AEI Scholars Available to Comment on State of the Union


In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 25, President Obama is expected to present a plan to improve the economy and reduce unemployment through competitiveness and innovation. In anticipation of this theme, the following American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholars will be available to comment:

Improving the economy and reducing unemployment

Alex Brill, AEI Research Fellow

A former chief economist to the House Ways and Means Committee, Brill has also served on the staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisors. He is an expert on international tax policy, corporate taxation and entitlement reform.

Topics: The debt limit, corporate tax reform, economic competitiveness (202.862.5931)

Alan Viard, AEI Resident Scholar

A former senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Viard is the author of AEI's Tax Policy Outlook. He has also worked for the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Analysis, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, and the Joint Committee on Taxation of the U.S. Congress.

Topics: Tax reform, curbing the national debt (202.419.5202)

Assistant: (202.862.5862)

Economic competitiveness

Claude Barfield, AEI Resident Scholar

A former consultant to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Barfield is an expert on trade agreements and international competitiveness.

Topics: International trade, energy and manufacturing subsidies for US products

To reach Claude Barfield, please contact Hampton Foushee at (202.862.5806)

Philip Levy, AEI Resident Scholar

An expert on international economics and trade, Levy has worked on the secretary of state's Policy Planning Staff and served as an economist for trade on the president's Council of Economic Advisers.

Topics: International trade, free trade agreements, China (202.862.5890) Assistant:

The political implications and context of the speech

Karlyn Bowman, AEI Senior Fellow

Bowman compiles and analyzes American public opinion using available polling data. She has studied and spoken about the evolution of American politics because of key demographic and geographic changes.

Topics: Obama's political standing, popularity

To reach Karlyn Bowman, please contact Hampton Foushee at (202.862.5806)

John C. Fortier, AEI Research Fellow

A political scientist by training, Fortier is the principal contributor to the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and executive director of the Continuity of Government Commission.

Topics: The political context, implications of Obama's speech (202.828.6038)

Assistant: (202.862.5899)

Norman J. Ornstein, AEI Resident Scholar

A long-time observer of Congress and politics, Ornstein serves as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission and as codirector of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project.

Topics: Obama's political capital going into the SOTU, political implications of the speech (202.862.5893)

Assistant: (202.862.5899)

Education and competitiveness

Frederick Hess, AEI Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies

An educator, political scientist, and author, Hess studies a range of K-12 and higher education issues.

Topics: Education reform, improving educational competitiveness

Assistant: (202.862.5933)

Andrew Kelly, AEI Research Fellow

An education policy expert, Kelly's research focuses on higher education policy, congressional policymaking, and political behavior. He is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Topics: Higher education reform, No Child Left Behind reauthorization (202.419.5209)

Mark Schneider, AEI Visiting Scholar

A former commissioner of the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics--the primary federal office that collects and analyzes data relating to education--Mark Schneider writes about a broad range of education issues: charter schools, consumer choice in education, the relationship between school facilities and academic outcomes, and higher education policy.

Topics: Education reform and competitiveness (202.403.5510)

Green innovation and energy competitiveness

Kenneth Green, AEI Resident Scholar

An environmental scientist by training, Green has served as an expert reviewer for the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and studies public policy involving regulation, green technology, and the environment.

Topics: Green technology and American competitiveness (202.862.4883)

Assistant: (202.862.5820)

Health care reform and the economy

Joseph Antos, AEI Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy

Antos is a commissioner of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, a health adviser to the Congressional Budget Office, and an adjunct professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written extensively about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the federal budget.

Topics: Medicare cuts, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and the federal deficit (202.862.5938)

Assistant: (202.862.4876)

Thomas P. Miller, AEI Resident Fellow

Miller is a former senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) and an expert on health care policy and regulation. His recent writings have focused on efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with alternative health care reform.

Topics: Health care reform, cost control and strategies to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (202.862.5886)

Assistant: (202.862.5886)

Defense competitiveness and the deficit

Thomas M. Donnelly, Resident Fellow and Director, Center for Defense Studies

Donnelly, a defense and security policy analyst, is the director of the AEI Center for Defense Studies. From 1995 to 1999, he was policy group director and a professional staff member for the House Committee on Armed Services.

Topics: Military competitiveness, defense policy, national security (202.862.7186)

Assistant: (202.862.7184)

*Note: Thomas Donnelly will be unavailable after 4 pm on Tuesday

Danielle Pletka, AEI Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies

A former Senate Committee on Foreign Relations staff member, Pletka is an expert on national security and defense policy.

Topics: Defense spending and the implications for military competitiveness

Assistant: (202.862.5872)

*Note: Danielle Pletka will be providing real-time commentary throughout President Obama's speech at: and

Gary Schmitt, AEI Resident Scholar and Director of Advanced Strategic Studies

Schmitt is a former staff director of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. His work focuses on the longer-term strategic issues that affect America's security at home and its ability to lead abroad.

Topics: Military competitiveness, US-China security issues, counterterrorism (202.862.5831)

Assistant: (202.862.7184)

*Note: Gary Schmitt will be available beginning late Tuesday afternoon

For additional help in reaching any of the above scholars, please contact Veronique Rodman at (202.862.4871) or Hampton Foushee at (202.862.5806).

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