Columbia AP to become first ever chief economist at US Department of Education

The Biden Administration has appointed Jordan Matsudaira as the inaugural chief economist at the U.S. Department of Education.

He takes up the new post while also continuing to serve in his current role as deputy under secretary at the department.

Matsudaira is an economist from Teachers College at Columbia University, whose research has focused on the relationship between education and the labor market and how government policy can promote socioeconomic mobility.

In the new post, he will be tasked with providing data analysis that informs policy, building a culture of innovation and liasing with the research community. Matsudaira will coordinate research between Department of Education (DOE) sub-agencies including the office of the chief data officer.

Previously, Matsudaira was chief economist of the presidential Council of Economic Advisers during the Biden administration, and led the interagency team developing data for the DOE’s college scorecard initiative.

Commenting on the appointment in a blog post, Under Secretary for Education James Kvaal, said: “Jordan is the perfect person to define and carry out the role of Chief Economist … [Matsudaira] has worked with higher education systems and state governments to develop data infrastructure and research partnerships to support data-driven decision making—a focus of this Administration. And he’s experienced in bringing rigorous data analysis and evidence to crafting policy at the highest levels of government.”