer at Nationbuilder, working to equip the world’s leaders with software to grow their movements, businesses, and organizations, while spreading democracy.

Hilary is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Honors College and Ford School of Public Policy, a Detroit resident, and proud Michigander.

Welcome - John Leahy

John Leahy is Chair of Economics, and Allen Sinai Professor of Macroeconomics and Public Policy. John is a macroeconomist with interests in monetary economics and economic theory. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton, and has held positions at Harvard, Boston University and New York University before joining the faculty at Michigan. He has consulted at the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Philadelphia and Kansas City, and has served as Editor of the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. He also served as Coeditor of the American Economic Review.

Presiding - Saul Hymans

Saul Hymans is Emeritus Professor of Economics and Statistics and held the position of Director of the Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics at the University of Michigan during 1981-2008. He has been at the University of Michigan since 1964, and served as chair of the Department of Economics during 1977-80. Saul received the national Blue Chip Annual Economic Forecasting Award (AEFA, formerly the Silbert Award) in 1984 and 1987, and is the first person to have received the AEFA twice.

Hymans graduated from Harvard College and holds a Ph.D. in economics and an M.A. in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley. He served as senior staff economist on the President's Council of Economic Advisers in 1967-68, as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research during 1989-2010, and as the U.S. forecaster for the Pacific Economic Outlook Project of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council during 1988-2008.

The author of numerous journal articles, chapters, and research papers, Hymans has also traveled to the Soviet Union on a U.S. scientific exchange delegation and has been a visiting scholar in Israel, Stockholm, and Hong Kong.

Presiding - Michael McWilliams

Michael McWilliams is a Senior Economist at RSQE. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan, and he has also received an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. At RSQE, Michael assists with forecasts of the Michigan economy and leads the development of state tax revenue projections. He also participates in RSQE's local economic forecasts for the City of Detroit, Oakland County, MI, and Washtenaw County, MI. In 2018, Michael coauthored an RSQE report on the economic impacts of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). 

Michael’s personal research focuses on a range of topics in environmental and natural resource economics. His work has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Energy Policy. During his graduate study, Michael interned at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Transportation and Air Quality.

Presiding - George Fulton

George A. Fulton is a research professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, and a director emeritus of the Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics in the Department of Economics. He also is a former Board Chair of the U-M Children’s Centers. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan and is a lifetime member of the U-M Alumni Association.

Dr. Fulton forecast economic and fiscal activity at the national, state, and local levels for over 40 years. He provided testimonies on the economic and revenue outlooks to the Michigan legislature and administration twice a year from 1992 to 2016, as well as delivering a keynote presentation at the Governor’s Economic Outlook Briefing annually from 1984 to 2016. In 2015, he was appointed by the governor and state treasurer to a three-person panel to evaluate and approve the City of Detroit’s revenue forecasts that form the basis for the City’s yearly budgets. He continues to serve in that role.

One focus of his has been to portray the economy to non-economists, including to alumni at Michigania’s faculty forum, to the U-M Retirees Association, to the Wolverine Caucus (alumni working in and around the State Capitol), and during the Road Scholars Tour connecting faculty with residents in communities throughout Michigan. He has received numerous recognitions for his work, including: the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Economic and Demographic Analysis—since named in his honor—from REMI, the nation’s most prominent regional forecasting and economic analysis organization; special tributes from both former Governor Snyder and the State of Michigan legislature; a letter of commendation from former U-M President Schlissel; and several proclamations from regional leaders.

On a more personal note, he is especially passionate about travel, having visited all seven continents, most of them multiple times. He currently serves as a Travel Host for the U-M Alumni Association.