Karen Dynan and Ted Gayer Named Co-Directors of Economic Studies at Brookings

Two top economists will lead the Brookings Institution’s Economic Studies program beginning September 1, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today. Karen Dynan, now a senior advisor at the Federal Reserve Board, will join Brookings as a vice president of the Institution and co-director of the program. Ted Gayer, an associate professor at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute, will be co-director and the Joseph A. Pechman Senior Fellow.

“This tandem arrangement is a first for Brookings,” Talbott said. “The innovation fits with the complexity and urgency of the economic crisis facing our nation and the world. The challenge of achieving, first, economic recovery, and then renewal, will be Brookings priorities in the coming years. Having Karen and Ted at the helm of Economic Studies also makes the most of their complementary skills. I’m extremely pleased that they will be bringing their expertise, energy, and leadership to Brookings at such a crucial time.”

Dynan has been at the Federal Reserve Board since 1992, and currently serves as a senior advisor. She was a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2004 and has taught at The Johns Hopkins University. Dynan’s published research papers cover a range of issues including household consumption and saving decisions, household financial security, mortgage servicing, and the effects of financial innovation on economic volatility. She holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and her undergraduate work was at Brown University.

Gayer is currently an associate professor of public policy at Georgetown University. He served as deputy assistant secretary for microeconomic analysis at the Department of the Treasury in 2007 and 2008, and worked with Dynan at the Council of Economic Advisers in 2003 and 2004. He was previously a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a visiting fellow of the Public Policy Institute of California. His research at Georgetown has been focused on environmental and energy economics, regulatory policy, education and public finance. Gayer did his undergraduate work at Emory University and received his Ph.D. in Economics from Duke University.

“I am delighted to be joining Brookings, an institution that has done so much to increase understanding of how the economy works and what can be done to make it work better,” Dynan said. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues, including my friend Ted Gayer, to continue and increase the impact of Brookings’s first-class economic analysis on public policy.”

“I can think of no better place to conduct policy research today than Brookings,” Gayer said. “I’m excited about joining an institute with such great breadth and depth and I look forward to working with Karen to help expand Brookings’s contributions to high-caliber analysis in pursuit of innovation and economic growth.”

Bill Gale, who has served as vice president and director of Economic Studies since 2006, will return to full-time research at the Institution. He will continue in his role as co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint initiative of Brookings and the Urban Institute, and as director of the Retirement Security Project, a joint initiative of Brookings and Georgetown University.