2021 Economics Department Newsletter

Department of Economics with Columbian College seal. Professor Remi Jedwab teaches a class in front of a whiteboard

Message from the Chair
Department Spotlights
Department Kudos
Class Notes
Donor Recognition

Message from the Chair


Stephen Smith, Department Chair


Dear Alumni and Friends of the GW Department of Economics,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 Academic Year Newsletter!

Throughout this academic year, the immediate and urgent goal of the department has been to provide the best possible teaching and advising experience during remote learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to maintain our high standards for research productivity and service under the pandemic conditions.

Virtually all of our faculty attended online training programs on effective teaching for remote learning; there has been active ongoing discussion throughout the last year among colleagues about best teaching practices with the current conditions. Our Principles, BA-BS, Applied MA and PhD committees are meeting virtually, and have presented findings and recommendations at online faculty meetings about our most effective options.

Despite the COVID disruptions, the department continued to build on strengths in key areas, and is working to be in the best possible position to continue and expand our initiatives now as we finally move past the pandemic. No doubt we will continue to incorporate many of our teaching innovations even after we return to in-person teaching on campus.

Through it all, the department maintained an active program of research events, as we moved to live-streaming of events sponsored by our four major seminar series: Microeconomics, Macro/International, Trade and Development and Forecasting.

In this newsletter, we welcome new faculty and report on some of the research and policy analysis developed by our faculty, including new research in relation to the pandemic itself. We are also highlighting several articles published in research journals over the last year.

On behalf of the department, we are very grateful for our alumni and friends whose generous donations have contributed to the success of our students and our academic programs during these difficult conditions.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the coming year, as we return to campus with exciting new initiatives!

Stephen Smith
Department Chair

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Department Spotlights

Zoe Frankfurter Wins Scholar Award



Congratulations to Zoe Frankfurter, BS ’21, who graduated this spring with a double major in economics and geography. Zoe received the 2021 CCAS Distinguished Scholar Award! She is vice president of the national honor fraternity Phi Sigma Pi. She also worked as the outreach coordinator for the Humanitarian Mapping Society, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and belongs to the economics honors society Omicron Delta Epsilon. Zoe said she is grateful for all of the dedicated professors that challenged her and for the opportunities GW provided.

Zoe Frankfurter


Economics Major Zoe Frankfurter

Economics Faculty Pursue Pandemic Research


Economics faculty involved in COVID research include (from left) Steven Hamilton, Remi Jedwab and Tara Sinclair.

Economics faculty involved in COVID research include (from left) Steven Hamilton, Remi Jedwab and Tara Sinclair.

Several members of the faculty have been engaged in pandemic-related research and policy analysis over the past year. Professor Remi Jedwab contributed research papers related to this topic including, “Past Plagues: Why did some create conflict while others promoted cohesion?” January 2021; and “The Effects of Historical Pandemics: The Black Death,” (with Mark Koyama and Noel Johnson), forthcoming in The Journal of Economic Literature

Professor Steven Hamilton published “A tale of two wage subsidies: The American and Australian fiscal responses to COVID-19,” in the National Tax Journal, September 2020. He contributed commentary for The Washington Post and the Sydney Morning Herald among other publications, and was interviewed and quoted by media outlets including The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek, Time and NPR. Other faculty, including Tara Sinclair and Jay Shambaugh, also received extensive media coverage of their commentary.

Welcome New Faculty!


Professor Rafael Lopez-Monti (left) and Professor Daniel Jaqua

Professor Rafael Lopez-Monti (left) and Professor Daniel Jaqua

The Economics Department was pleased to welcome two new faculty members this year: Daniel Jaqua, assistant teaching professor of economics, and Rafael Lopez-Monti, assistant professor of economics and international affairs.

Dr. Jaqua received a PhD in economics from the University of Michigan. Before coming to GW, he was an assistant professor at Albion College. His research specialties include public finance, applied microeconomics, taxation, nonlinear pricing and multidimensional screening.

Dr. Lopez-Monti received his PhD and MPhil in economics here at George Washington University. His research interests focus on macroeconomics, international finance, and monetary economics. Prior to joining the faculty at GW, Dr. Lopez-Monti taught at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland-College Park and the Catholic University of America.

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Department Kudos

Joann M. Weiner, associate professor of economics, talked to GW Today about the Biden administration’s economic policy for the article “GW Experts Offer Predictions for Biden Administration.”

Economics Professor Irene Foster discussed converting her classes to a virtual learning environment in the GW Today article “Economics’ Foster Welcomes Remote Teaching Challenge.

Economics Professor Tara Sinclair spoke to CCAS Spotlight about how the global economy can recover from the COVID-19 crisis and what the new economic normal might look like in the article “The Post-Pandemic Economy: Is There a Road to Recovery?” 

Class Notes

Nana Akyaa Adu-Amankwa, BS ’98, is a physician owner and medical director of a full service Pediatric Urgent Care in Rockville, Md.

Ahmed Khalfan Saleh Marra Aldhaheri, BBA ’19, went back to his home country, United Arab Emirates, after graduation and secured a job in Abu Dhabi Investment Authority as a capital markets professional.

Zahid Amin, BA ’00, is working towards providing communications advisory services for a World Bank funded project in KPK, Pakistan. He is excited about interacting with local communities residing in remote areas of the province.

Alexandre Bernard Noel Aubard, BA ’18, MPP ’19, went on to earn two more degrees in France and is now back in D.C., working in the antidumping calculation field. “Raise high!”

Vic Buehrle, BA ’18, is an economic consultant for PwC's transfer pricing practice.

