January 23, 2012

Economist Faust named special adviser to Federal Reserve Board

The Federal Reserve Board has appointed Johns Hopkins University faculty member Jon Faust as special adviser in the Office of Board Members, effective Jan. 17.

Faust is the Louis J. Maccini Professor of Economics in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the director of the Center for Financial Economics at Johns Hopkins. His appointment is a homecoming of sorts—he served at the Fed before joining the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2006.

According to a news release from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Faust will become a special adviser “contributing to the monetary policy process and in staffing the Federal Open Market Committee’s subcommittee on communications.” Faust also will work with Steven Kamin, director of the Division of International Finance, “in analyzing key international issues.”

“Jon has an exceptional breadth of expertise in international economics, monetary economics, finance and econometrics, along with nearly two decades of prior experience in the Federal Reserve System,” said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke in the Fed’s news release.

Katherine S. Newman, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School, said that Faust has been granted a two-year “public service” leave of absence, given only to faculty who have been asked to contribute their expertise to institutions of government.

She praised Faust, commenting, “This is a wonderful opportunity for Jon as well as for the Center for Financial Economics. The Federal Reserve calls upon the nation’s most prominent economists for public service, and we are honored that they chose a member of our faculty for this important role. Their selection illustrates the remarkable quality of our colleagues. When Jon returns to Johns Hopkins in two years, our students will benefit from his even greater breadth of experience.”

Faust spent nearly 20 years in the Federal Reserve System, rising to the position of assistant director in the Division of International Finance, where he directed research on both international finance and trade. Faust has held visiting faculty posts at Prince-ton University, Georgetown University and the Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research at Indiana University.

A graduate of the University of Iowa, he earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of Oxford and a doctorate in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. His research spans the broad array of theoretical and applied topics confronted by macroeconomic policymakers, such as econometric measurement of policy effects, political economy of policy and understanding macro-financial linkages.

In Faust’s absence from Johns Hopkins, two co-directors have been appointed to the Center for Financial Economics: Robert Barbera and Jonathan Wright.

Barbera is the chief economist at Mount Lucas Management in New York and a fellow at the Center for Financial Economics, where he has taught his “economic forecasting” class each spring for the past nine years. A Johns Hopkins alumnus, Barbera earned both his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering, in 1974 and 1978, respectively. Wright is a professor in the Department of Economics who specializes in econometrics, empirical macroeconomics and finance. Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2008, he worked for nine years at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington.

“Jonathan and Bob are an extraordinary team to lead the Center for Financial Economics,” said Joseph Harrington, chair of the Department of Economics. “Since the CFE’s creation, they have been central contributors to its intellectual life and have been instrumental in bringing research and practice to our students. It is that blended scholar-practitioner approach that singularly defines the CFE in the academic landscape, and Jonathan and Bob are sure to be a dynamic duo for developing that vision.”