BEA Leadership

Biographies

Brian C. MoyerDirector

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Brian C. Moyer is Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Dr. Moyer oversees BEA’s production of official economic statistics, which provide a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the U.S. economy that aids in decision making by businesses, policymakers and households.

Before he became Director, Dr. Moyer served in several key positions at BEA, including as the agency’s Deputy Director and as Associate Director for Industry Accounts. He is the author of numerous articles on measuring the performance of the U.S. economy. Much of his research has focused on improving industry-related statistics, including improved industry measures of volume and prices, expanded information on the sources and uses of intermediate purchases by industry, and improved industry-level productivity statistics. Dr. Moyer is an active participant in national and international efforts to improve economic statistics at the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and other official forums.

Dr. Moyer has received a number of awards, both for his management and leadership skills, as well as for improvements to BEA’s economic accounts. Dr. Moyer holds a Ph.D. in economics from the American University.

Visit the Director's page for key information about the agency and selected materials on BEA's activities.

Sarahelen "Sally" ThompsonDeputy Director

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Sarahelen “Sally” Thompson is Deputy Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Dr. Thompson works with BEA’s executive team to improve and expand the agency’s statistical programs. Before she became Deputy Director, she served as Associate Director for International Economics, where responsibilities included overseeing the U.S. International transactions accounts, the U.S. international investment position, statistics on the operations of multinational enterprises, and BEA's data collection programs for U.S. multinational enterprises as well as trade in services.

Before coming to BEA, Dr. Thompson was Director of the Market and Trade Economics Division in the USDA's Economic Research Service. Prior to that, she was Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, and Interim Assistant Director of the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station.

Dr. Thompson has been an active and contributing member of the profession of agricultural economics, serving on boards and publishing research on the performance of agricultural and food markets, futures markets, and agricultural economic history. She was co-editor of the journal Review of Agricultural Economics from 1998 to 2001. She received a Ph.D. from the Food Research Institute at Stanford University and B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Dennis J. FixlerChief Economist

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Dennis Fixler is Chief Statistician of the Bureau of Economic Analysis and is primarily responsible for statistical quality including source data, methods, interagency data sharing, dissemination policies, and leading selected research efforts. He also coordinates cross-program research projects.

Prior to joining BEA in June 2001, Dr. Fixler was at the Bureau of Labor Statistics; most recently serving as Chief of the Division of Price and Index Number Research. Previous positions were at the Federal Trade Commission and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has written articles on index number theory and construction, with particular attention to the development and implementation of service price indexes, as well as on other economic measurement issues. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University.

Paul FarelloAssociate Director for International Economics

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Paul Farello is the Associate Director for International Economics at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Mr. Farello oversees the production of, and research focused on, the U.S. international economic accounts, which include the U.S. international transactions and investment position accounts and statistics on foreign direct investment and other activities of multinational enterprises.

Previously, Mr. Farello held several leadership positions over 25 years in BEA’s Balance of Payments Division (BPD), including chief and assistant chief, from which he led numerous efforts to enhance the quality and usefulness of BEA’s international statistics, including a significant expansion of the statistical detail available for measuring impacts of globalization on the U.S. economy.

Mr. Farello earned a BA in economics from Miami University.

Joel D. PlattAssociate Director for Regional Economics

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Joel Platt is Associate Director for Regional Economics at the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  He is responsible for the production of all sub-national economic statistics including gross domestic product by state, personal income by state, county and metropolitan area, and regional economic multipliers.  Prior to joining BEA, he served for 18 years in the Office of Tax Analysis (OTA), U.S. Department of the Treasury; most recently in the positions of Director for Receipts Forecasting and Director for Revenue Estimating.  At OTA, he was responsible for forecasting federal government tax receipts and estimating the revenue effects of federal tax policy.

Mr. Platt also served in the State of New York where he held the positions of First Deputy Director of the New York State Emergency Financial Control Board for the City of New York, Executive Director of the New York State Emergency Financial Control Board for the City of Yonkers and Director of Tax and Fiscal Studies for the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee.  He attended the State University of New York at Albany where he received his B.A. and M.A. in Economics.

Erich H. StrassnerAssociate Director for National Economic Accounts

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Erich H. Strassner is Associate Director for National Economic Accounts at the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Mr. Strassner oversees the calculation of official economic statistics that track the performance of the U.S. economy. These include BEA’s flagship economic measure, gross domestic product (GDP), as well as its major components such as consumer spending and business investment.

