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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

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.

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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).

Don Kohn

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.

Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti

Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, Senior Fellow

Gian Maria is a senior fellow in the Hutchins Center. He was previously Deputy Director in the Research Department of the IMF (2014-21), where he directed the department’s work on multilateral surveillance, including the World Economic Outlook, G-20 reports, spillover analysis, and economic modeling. Between 2012 and 2014 he was IMF mission chief to the United States. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from Università di Roma La Sapienza in 1985 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1991. He joined the London School of Economics thereafter, and moved to the IMF in 1993. He has published extensively in the areas of international capital flows, international financial integration, current account sustainability, capital controls, taxation and growth, and political economy. Since 1996 he is a Research Fellow of the London-based Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR).

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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, Senior 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.

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Haowen Chen, Project Manager 

Haowen assists in project and event coordination at Hutchins and manages the production of Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA) – a semi-annual academic conference and journal published by Brookings Economic Studies program. 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 a master’s in research administration from Johns Hopkins University.


Lorena Hernandez Barcena, Senior 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.

Eric Milstein_Hutchins_Research Analyst

Eric Milstein, Research Analyst

Eric joined the Hutchins Center from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York where he was a Senior Research Analyst in the Macroeconomic and Monetary Studies function. He received a B.A. in Economics and Statistics from the University of Chicago. He has previously interned at the New York Fed’s Supervision Group, the Harris School of Public Policy, and NORC at the University of Chicago.

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Nasiha Salwati, Research Assistant

Nasiha joined the Hutchins Center after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she double majored in Economics and Mathematics, with a minor in Statistics. At UNC, she wrote a thesis exploring the effect of unemployment insurance benefits on labor market outcomes, specifically occupational mobility. Her other projects have included studying intergenerational mobility and the long-term effects of parental education, as well as exploring the socioeconomic factors that predict health insurance coverage in the US.

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