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January 28, 2021 - 1:00pm

State of the West Symposium 2021: COVID-19 in the Western States

State of the West Symposium 2021: COVID-19 in the Western States

The State of the West Symposium is a gathering at Stanford to take stock of the economic and fiscal health of the Western region. Since 2011, the symposium has featured academic researchers, business and investment practitioners, and other stakeholders concerned with the well-being of the millions of Americans who dwell on the sunset side of the hundredth meridian.

In 2021, the symposium will take place virtually and in three parts. The first session on January 28 is a joint effort between the Bill Lane Center and the Hoover Institution. This collaboration is focused on assessing the particular economic effects and regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the American West.  For more information, visit the State of the West website.

COVID-19: Economic Effects
January 28, 1PM PST


Matt Gress
Director, Arizona Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting

Gress is the Director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting. A recognized expert on Arizona policy, budgetary, and fiscal issues, Matt was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey in 2017 to lead the State in crafting a balanced, responsible and sustainable budget that protects taxpayers and invests in essential programs. Prior to his appointment, Matt served as Policy Advisor to Commissioner Andy Tobin at the Arizona Corporation Commission, the State’s utility regulator, and before that as a Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee. He has also taught high school English in the Tulsa Public School District in Oklahoma, and worked as a faculty associate at Arizona State University. Matt is active in his community, and just finished his service as a governing board member for the Madison Elementary School District in central Phoenix.




Eric Hanushek
Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Eric Hanushek has been a leader in the development of economic analysis of educational issues. His most recent book, The Knowledge Capital of Nations, describes the economic impact of higher achievement. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and completed his Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.







John B. Taylor
Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics, Stanford University
George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institution

John B. Taylor is an award-winning researcher and teacher specializing in monetary policy, macroeconomics, and international economics, he served as Senior Economist (1976–77) and Member (1989–91) of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, as Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs (2001–2005), and as a member of the California Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors from 1996-98 and 2005-10. He also served recently on the G-20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance. Taylor’s book Getting Off Track was one of the first on the 2008 financial crisis; he has since followed up writing or co-editing 15 additional books on restoring economic growth and preventing future crises, including First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity for which he received the Hayek prize.



COVID-19: Lessons from the Government Response
January 28, 2 PM PST


Niall Ferguson
Milbank Family Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Ferguson is the author of fifteen books, most recently The Square and the Tower. His previous book, Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His many other prizes include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013). In addition to writing a weekly column for the Sunday Times (London) and the Boston Globe, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, an advisory firm. He also serves on the board of Affiliated Managers Group. His new book, The Square and the Tower, was published in the U.S. in January.




Neal Woodbury
Faculty Member, Biodesign Center for Innovations in Medicine, Arizona State University
School Director and Professor, School of Molecular Sciences, Arizona State University
Chief Science and Technology Officer, Knowledge Enterprise, Arizona State University

Neal Woodbury is Interim Executive Vice President and Chief Science and Technology Officer for ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise. In this capacity, he advances ASU’s research, economic development, international development and corporate engagement and strategic partnership agendas, as well as oversees activities related to KE operations, institutes and initiatives. Throughout the course of his 32-year tenure with ASU, Woodbury has been a trusted resource and advocate for ASU’s research enterprise, regularly advising ASU leadership on issues related to the university’s major research activities. He has been responsible for developing new, large-scale collaborative projects, as well as facilitating broad interactions between the Knowledge Enterprise and ASU’s academic units.




Morris Fiorina
Wendt Family Professor of Political Science, Stanford University
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Fiorina's current research focuses on elections and public opinion with particular attention to the quality of representation: how well the positions of elected officials reflect the preferences of the public. Fiorina has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. He has served on the editorial boards of more than a dozen journals on political science, law, political economy, and public policy. From 1986 to 1990 he was chairman of the Board of Overseers of the American National Election Studies.




Event Sponsor(s): 
Hoover Institution
The Bill Lane Center

Live virtual event


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Julia Huber