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About the Center

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The mission of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy is to improve the quality and efficacy of fiscal and monetary policies and public understanding of them. It provides independent, non-partisan analysis and draws on the expertise of Brookings Institution scholars and of experts in government, academia, think tanks and business, as well as the guidance of its Advisory Council. By commissioning research, convening private and public events and harnessing the power of the Internet, it seeks to generate new thinking, promote constructive criticism and provide a forum for reasoned debate.

The Center was founded with a gift from the Hutchins Family Foundation.



David Wessel, Director

David joined Brookings in December 2013 as a senior fellow after 30 years on the staff of The Wall Street Journal where, most recently, he was economics editor and wrote the weekly Capital column. He is a contributing correspondent to The Wall Street Journal, appears frequently on NPR’s Morning Edition and tweets often at @davidmwessel.


Louise Sheiner, Policy Director

Louise is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings, where she pursues research on health spending and other fiscal issues. Sheiner previously served as an economist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System since 1993, most recently as the senior economist in the Fiscal Analysis Section for the Research and Statistics Division. She was also appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury (1996), and served as Senior Staff Economist for the Council of Economic Advisers (1995-96). Before joining the Fed, Sheiner was an economist at the Joint Committee on Taxation. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, as well as an undergraduate degree in biology at Harvard.

Stephanie Cencula headshot_hutchins center assistant director

Stephanie Cencula, Assistant Director

Stephanie oversees the Center’s projects and operations, including outreach, communications, and development. She was previously a senior manager with The Atlantic’s events team, and before that, spent several years with Brookings’ Center on Children and Families. She holds a B.A. in Government and Spanish from the University of Virginia.

Ben Bernanke

Ben Bernanke, Distinguished Fellow

Ben is a Distinguished Fellow in residence with the Economic Studies Program at Brookings, as well as a Senior Advisor to PIMCO and Citadel. From 2006 to 2014, he was the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Before his appointment as chairman, Ben chaired the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2005 to 2006. Ben has published many articles on a wide variety of economic issues, including monetary policy and macroeconomics, and he is the author of several scholarly books and a New York Times best-selling book, The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermath, (October, 2015).


Donald Kohn, Robert V. Roosa Chair in International Economics

Don focuses on issues of monetary policy, financial regulation and macroeconomics. He is a 40-year veteran of the Federal Reserve System and served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve from 2002 to 2010, the last four years as vice chairman. He has also been appointed by the government of the United Kingdom to serve on the Financial Policy Committee at the Bank of England. He is on a number of advisory committees to US government agencies, including for the Office of Financial Research, the FDIC, and the Congressional Budget Office.


Nellie Liang, Senior Fellow

Nellie is the Miriam K. Carliner Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. She also is a Visiting Scholar at the International Monetary Fund, Lecturer at the Yale School of Management, and is a member of the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Economic Advisors. Prior to joining Brookings in February 2017, she was the founding director of the Division of Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Board. Nellie’s research specialties in recent years include financial stability, credit markets, and the intersection of financial and monetary policy.

Janet Yellen headshot - Hutchins Center page

Janet Yellen, Distinguished Fellow

Janet is a Distinguished Fellow in Residence with the Economic Studies Program at Brookings and is the former chair of the Federal Reserve Board from 2014 to 2018. Prior to her appointment as chair, Janet served as vice chair of the Board, taking office in October 2010. She is Professor Emerita at the University of California at Berkeley where she was the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business and Professor of Economics and has been a faculty member since 1980. Janet is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has written on a wide variety of macroeconomic issues, while specializing in the causes, mechanisms and implications of unemployment.

Manuel Alcala Kovalski - Hutchins Center

Manuel Alcala Kovalski, Senior Research Assistant

Manu joined the Hutchins Center after completing his B.A. in Mathematical Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He has interned at the Becker Friedman Institute, the University of Miami’s Health Management and Policy department, and the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics. While at Penn, he wrote a thesis on the aggregate and distributional consequences of financial globalization.

Sophia Campbell

Sophia Campbell, Research Assistant

Sophia joined Hutchins after graduating from Harvard University, where she studied Economics and English. During her time at Harvard, she wrote a thesis on the long-term socioeconomic impacts of childhood exposure to air pollution. She has previously interned the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, researching topics in Consumer Finance for the Research and Statistics Division, and at Opportunity Insights, focusing on policies that improve upward mobility in the United States.

Haowen Chen - Hutchins Center Center Coordinator

Haowen Chen, Senior Center Coordinator

Haowen supports senior fellows and assists in project and event coordination at Hutchins. Prior to joining Hutchins, she was a Governance Associate at the Society for Neuroscience. She received her bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University, and is currently studying research administration at Johns Hopkins for her masters.

Anna Dawson_meitu_3

Anna Dawson, Events Manager

Anna is an Events Manager for Economic Studies where she is responsible for professional conferences and public events for the Hutchins Center, the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, and the Center on Regulation and Markets. Prior to joining Brookings, Anna worked in communications and events management at the National Endowment for Democracy and before that as an Editorial Assistant at the Center for International Private Enterprise. Anna holds a B.A. in communications and political science from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Masters in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California.


Lorena Hernandez Barcena, Research Assistant

Lorena joined the Hutchins Center after a year as a Policy Analyst at the Social Security Advisory Board in Washington, D.C. She received a B.A. in Economics from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, where she wrote a thesis on the effect of the Bracero program on marriage, divorce, and education in Mexico. She was previously a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley.


Tyler Powell, Research Analyst

Tyler joined the Hutchins Center from the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C, where he was a Research Assistant in the Advanced Foreign Economies section. He received a B.A. in Economics from Case Western Reserve University. He has previously worked on projects studying the history of antitrust policy in the United States, wage Phillips curves in advanced foreign economies, and the effects of home ownership on labor market outcomes during the Financial Crisis.

Kadija Yilla - Hutchins Center

Kadija Yilla, Senior Research Assistant

Kadija joined Hutchins after a year as an analyst at Goldman Sachs supporting their Investment Management division. Prior to that role, she completed her undergraduate degree from Pomona College, where she studied economics and mathematics. While at Pomona, Kadija completed a mathematical thesis on the formation and propagation of cascades in social networks. In addition, she also worked on a senior project examining peer effects in Pakistan schools.

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