Douglas Holtz Eakin ’80

B.A., Denison University, 1980
Ph.D., Princeton University, 1985

Director of the Congressional Budget Office
Washington, D.C.

Citation awarded June, 2005

Douglas Holtz-Eakin is the sixth director of the Congressional Budget Office. His four-year appointed term began February 3, 2003. Previously, he served for 18 months as chief economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisors; he was senior staff economist for that group in 1989-90.

Doug is Trustee Professor of Economics at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, where he has served as chair of the department and associate director of the Center for Policy Research. He has served as editor of the National Tax Journal and associate editor of the Journal of Human Resource. He has been on editorial boards of a number of journals, including Public Budgeting & Finance, Economics and Politics, Journal of Sports Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, and Public Works Management and Policy.

Doug has held academic appointments at Columbia and Princeton. Since 1985, he has been a faculty research fellow and research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research. From 1996-98, he served as a member of the Economics Advisory Panel to the National Science Foundation. He has been a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and consultant to the New Jersey State and Local Expenditure and Revenue Policy Commission and the State of Arizona Joint Select Committee on State Revenues and Expenditures. In New York, Doug was consultant to New York State Office for the Aging, a member of the Board of Economic Advisors for the Ways and Means Committee, and executive director of the Tax Study Commission for the State Assembly.

Doug’s research skills are impeccable and Republicans and Democrats alike generally give him high marks for laying out the facts in all their ambiguity and letting the political combatants sort it out. The result is a well-deserved reputation for professional integrity. As he puts it, “The only shield one has in a job like this is your professional credibility. If you try to play around with that, you end up in a morass.”

Doug has a long-standing and broad interest in the economics of public policy. He has studied the role of federal taxes in home ownership, the contribution of inventories to the business cycle, and a wide variety of topics in state and local government finance. Much of his research has centered on the economics of fundamental tax reform, productivity effects of public infrastructure, income mobility in the United States; and the role of families, capital markets, health insurance, and tax policy in the start-up and survival of entrepreneurial ventures.

Doug’s most recent connection to Denison was his appearance as part of the Provost Lecture Series, speaking to students, faculty, and community guests about all aspects of his job.

We honor Douglas Holtz-Eakin for his non-partisan contributions to the exercise of politics, his dedication to educating future economists, and his staunch insistence on integrity in both arenas.