Jagadeesh Gokhale, Ph.D., is an Adjunct Health Policy Fellow with Kansas Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow at Cato Institute. He is recognized internationally as an expert on entitlement reform, labor productivity and compensation, U.S. fiscal policy and the impact of fiscal policy on future generations. He works with Cato’s Project on Social Security Choice, has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Treasury, and was a visiting scholar with the American Enterprise Institute in 2003. Gokhale was also a senior economic adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland from 1990 to 2003. He has been widely published including in several top-tier economics journals such as theAmerican Economic Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, and in publications of the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He is also the author of two books, Fiscal and Generational Imbalances: New Budget Measures for New Budget Priorities and Social Security: A Fresh Look at Policy Alternatives. Gokhale holds a Ph.D. in economics from Boston University and is currently a member of the Social Security Advisory Board.

John R. LaPlante is an Education Policy Fellow with the Kansas Policy Institute. He has a Masters of Art in Political Science from The Ohio State University, where he studied the politics of economic development, social movements, and international relations. Mr. LaPlante has worked in the field of public policy since 1998, assisting lawmakers across the country in promoting consumer-driven, cost-effective solutions to the public issues of the day, particularly in regards to education. His commentaries have been widely published online and in publications such as the The Wichita Eagle, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Detroit News, and the Salina Journal.

John Merrifield, Ph.D., an Education Policy Fellow at KPI, is a member of the economics faculty at the University of Texas at San Antonio, a position he has held since 1987, the Editor of the Journal of School Choice, and Director of the E.G. West Institute for Effective Schooling. He has published The School Choice Wars, School Choices, Parental Choice as an Education Reform Catalyst: Global Lessons, 45 peer-reviewed journal articles, and several chapters in edited books in his primary teaching and research fields of Education Economics, Urban and Regional Economics, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, and Public Finance.  Merrifield received a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1977, a M.A. in Economic Geography from the University of Illinois in 1979, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wyoming in 1984.

Barry W. Poulson, Ph.D., an Adjunct Fiscal Policy Fellow at KPI, is a professor (retired) at the University of Colorado – Boulder and is the past president of the North American Economics and Finance Association. Additionally, he has served as a visiting professor at universities around the world including the University of North Carolina, Cambridge University in England, and Konan University in Japan. Beyond academia, Dr. Poulson has served in advisory roles to government and elected officials as a member of the Colorado Tax Commission, Vice Chair of the State Treasurer’s Advisory Group on Constitutional Amendments, and a member of the Commission to Strengthen and Secure the Public Employees Retirement Association. Dr. Poulson also serves in scholarly roles with Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, the Independence Institute, and the American Legislative Exchange Council. He is the author of numerous books and articles on a variety of economic topics and his “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” model legislation has been considered by many different state legislative bodies.

Jonathan Williams is an adjunct Fiscal Policy Fellow and the director of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), where he works with state legislators and the private sector to develop free-market fiscal policy solutions in the states. Prior to joining ALEC, Jonathan served as staff economist at the non-partisan Tax Foundation, authoring numerous tax policy studies. His work has been featured in many publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes and Investor’s Business Daily. With Dr. Arthur Laffer and Steve Moore, Williams co-authored Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer Economic Competitiveness Index. Jonathan has been a contributing author to the Reason Foundation’s Annual Privatization Report and has written for the Ash Institute at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. A Mid-Michigan native, Williams graduated magna cum laude from Northwood University in Midland, Mich., majoring in economics, banking/finance, and business management. While at Northwood, he was the recipient of the prestigious Ludwig von Mises Award in Economics.

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