Winter Institute - Innovative Economics

Speakers and Presenters

Feb. 20-21, 2020

Economic Climate, Changed

Panel Speakers

King Banaian photoKing Banaian is dean of the School of Public Affairs at St. Cloud State University. He is also a professor in the Department of Economics at SCSU. He holds the Ph.D. in economics from the Claremont Graduate School. He is author of The Ukrainian Economy since Independence (Edward Elgar, 1998), co-editor of The Design and Use of Political Economy Indicators (Palgrave, 2008) and more than forty articles and book chapters discussing monetary policy and political economy. He has served as a consultant to central banks and governments in several developing countries. King was state representative in the Minnesota House for District 15B, 2011-13. He is also host of the King Banaian Show on Business1440 KYCR broadcast in Minneapolis, and co-author of the St. Cloud Quarterly Business Report. He specializes in the economy of central Minnesota and the state, monetary affairs, and higher education. He lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota, with his wife Barbara.


Luke Greiner photoLuke Greiner is the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s regional analyst for central and southwestern Minnesota. Luke conducts research, writes publications, and provides presentations about Greater Minnesota's economy, job market, industry trends, career and educational decision making, and higher education outcomes. He has a bachelor's degree in management from Park University in Parkville, MO and currently serves on the National ACT Steering Committee and Minnesota State ACT Council.


Nimantha Manamperi photoNimantha Manamperi is an associate professor of economics and the director for data analytics graduate certificate at St. Cloud State University. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from Texas Tech University. His research addresses: economic growth, monetary policy and economic education. His research has been published in many respected academic journals including: Journal of Policy Modeling, Applied Economic Letters, Empirical Economic Letters, Journal of Economics and Financial Issues. He also serves as an editorial board member for International Journal of Economics, Finance and Management Sciences. He enjoys teaching and specializes in teaching Macroeconomics, Forecasting and Time Series Econometrics, Monetary Policy. Previously he worked at Berea College and as a Business Analyst at Roomsnet International (pvt) Ltd.

Jennifer McMillin

Jennifer McMillin photoJennifer McMillin is the director of sustainability at Cleveland State University. She is a 2001 graduate of St. Cloud State with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Spanish and a minor in Environmental Studies.

She earned a Master of Environmental Science degree in 2007 while studying as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia’s national capital.

Jennifer has over a decade of experience in the higher education sustainability sector. She has held both academic and operational sustainability roles with research focusing on strategies for engaging students in campus sustainability initiatives and methods to link teaching, research and operations. Her work has contributed to numerous awards for campus environmental management including the International Sustainable Campus Network Excellence Award for engaging the campus community in sustainability initiatives.

Her current role at Cleveland State University involves designing a cross campus sustainability program, developing a sustainability strategy for the university and integrating sustainability into the culture and operations of the university.

David Easterling, Ph.D.

David Easterling photoDavid R. Easterling, Ph.D.
NCEI Center for Weather and Climate
Weather Science Division

David Easterling is a Supervisory Physical Scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NOAA/NCEI) in Asheville, North Carolina. He is currently Director of the Technical Support Unit (TSU) for the U.S. National Climate Assessment. The TSU provides scientific, editorial, graphical, and software support to the U.S. National Climate Assessment and sustained assessment process of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. In his career at NOAA he has developed or enhanced methods to improve the quality of climate data sets, helped guide the development of high quality climate observing networks, and analyzed climate data for evidence of climate variability and change.

David received his Ph.D. in 1988 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served as an Assistant Professor in the Atmospheric Sciences Program, Department of Geography, Indiana University-Bloomington from 1987 to 1990. In 1990 he moved to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center as a climate scientist, was appointed Principal Scientist in 1999, Chief of the Global Climate Applications Division in 2002, and Director of the Technical Support Unit in 2013. He is an adjunct Professor in the Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department at N.C. State University.

He has authored or co-authored more than 100 research articles and book chapters on climate science. David was a Lead Author on the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, the IPCC Special Report on Climate Extremes, the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, a Convening Lead Author for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP) 3.3 on Climate Extremes, and a Convening Lead Author on the Fourth National Climate Assessment. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and has been awarded four NOAA Administrator’s Awards, four NOAA Bronze Medals, and one Department of Commerce Silver Medal.

Catherine Wolfram

Catherine Wolfram photoCatherine Wolfram is the Cora Jane Flood Professor of Business Administration and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

She is the Program Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research's Environment and Energy Economics Program, Faculty Director of the E2e Project, a research organization focused on energy efficiency and research affiliate at the Energy Institute at Haas. She is also affiliated faculty member of the Agriculture and Resource Economics department and the Energy and Resources Group at Berkeley.

Wolfram has published extensively on the economics of energy markets. Her work has analyzed rural electrification programs in the developing world, energy efficiency programs in the US, the effects of environmental regulation on energy markets and the impact of privatization and restructuring in the US and UK. She is currently implementing several randomized controlled trials to evaluate energy programs in the US, Ghana, and Kenya.

She received her PhD in Economics from MIT in 1996 and an AB from Harvard in 1989. Before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, she was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard.

John Mahowald, M.D. F.A.C.C.

John Mahowald photoJohn Mahowald, M.D. F.A.C.C. is a cardiologist at CentraCare Heart and Vascular Center in St. Cloud. A graduate of St. John’s University and the University of Minnesota Medical School, he has been with CentraCare since 1983. He has numerous publications and research projects to his name and is a member of the American College of Physicians and a fellow with the American College of Cardiology.