Applied Economics Instructor Biographies

Joann M. Weiner

Joann M. Weiner earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University and her B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of Company Tax Reform in the European Union. Lessons from the U.S. states and Canadian provinces on implementing formulary apportionment in the EU. She is the founding director of the Applied Economics master’s program at the George Washington University.

Ronald Bird

Ronald Bird holds a Ph.D. in Economics from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He is currently the Senior Regulatory Economist at the United States Chamber of Commerce and he was previously Chief Economist of the United States Department of Labor.  He has also served on the faculties of The University of Alabama and North Carolina State University. 

Gary Cornwall

Gary Cornwall is a Research Economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis. He holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of Cincinnati and his research interests include time series, spatial econometrics, applied Bayesian methods, and machine learning. 

Ken Danger

Ken Danger is an Associate Deputy Director at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he works on matters related to derivative market manipulation. He holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he focused on industrial organization, health economics, and finance. His outside research interests focus on financial markets, derivatives, and antitrust policy and law.

Matt Flagge

Matt Flagge is a Surveillance Analyst at the Commodity Futures and Trading Corporation.  He earned his Ph.D., MPhil, and MS. In Economics from Columbia University and his B.A. from Yale University, magna cum laude.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth

Diana Furchtgott-Roth  is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology at the Department of Transportation (DOT). Prior to joining DOT, she was Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Department of Treasury. She has been a senior fellow and director of Economics21 at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and an adjunct professor of economics at The George Washington University. She previously served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Labor; Chief of Staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers; Deputy Executive Director of the Domestic Policy Council; and Junior Staff Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers. Ms. Furchtgott-Roth is the author of five books and was a columnist for and Tax Notes. She received her BA in economics from Swarthmore College and her M.Phil. in economics from Oxford University.

Anthony Kassekert

Anthony Kassekert is a Senior Statistician with the Department of Homeland Security. He earned his Ph.d. in Public Administration and Policy from Florida State University and his B.S. in Mathematical Statistics, Economics, and Political Science from Iowa State University.

Hong Kim

Hong Kim is a Lead Economist in the Department of Labor. He is leading a group of economists to perform the Department’s regulatory impact analyses, regulatory flexibility analyses, labor market analyses, workplace safety analyses, and policy analyses. Prior to joining the Depart of Labor, he was a senior economist at the Department of Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency. He holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of California, Davis. 

Argyn Kuketayev

Argyn Kuketayev is Vice President in Market Risk department at E*TRADE Financial, a leading online brokerage. He’s a former nuclear scientist, and prior to his current role as a head quant, he held various positions at Primatics Financial, Markit Group Ltd., Fannie Mae, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, Hughes Network Systems and Philip Morris International. He received a doctorate degree in Physics and MSc in Finance. He specializes in econometric forecasting for stress testing, deposit modeling and application of broad range of quantitative techniques to fixed income and equity options portfolio risk management. 

Alfredo M. Leone

Alfredo M. Leone was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He took undergraduate studies at the University of Buenos Aires and earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in economics at the University of Minnesota (USA). He worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1988 until his retirement in September 2014. Prior to joining the Fund, he was the Director of the Center for Monetary and Banking Studies at the Central Bank of Argentina and Professor of Money, Credit, and Banking at the School of Economics at the Universtiy of Buenos Aires. After retirement, he has been a Visiting Scholar at the IMF. He has authored and co-authored a number of papers on central banking, financial stability and crises, inflation targeting, and official statistics.

Diane Lim

Diane Lim is Senior Advisor at the Penn Wharton Budget Model. She has spent her 30-plus year career in a variety of prominent roles in the federal government, nonprofit and academic sectors. She began her post-Ph.D. career as an assistant professor at Penn State University before coming to DC to work as a visiting scholar (and then principal analyst) at the Congressional Budget Office in the early 1990s, and she has worked in DC on federal- and state-level public policy issues ever since. She has served as chief economist for the House Ways and Means Committee, House Budget Committee, the Concord Coalition, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. She was a senior economist on the staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers during the final year of the Clinton Administration and first 100 days of the George W. Bush Administration. She has also worked for the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute. Her immediate past positions were as Principal at District Economics Group (a small economic consulting shop), and Principal Economist at The Conference Board (a non-profit business membership and research organization). She is a founding advisory board member of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, and a past president of the National Tax Association. Diane received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia, her master’s degree from Brown University, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Daniel Marcin

Daniel Marcin earned a Ph.D. in Economics in 2014 from the University of Michigan.  His dissertation examined income tax records of high-income earners from 1923 and 1924 to estimate the effect of the marginal tax rate on taxable income.  ICPSR now hosts his data, which he claims is the largest collection of public American income tax information for the 20th century.  Daniel’s professional experience includes working as an economist at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, teaching a wide spectrum of courses at the University of Michigan, litigation support at Welch Consulting, and economic research at the University of Chicago Law School.  Daniel is a NEED delegate, working with the new organization to close the gap between what economists generally think and the economic arguments made in policy debates.  He maintains a rarely updated YouTube channel with Stata, Excel, and Python demonstrations.  On weekends, he leads hiking and biking outings with the Sierra Club.

Christine McDaniel

Christine McDaniel is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. She has held several positions in the U.S. government, including Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Treasury Department and senior trade economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and has worked in the economic offices of the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Trade Representative, and U.S. International Trade Commission. McDaniel spent three years in Australia as deputy chief economist in Australia’s patent office. She has published in the areas of international trade, intellectual property, and empirical trade analysis and modeling. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Colorado, and received her B.A. in Economics and Japanese Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Elena Patel

Elena Patel is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Utah, specializing in public finance and corporate tax policy. She is a former financial economist at the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Tax Analysis, and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan. Professionally, she works on issues related to corporate tax policy and supply-side health policy. Her outside research includes analyses of the behavioral incentives for firms in the hospital industry and the incentives of the business tax system in the United States.  

Jason Seligman

Jason Seligman is an economist at the Investment Company Institute. Prior to his current tenure at the ICI, he was previously at the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Economic Policy. He has published research on new monetary policies implemented since the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008, and in related macro and public finance areas.  He was on the faculty of the Ohio State University and, the University of Georgia as well as having served both at Treasury and at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he handled the Council’s macro and finance portfolios.  He earned his Ph.D. in Economics (Public Finance) from the University of California at Berkeley.

Scott Wentland

Scott Wentland is a Research Economist at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) where he specializes in applied microeconomics research, namely in the areas of housing, taxation, real estate, and urban economics. Prior to joining the BEA in 2015, he worked as a tenured Associate Professor of Economics at Longwood University, teaching a wide array of undergraduate and graduate-level courses. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 2009 and has since published articles in numerous academic journals, including Land Economics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, BioScience, Journal of Real Estate Research, Journal of Housing Economics, Journal of Housing Research, and Real Estate Economics. His research has also been covered in the popular press such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Huffington Post, among other outlets.