2010 SGE Elections

Voting is now closed. Results will be available early next week.

The elections for the 2010-2011 SGE Board of Directors are now open. Candidate statements are presented below the ballot.

Please complete the following ballot and email it to elections@sge-econ.org by 6 PM this Friday, July 30:
President: Andrew Felton ____
Abstain: ___
Write-in candidate: ______________

Vice President: Bryan Roberts ____
Abstain: ___
Write-in candidate: ______________

Outreach Director and Event Planner: Juan Contreras ____
Abstain: ___
Write-in candidate: ______________

Membership Director: Mark A. Ledbetter ____
Abstain: ___
Write-in candidate: ______________

Executive Director: Stephen H. Andrews ____
Abstain: ___
Write-in candidate: ______________

Executive Secretary: Muhammad Faizul Islam ____
Abstain: ___
Write-in candidate: ______________

Conference Committee Chair: Steven Payson ____
Abstain: ___
Write-in candidate: ______________

At-large (choose a maximum of 8, including write-in candidates; the same write-in candidate cannot be chosen more than once)
Leo Sveikauskas _____
Abstain: ___
Norton Francis ____
Abstain: ___
Farhad Niami _____
Abstain: ___
Write-in candidates: ____________________________________

Please email your votes to elections@sge-econ.org by 6 PM this Friday, July 30.

President: Andrew Felton
I am running for President of the Society of Government Economists in order to continue and build on the work that I started last year as the Vice President.
As the Vice President, I was in charge of organizing the luncheon speakers. Last year, the speakers included such economic luminaries as Rebecca Blank, Karen Dynan, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin. I also redesigned the web site, improving its Google rankings and keeping it regularly updated. Since we started tracking visitors at the beginning of the year, we have been averaging almost 400 visits per month with more than 1,000 unique visitors.
In my day job as a financial economist with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, I spend most of my time developing risk models, stress tests, and deposit insurance pricing systems. I am an active professional consumer of data and research produced by many other agencies and have found SGE to be a great boon to my professional life; I am excited to give back to the community by continuing to serve SGE.
I look forward to working with you to continue the mission of SGE as an organization that supports the professional development of government economists, and all those who are interested in public policy economics. We will do this by putting on a great conference on November 15/16 at George Washington University, continuing our tradition of interesting and important luncheon speakers, and developing other opportunities to promote public policy economists and economic researchers.

Vice President: Bryan Roberts
I have served on the Board of SGE as Membership Director over the past year and have gained familiarity with the many issues and challenges that confront the organization at its present stage of development. Many accomplishments have been made in the recent past, and these accomplishments provide a strong foundation for further development of the SGE institution. As Vice President, I will devote my energies to maintaining the high quality of our monthly luncheons by recruiting quality speakers and sustaining the network of contacts that make this recruitment possible. I will work closely with the President and Board leadership to assist in renewing SGE membership through active outreach to government economists. I will devote time and energy to identifying and implementing special projects that can be carried out that will enhance the visibility of SGE and address issues and questions of particular interest to government economists. The visibility, relevance, and quality of SGE as an institution is already as a high level, and I would look forward to have the opportunity to serve SGE and contribute to its further advancement.

Outreach Director and Event Planner: Juan Contreras
I work at the fiscal policy studies in the macroeconomic analysis division of the US Congressional Budget Office. I studied engineering as and undergrad and finished my PhD in economics at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2006. From the board of directors, I would like to help preserving and enhancing the Society of Government Economists as a place where government economists and others in the profession engage in useful debates about economic policy and its relation with society, academia and other branches of government.

Membership Director: Mark A. Ledbetter
I am a nine year employee of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. During my term hear I have published several papers in the Survey of Current Business, presented a research paper at the ASSA conference in 2008, and provided presentations to several professional groups. My work basically focuses on comparing national account data with that of the IRS. I also compile a Biomedical Research and Development Price Index for NIH. The first two years at BEA were working on International Direct Investment into the US; compiling and creating the published table data. I also worked two years at the Census Bureau and was involved in international negotiations of the NAICS industries and the NAPCS product classification systems. I also have a year’s experience at the State Department as a consular officer.
Outside activities include managing a construction and renovation limited liability company. I have also spent two years as a board member of the SGE and helped manage the peer-review process for paper presentations.

Executive Director: Stephen H. Andrews
I am quite interested in the Executive Director of the Board position of and within the Society of Government Economists (SGE). I believe the SGE is a great venue for raising the awareness and stature of the important jobs our economists conduct for our Government and our country. I am very willing to commit the time and energy on SGE projects, participate in SGE meetings and attend SGE meetings that exhibit and underscore that importance.
My education includes an M.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in economics, both from Miami University (Ohio) in 1975 and 1974, respectively. My experience has included my last 11 years at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) as: Coordinator of Source Data for BEA; Assistant Chief of the National Income and Wealth Division (NIWD), overseeing analysis, assembly, and release of the GDP; (currently serving as) BEA representative for OMB’s Economic Classification Policy Committee; and (currently serving as) Assistant to the Chief, NIWD, conducting research on measurement methodologies aimed at improving our economic statistics relied on as critical by so many.
Before this time, I was at the Census Bureau for 23 years, serving as chief of the manufacturing and construction indicator programs, which includes Housing Starts, Value of Construction Put in Place, and Orders for Durables Goods in my last 5 years there. Earlier at Census, I was one of the first members of the Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies, researching the confidential micro data and providing results in numerous economic journals; and charged with the responsibility of making these microdata accessible to outside researchers in a secure environment and under strict confidentiality rules, but nevertheless access to these important data.
I strongly believe that we should and can easily show the important work conducted by our Government economists for our agencies and departments and gain an understanding and appreciation for this work from and by our nation’s leaders and people.