Philip De Turk, BA ’54 JD ’56, is living “the life of Riley,” he reports, in a retirement community with funds coming in from SS, IRA and stock investments. Most of his leisure time is spent playing bridge and watching the stock market.

Connor Delaney, BA ’15, BS ’15, MPP ’21, is an analyst for the Rhode Island Office of Management and Budget.

Saira Gallo, BA ’08, is working remotely as a development associate at Tidepool, a nonprofit organization creating technology to help ease the burden of living with diabetes. She is working towards making a difference in healthcare equity.

Alicia Garcia-Herrero, PhD ’04, has been based in Asia, mainly Hong Kong, but also Tokyo and Taipei, for 15 years now. She is an adjunct professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She also works as a chief economist at Natixis, a French investment bank, based in Hong Kong.

David Goodwin, BA ’06, MD ’10, is an orthopedic surgeon in Northern Virginia. He specializes in knee and shoulder surgery and treats athletes of all ages.

Claudia Jadrijevic, MA ’94, completed her MS in economics while working at the neighboring institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she had a 30-year career and loved every second. Her fond memories include taking lunch breaks and strolls around GW.

Kate Jones, BS ’18, works in antitrust litigation consulting. He is applying to PhD programs in economics in the fall.

Nianci Lyu, BA ’17, received her Master of Science degree from Tufts and Harvard University with majors in quantitative economics and data science. She is joining the software strategy team at EY Parthenon Boston Office.

Lutonadio Sebastiao Mavan Masala, BA ’15, received his master’s degree in economics and finance from the University of York in the United Kingdom. Lutonadio is currently working as an economist at Angola Ministry of Finance Department of Research and Statistics.

Haley Meyers Mathieu, BA ’18, is a legislative correspondent for Senator Dianne Feinstein, specializing in federal policy related to housing, nutrition, human services, education and animal welfare.

Rich Meade, BA ’89, is the vice chairman of Prime Policy Group, a preeminent bipartisan government relations. He helps lead the firm overall, but also runs the health care practice.

Les Megyeri, BA ’63, JD ’68, BA ’73, MBA ’80, learned in Professor John Kendrick's class at GW that the price of any service or product is set by supply and demand. After undergraduate work, he went on to earn his MBA, CPA and JD all from GW. Before retirement, he spent most of his career working on Capitol Hill.

Alex Melton, BS ’16, is a product manager at Etsy, transitioning from a data science role. His work focuses on the customer experience for both buyers and sellers.

Jean Montgomery, PhD ’76, is retired after many years as an analyst with the Montgomery County Department of Corrections.

Julio Ortiz, BS ’13, is completing his PhD in economics at Boston University and will be returning to D.C. to join the Federal Reserve Board as an economist later this summer.

Troy Quast, BS ’95, is a professor in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida. He still tells his classes about GW Professor Robert Dunn’s great stories that end with the punchline of students writing "Assume a toupee" on the blackboard.

Ali Salaam, BA ’91, is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates as the senior executive officer for a wealth management firm called Plurimi Wealth Dubai, an asset manager with USD 5.5b under custody.

Issouf Samake, PhD ’09, is the International Monetary Fund's resident representative to Somalia. Issouf is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ariele Scharff, BA ’15, is the senior B2B marketing manager at Vivian Health, where she is changing the way healthcare professionals find a job with a transparent, two-sided job marketplace.

Greta Simons, BS ’17, is a first-year student pursuing her MBA at Columbia Business School. She will be joining Evercore as an investment banking M&A summer associate in June 2021.

Mariusz Sumlinski, MPhil ’98, PhD ’04, continues to pursue a career at the International Monetary Fund most recently as a senior economist on the Afghanistan team.

Wei Tian, BS ’18, earned a MS degree in biostatistics from Yale University. She is a biostatistician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass.

Shaun Vaid, BS ’12, worked in the healthcare industry for six years in various finance and operations roles after graduating from GW. After earning his MBA at Washington University in St. Louis, he joined Google Cloud's finance organization where he currently works.

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Donor Recognition

The Economics Department would like to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who made a gift to the department from January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020.

+ Faculty/Staff | # Parent | ~ Student | * Friend | ^ Deceased

BNY Mellon Charitable Gift Fund

Donors Trust Inc.

Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

Daniel Broxterman, MA ’09, PhD ’15

Constance Carrino, PhD ’93

Jeffrey Chaloupek, MBA ’97, MA ’98

David Cohen, BA ’15

Jeanne Conerly * 

Robert Costello, BA ’76

W. Thomas Curtis, BA ’81, MS ’95

Oscar David, Esq., BA ’84

Dr. Jonathan Gal, BA ’04

Dr. Robert Goldfarb + 

Cynthia Guin * 

Lily Hale, MPhil ’82, PhD ’84

Emily Kendrick * 

John Kendrick * 

Adam Lewis, MA ’09 + 

Stephen Lubin, MA ’71

Charles Luttmann #

Stephen Mangum, MPhil ’83, PhD ’84

M. Dennis Marvich, MPhil ’82

Sheila McCarthy * 

Amr Moubarak, BA ’09

Dr. George Plesko, BA ’80 

Solomon Polachek, BA ’67

Troy Quast, BS ’95

Dr. Clifford Reid, BA ’67

Dr. Tara Sinclair + 

Kristin Singh, BS ’14

James Starkey, III, MA ’72

Joanne Stekler * 

Courtney Tsai + 

Joseph Valenza, PhD ’78

Diana Wanamaker, BA ’66, MA ’71

Joann Weiner +

Sharon Wu, MS ’07, MD ’11

Xiaohui Wu, MA ’14, PhD ’19

Dr. Anthony Yezer + 

Dr. Greg Zarelli, BA ’77

Alan Zucker, BA ’84

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