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Bridging research and policy

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Many of our faculty affiliates have worked in presidential administrations since SIEPR’s founding in 1982, helping shape and inform economic policymaking with their academic expertise. These videos spotlight Gopi Shah Goda and Neale Mahoney, both SIEPR senior fellows, who have served in key national economic advisory positions. 

Gopi Shah Goda

Gopi Shah Goda, a SIEPR senior fellow, made a policy impact during her yearlong role as a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers. This four-part series gives an inside look at her time in Washington, D.C.

“It definitely feels like I’m leaving my comfort zone.”

Meet Gopi Shah Goda as she gets ready to leave Stanford for her yearlong position as a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers. Eager to work so close to the White House and make an impact, there are also logistics to deal with: Packing up a house, moving a family, and putting a pause on 12 years of work at SIEPR.

"I'm getting a call I have to take..."

Six weeks into her role at the CEA and settled into her office at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Gopi gets an urgent call: President Biden will announce later today that workers at larger businesses must be vaccinated against COVID. The CEA is needed to weigh in on various aspects of the new rule, and Gopi sees firsthand how “economists have a seat at the table.”

“There was no manual to tell me how to think about this new topic.”

After focusing most of her academic work on the economics of aging, Gopi relies on basic economic principles and her years of experience and expertise as a researcher to tackle new economic questions posed by a presidential order.

"I have a passion for connecting research to policy."

Although the Supreme Court ultimately blocked President Biden’s vaccine mandate, Gopi realizes that having a policy in effect for even a short period of time can make a big difference. And she returns to Stanford energized to find more ways to directly connect her scholarship and her colleagues’ work to the economic policymaking process.

Neale Mahoney

Neale Mahoney is the incoming director of SIEPR and recently served on the National Economic Council. His role as a special policy advisor required his academic expertise to guide decisions made by the White House. Neale describes his experience in Washington, D.C., what hooked him on econ, and the importance of a “two-way street” between academia and the policy world.

"You are working on the most difficult, most consequential problems in this country."

He "got the bug" for economics and public policy as a high school student. Since then, Neale Mahoney has committed himself to merging those interests and building a pipeline between Stanford and Washington, D.C.