Executive Secretary: Muhammad Faizul Islam
I am Dr. Muhammad Faizul Islam, Senior Economist, Office of Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security
I am interested for the ES position because I was appointed in the middle of the election year. My aim is to complete a full term, and to promote the mission and vision of SGE. SGE needs to be resuscitated and I think I can work towards that goal.
As ES since November 2009, I am attending SGE meetings quite regularly and writing down minutes of the meetings. I am also taking an active part in reviewing the papers submitted for the upcoming SGE conference in November 2010 and January 2011.
I want to bring the rich experience to SGE what I have gained from my involvement with other professional organizations, such as, Bangladesh Development Initiative (www.bdiusa.org) and the Association for Economic and Development Studies of Bangladesh (www.aedsb.org).

Conference Committee Chair: Steven Payson
I would be honored to be Chair the Conference Committee of the Society of Government Economists. I have recently completed my term as President of the SGE, and was previously Vice President and Executive Secretary. In these roles I have brought many leading economists to our SGE events. I am currently organizing our upcoming SGE Conference in November 2010; I organized our previous one in September 2009; and I helped organize the one before that in June 2008. You might see what I have accomplished on the SGE website. My interest in the SGE has always stemmed from my belief that economics is one of the most important human endeavors there is, especially when it has bearing on government decision making. One could argue, in fact, that no other field has greater influence over people’s lives. From this perspective I see the work of our Society as critically important, and I am proud to be part of it.
I received a doctorate in economics from Columbia University in 1991, and have over 25 years of work experience as an economist, which includes over 18 years at four federal agencies (ERS/USDA, NSF, GIPSA/USDA, and BEA) and details of four months and nine months at two other agencies (NIST and NIH). I spent the last 7 years at the Bureau of Economic Analysis where I started as a Branch Chief, and since 2008 have been Chief of Research for the BEA’s Government Division. I wrote two economics books (Quality Measurement in Economics and Economics, Science and Technology), and many published articles in a wide range of economic subfields. I have taught as an adjunct professor of economics at Georgetown and several other universities, and taught a training course at BEA on the National Economic Accounts. I am also the Executive Director of the Association for Integrity and Responsible Leadership in Economics and Associated Professions (AIRLEAP®) and have been active in other economic organizations as well. For example, for over 6 years I was on the Advisory Board for the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and for the past 2 years I have served in the Interagency Task Group on Science of Science Policy, commissioned by the National Science and Technology Council of the Executive Office of the President.
Please vote for me to chair the SGE’s Conference Committee. I promise to make our conferences something that we can truly be proud of, and something that will be beneficial to our members, to the economics community, and to society in general.

At-large: Leo Sveikauskas
I am a research economist with the Productivity Research group at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I have a Ph.D. from Yale University, and have worked at the BLS since the 1970s. I have published in journals such as the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and the Economic Journal on topics such as R&D, productivity growth, international trade, and urban and regional economics.
I think the core of economics is providing better information to our fellow citizens on many issues which are important for our country. I hope to encourage economists working throughout the government as they carry out this important role. Though mechanisms such as seminars, conferences, and participation in national meetings, the SGE can help government economists carry out their important work.

At-large: Norton Francis
I have been in DC government for over a year now as the Director of Revenue Estimation for the Office of Revenue Analysis, I oversee four economists and we compile the quarterly forecast of revenues used for the annual budget and four year financial plan. I also work with the economic research group to prepare presentations and briefings for policy makers and the public. Prior to DC, I was in New Mexico where I was Chief Economist for the NM Legislative Finance Committee. In that role, I was part of the consensus revenue estimating group for the state and advised the legislative members and leadership on economic and finance issues.
I would bring both a state and local perspective to the board as well as a tax policy perspective.

At-large: Farhad Niami
It is my distinct pleasure and honor to announce my candidacy for one of the At-Large positions on the Board of Directors at the Society of Government Economists. While I have not held any positions at SGE, I have had involvements with many other peer groups and societies in the past. To name a few; the National Economic Club (“NEC”), Federation of Tax Administrators (“FTA”), National Association of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (“NARUC”), American Economic Association (“AEA”), Agriculture & Applied Economics Association (“AAEA”), Western Economic Association (“WEA”), Southern Economic Association (“SEA”), Southwestern Society of Economists (“SSE”). Through many of these professional organizations I have had opportunities to serve in variety of capacities, such as conference chair, session organizer. I have also participated in presentation of many research works. Although I am relatively new to the District and SGE, I am very interested in serving this organization and gain additional experience.
I received a doctoral degree in Resource Economics from Oregon State University in 1988, followed by completing a postdoctoral program at Louisiana State University. I am a resource economist by training and a Public Finance/Public Policy economist by practice. I have about twenty two years of combined managerial, research and teaching experience in the field. Currently, I am serving the DC Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) as the Director of Economic Affairs Administration and Acting Deputy CFO for the Office of Revenue Analysis. Prior to my involvement with the District Government I served as the State Economist in Louisiana and also as an advisor to the Governor’s Office. Prior to that, I was the Chief Economist responsible for the Office of Economics and Rates Analysis of Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC). I also served as the Division Chief for the State’s Wildlife & Fisheries agency responsible for conducting economic impact analysis of alternative policy decisions related to the state’s natural resources. Moreover, I have been an active member of the Graduate Faculty of Economics at Louisiana State and Bowie State Universities. I also have taught economics at both graduate and undergraduate level programs at Western Oregon and Oregon State Universities.
My hope is to be able to share my past experience with you and other colleagues elsewhere while adding value to the services already provided by SGE. For that, I need your confidence and vote for me so I could serve as a Board member at this nationally recognized professional organization.