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Jason Fichtner

New Board Member, Researcher, and Adjunct Professor

Jason Fichtner is a new Board Member of the Academy. He was also a panelist at the Academy’s Capitol Hill discussion of the 2017 Social Security Trustees Report and at the 29th Annual Policy Research Conference in January.

Fichtner, currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Public Administration and Policy.  His primary research interests and publications highlight federal tax and budget policies, retirement security, and Social Security.

“Jason is a triple threat policy wonk,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Economist for the American Action Forum, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, and Academy member. “He’s proficient at academic research, has guided the legislative process at the Joint Economic Committee and done real work on social insurance at the Social Security Administration.”

Fichtner is also an adjunct professor at multiple academic institutions.  He teaches courses in areas like public finance, economics, and public management to students at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and Policy, and the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy.  Fichtner is the editor of The Economics of Medicaid (Mercatus Center at George Mason University, 2014) and the author of The Hidden Cost of Federal Tax Policy (Mercatus Center at George Mason University, 2015).  His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic.  He has also made media appearances on NBC, NPR, and PBS.  Fichtner was elected to Academy membership this year. 

Fichtner began his career as a Research Assistant for the Independent Sector organization; while there, he helped organize bi-annual conferences and produced research on the nonprofit sector.  After this role, Fichtner served as an Economist for the Internal Revenue Service at the U.S. Department of Treasury.  He helped the IRS to increase the amount of electronically filed tax returns by creating econometric and simulation models and also researched the economic impact of administrative and legislative tax changes for the agency.  In 1999, he became a Senior Economist of the Joint Economic Committee for Congress.  Fichtner was responsible for conducting and publicizing his research on economic issues to Congressional leaders and staff, the media, and the public.  By 2007 he moved onto serving at the U.S. Social Security Administration.  He served as the Acting Deputy Commissioner, Chief Economist, and Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy.