Founding Director, Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy
James V. Koch is Board of Visitors Professor of Economics and President Emeritus at Old Dominion University. He has held positions at Illinois State University, California State University at Los Angeles, the University of Grenoble (France), Brown University, Rhode Island College, Ball State University, the University of Hawai’i, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and the University of Montana. He served as President of the University of Montana (1986-1990) and Old Dominion University (1990-2001) and was named one of the 100 most effective college presidents in the United States.
Director, Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy
Professor Robert M. McNab currently serves as the Director of the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy in the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University. He has published over 50 articles and chapters and is an Associate Editor with Journal of Economic Surveys and a board member of Public Finance and Management and Management and Organization Review. He serves as the editor of the State of the Region: Hampton Roads, State of the Commonwealth, and Dragas Center’s national and Virginia economic forecasts. He has also worked internationally in more than 40 countries on issues related to the allocation of public resources. Governor Ralph Northam appointed Dr. McNab the Joint Advisory Board of Economists in June 2018. He has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginian Pilot, and Daily Press as well as television and radio in the Hampton Roads area. Dr. McNab joined the faculty of the Department of Economics in the Strome College of Business of Old Dominion University in July 2016 and previously was a member of the faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California from 2000 to 2016. Professor McNab received his Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Stanislaus in 1991 and his Ph.D. in Economics in 2001 from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Chief Administrative Officer, Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy
Barbara Blake serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of The Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy. Dr. Blake has been a Contributing Author to the highly cited State of the Region and State of the Commonwealth reports since 2015. Her research interests include the Economics of Social Issues and Domestic and International Migration and she has presented economic research at Harvard University and at the UK Ministry of Defence in Shrivenham, England. In 2018, Dr. Blake received the Strome College of Business Administrator of the Year Award. She earned her B.S. in International Business from High Point University, High Point, North Carolina, a Masters in International Studies from the University of Leeds, Leeds, England, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from The George Washington University, Washington, DC. Dr. Blake is a Quality Matters (QM) Certified Master Peer Reviewer and an experienced QM Subject Matter Expert (SME) in Economics, an LMI Institute Applied Analyst and a Certified Microsoft Faculty Fellow.
Deputy Director, Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy
Vinod Agarwal, Director of the Economic Forecasting Project and Professor of Economics, earned his doctoral degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He served as a member of the Virginia College Building Authority for the Commonwealth of Virginia from July 204 through June 2012. He was a member of the Governor’s Advisory Board of Economists from 2006 to 2010. Professor Agarwal also served as the Chairman of the Old Dominion University Economics Department from 2001 to 2006.
Senior Fellow, Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy
Larry “Chip” Filer, Senior Fellow of the Dragas Center and Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Old Dominion University, earned his doctoral degree in economics from the University of Kentucky. Prior to rejoining the faculty in January of 2014, Dr. Filer served as MBA Director and Associate Dean for the Strome College of Business.
Fellow, Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy
Tim Komarek, Associate of the Economic Forecasting Project and Assistant Professor of Economics, earned his doctoral degree from Michigan State University. Prior to joining Old Dominion University, he held a faculty position at Valdosta State University.
Fellow, Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy
Jay Walker received his B.S. in Economics and Finance from Arkansas Tech University and MBA from the University of Mississippi. After spending five years working in the insurance and retail industries as an analyst he returned to the University of Memphis to pursue his PhD in Economics. While at Memphis he had graduate assistant posts at both Nathan Associates, an economic consulting firm, and the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research. After graduation his first full-time academic post was at Niagara University in western New York where he spent five years prior to joining us in Fall 2017. He considers himself an applied Microeconomist and much of his prior research has focused on topics in education and labor.
Technology Administrator, Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy
Ziniya Zahedi received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. She joined the Dragas Center in 2018 as the Technology Administrator. Previously, she worked at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) as an Analyst. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Systems Engineering and Engineering Management. Her fields of expertise are Research, Technology, Healthcare, Artificial Intelligence, Engineering Management, and Systems Engineering.
Researcher, Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy
Feng Lian received her B.S. in Computer Sciences and M.S. in Management from University of Electronic Science and Technology in China. She pursued her M.A in Economics in Old Dominion University and earned her M.A. degree in 2006. She joined the Economics Department in 2006 as an adjunct faculty and has been holding a position as a lecturer since 2015. She teaches Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics and Managerial Economics.
Research Assistant, Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy
Ethan Crouson is currently a junior studying economics at Old Dominion University. Ethan has a passion for global issues and is interested in pursuing a career in international economic development. He is working as a Research Assistant at the Dragas Center.