ⓘ Chief economist


ⓘ Chief economist

Chief economist is a single-position job class having primary responsibility for the development, coordination, and production of economic and financial analysis. It is distinguished from the other economist positions by the broader scope of responsibility encompassing the planning, supervision, and coordination of the economic research.


1. Synopsis

The chief economist is a supervisory and leading class with substantial responsibility for the exercise of independent judgement in employing, disciplining, or adjudicating grievances of subordinates.

Chief economists work primarily in banks and government institutions. They are also common in economic research units from university departments; economics, business, and finance publications; and other research bodies in economics. By the 2010s, the chief economist position was established at large internet companies such as Google and Microsoft. Further, a trend began in data and financial services companies to utilize chief economists in customer- and media-facing roles to help in placing data in a larger economic context.


2. Government positions

In the European Union EU, the post of Chief Economist aka Chief Competition Economist was created in 2003 as part of the European Commission, reporting to the Director General for Competition. This role is primarily focused on advising around the application of EU competition rules and providing input to legal cases before the European Courts.

In Kenya, as of 1998, the role of chief economist was expressed as "Chief Economist/Statistician" and resided in the Ministry of Planning and National Development, one responsibility of which was to lead "a planning department or the Central Bureau of Statistics".

In the United States government, there are several Offices of the Chief Economist for different departments. For instance, the Office of the Chief Economist within the United States Department of State was first staffed in March 2012 by Heidi Crebo-Rediker, and the Office of the Chief Economist within the United States Department of Agriculture is led, as of 2014, by Joseph W. Glauber. From 2014-2016, the Chief Economist for the US State Department was Rodney D. Ludema. The Chief Economist as of 01/20/2019 to present is Dr. Sharon Brown-Hruska.

In Canada, the Office of the Chief Economist reports and advises on international trade and economic issues, including global, regional and sectoral trends and developments; and undertakes trade and economic research and analysis in support of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canadas various functions: trade and investment policy, including negotiation of international agreements; international business development; and trade litigation. The post-holders are civil servants responsible to the Minister of International Trade. Export Development Canada and Business Development Canada both have Chief Economists too.