Mr. Strassner has led several new, innovative data projects. He shaped the creation of statistics measuring the fast-changing digital economy and capturing the effects of outdoor recreation activities on the country’s economic performance. And, Mr. Strassner is leading efforts to explore economic measures beyond GDP to better gauge Americans’ well-being.

He has received a number of awards for leadership and management, including U.S. Department of Commerce Gold and Silver Medals, the department’s highest honors, and the Arthur S. Flemming Award for outstanding public service.

Mr. Strassner holds an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and an M.A. in economics from The George Washington University.

Thomas HowellsAssociate Director for Industry Accounts

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Thomas Howells is the Associate Director for Industry Accounts at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Mr. Howells is responsible for the estimation and analysis of BEA’s input-output accounts and gross domestic product by industry. During his time with BEA, he has held several leadership positions in the Industry Accounts, most recently serving as Chief of the Industry Analysis Division. Mr. Howells has also led several cross-cutting efforts that include development of BEA’s new outdoor recreation satellite account, the integrated industry-level production account (a joint project with the Bureau of Labor Statistics), and international collaboration to develop trade in value added statistics for both the North America and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) regions.

Mr. Howells has received various awards for his contributions to BEA’s industry economic accounts, including two U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medals and BEA’s George Jaszi Award for Leadership. He has an M.A. in Economics from George Mason University and a B.A. in Economics from Brigham Young University.

Jeff ChenChief Innovation Officer

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Jeff Chen is the Chief Innovation Officer of the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Mr. Chen is responsible for integrating innovations in data science and machine learning to advance the Bureau’s mission. He has extensive experience in launching and leading data science initiatives in over 40 domains and working with diverse stakeholders such as firefighters, climatologists, and technologists.

Before coming to BEA, Mr. Chen was the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Chief Data Scientist; a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow with NASA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy focused on data science for the environment; and the first Director of Analytics at the NYC Fire Department, where he engineered pioneering algorithms for fire prediction. He started his career as an econometrician at an international engineering consultancy, where he developed forecasting and prediction models supporting large-scale infrastructure investment projects.

Mr. Chen is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy, where he teaches a graduate course on data science. He holds a B.A. in economics from Tufts University and a M.A. in applied statistics from Columbia University.

Brian CallahanChief Information Officer

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Mr. Callahan is BEA's Chief Information Officer. As CIO, Mr. Callahan provides leadership and direction for the Bureau's information technology program. The CIO plans for and directs the full range of information technology functions that are required to support and improve the quality and timeliness of the Bureau's statistical products and services.

Mr. Callahan has 24 years of federal service in the area of information technology. Before his appointment as BEA's Chief Information Officer, Mr. Callahan served for seven years as BEA's Deputy Chief Information Officer. Mr. Callahan's background at the Bureau includes extensive experience in managing day-to-day operations and information technology planning and budgeting. Mr. Callahan has a Masters degree in Computer Systems Management from University of Maryland University College.

Kathleen JamesChief Administrative Officer

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Kathleen James is the Chief Administrative Officer of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, returning to the Department of Commerce where she previously served in the Office of Training and Knowledge Management, Office of the Secretary.  She directly oversees the communication and administrative functions of the Bureau.  Dr. James was Deputy Director of Administration at the National Labor Relations Board immediately before joining the BEA staff.  She has been involved in administrative management, training, and instructional technology since 1974.  She earned an M.A. from Purdue University and a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland at College Park.

After having taught at the junior high/high school, university, and adult levels for ten years, she managed a university media center and was tapped to plan and direct a residential language immersion program for a hundred students studying seven languages at the University of Maryland.  She left academia in 1992 to join the Department of State at the Foreign Service Institute where she served in progressively more responsible positions as Language Training Supervisor, Director of Multimedia and Library Services, and Associate Dean for Management.  She initiated and expanded a cutting edge distance learning curriculum beginning in 1995 that boasts over one hundred custom-designed self-study and instructor-led online courses.  She contributed directly to the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative by analyzing and proposing new hiring policies and training opportunities for Foreign Service Officers.

Dr. James is an administrative generalist with extensive financial and administrative management, supervisory, and workforce development expertise.