Speaker Bios

 

Chris Thornberg | Sean Flynn

 

Chris Thornberg
Director, UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecasting and Development

Christopher Thornberg is Founding Partner of Beacon Economics, LLC and widely considered to be one of the nation’s leading economists. He is also Director of the Center for Economic Forecasting and Development at UC Riverside’s School of Business Administration. An expert in economic forecasting, regional economics, labor markets, economic policy, and real estate analysis, he was one of the earliest and most adamant predictors of the subprime mortgage market crash that began in 2007, and of the global economic recession that followed. Since 2006, he has served on the advisory board of Wall Street hedge fund, Paulson & Co. Inc.

In 2015, he was named to California State Treasurer John Chiang’s Council of Economic  Advisors, the body that advises the Treasurer on emerging strengths and vulnerabilities within the state’s economy. From 2008 to 2012, he served as economic advisor to the California State Controller’s Office, and as Chair of then State Controller John Chiang’s Council of Economic Advisors.

A highly sought after speaker, Dr. Thornberg regularly presents to leading business, government, and nonprofit organizations across the globe including Chevron, The New Yorker, City National Bank, REOMAC, the California State Association of Counties, Colliers International, State Farm Insurance, the City of Los Angeles, and the California and Nevada Credit Union League, among many others. He has testified before the U.S. Congress House Committee on Financial Services on municipal debt issues, and before the California State Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation regarding rule changes related to Proposition 13.

Dr. Thornberg has been involved in conducting research and developing analytic products for international clients that explore the trade and economic connections between the United States and the world. This has included analysis and speaking presentations regarding the impact that U.S. trading partners have on U.S. global competitiveness for the Centre for Investor Education in Melbourne Australia, the state of U.S. and U.K. housing markets for the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, and U.S. and international economic outlooks and their effect on global trade activity for the African Cashew Alliance in Cotonou, Benin. He has also conducted a number of special studies measuring the effect of important events on the economy including the NAFTA treaty, the California electricity crisis, port security, California’s water transfer programs, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Dr. Thornberg serves on the Residential Real Estate Committee at the University of San Diego’s Burnham-­‐Moores Center for Residential Real Estate. He is also a panel member of the National Association of Business Economists’ quarterly “Outlook,” a contributor to the “Economic Consensus Outlook” published by the Journal of Business Forecasting, and a contributor to monthly economics polls published by Reuters.

Dr. Thornberg also serves on the boards of a number of business, civic, and nonprofit organizations including on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, as an Executive Member of the Central City Association (Los Angeles), as a Business Leader Member of America's Edge, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening businesses and the economy through public investments in youth and education, and on the Advisory Board of the Asian Real Estate Association of America. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Lamda Alpha International, the honorary society for the advancement of land economics, and serves on the Advisory Committee of United Ways of California’s coming California Financial Stability Report.

Prior to launching Beacon Economics Dr. Thornberg was a senior economist with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast where he regularly authored economic outlooks for California, Los Angeles, the East Bay, and developed specialized forecasts for a variety of public and private entities. He previously taught in the MBA program at UCLA’s Anderson School, in the Rady School of Business at UCSD, and at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. He has also held a faculty position in the economics department at Clemson University.

A well-­‐known media commentator, Dr. Thornberg has appeared on CNN and NPR and is regularly quoted in major national dailies including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Originally from upstate New York, Dr. Thornberg holds a Ph.D in Business Economics from The Anderson School at UCLA, and a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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Sean Flynn, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Economics, Scripps College

Sean Flynn is an associate professor of economics at Scripps College in Claremont, California. He is the author of the international best-seller Economics for Dummies as well as the coauthor, along with Campbell McConnell and Stanley Brue, of the world’s best-selling college economics textbook, Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies. (That textbook is also the world’s best selling textbook of any subject.)

Sean teaches and writes about healthcare economics and is an expert on Singapore’s free-market healthcare system, which delivers the world’s best healthcare for 75 percent less than what the United States spends and 50 to 60% less than what Canada, the United Kingdom, and other industrialized nations spend.

Sean has made multiple research visits to Singapore, including as a guest of the Singapore Ministry of Health. His upcoming book is titled, “The Singapore Solution: How Singapore Used Forgotten American Ideas to Deliver the World’s Best Healthcare for 75 Percent Less.”

Sean’s research specialties are behavioral economics and behavioral finance, with a focus on irrational investors. An occasional commentator on FOX Business, ABC News, and NPR, Sean holds a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley, where he completed his dissertation under the supervision of 2001 Nobel Laureate George Akerlof.

An avid martial artist, Sean is also a former aikido national champion and has coached five of his students to U.S. national aikido titles.

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