Financial Literacy Seminar Series

September 28, 2017

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Seminar II | Policy Panel on Tax Reform and Personal Finances

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Claudia Sahm, Moderator

Federal Reserve Board

Leonard Burman

Institute Fellow, Urban Institute


Gordon Gray

Director of Fiscal Policy, American Action Forum

Alan Viard

Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

FinLit Talks: Interviews with Financial Literacy Thought Leaders


George Washington University School of Business
Duquès Hall, Room 652
2201 G Street NW
(main entrance on 22nd Street between G and H Streets)

Bio: Claudia Sahm, Moderator

Claudia Sahm is currently the chief of the Consumer & Community Development Research section at the Federal Reserve Board. Her research is on the household response to fiscal stimulus, expectations, and economic measurement. She previously worked on the Board staff’s macroeconomic forecast, starting in 2007. Sahm was a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in 2015-2016. She has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from Denison University.

Bio: Leonard Burman 

Leonard Burman is an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute, the Paul Volcker Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and senior research associate at Syracuse University’s Center for Policy Research. He co-founded the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, in 2002. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis at the Treasury from 1998 to 2000 and Senior Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office from 1988 to 1997. He is past-president of the National Tax Association (NTA) and 2016 recipient of the NTA’s Davie-Davis Award for Public Service.  Burman is the coauthor with Joel Slemrod of Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know and author of The Labyrinth of Capital Gains Tax Policy: A Guide for the Perplexed, and co-editor of several books.  He is often invited to testify before Congress and has written for scholarly journals as well as media outlets such as the Washington Post, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Bio: Gordon Gray

Gordon Gray is director of fiscal policy at the American Action Forum, with areas of expertise in the economy and the budget. Most recently, he served as senior policy adviser to Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and also served as policy director during Portman’s campaign. Before joining the campaign, he was a professional staff member for the Senate Budget Committee, and before that was deputy director of domestic and economic policy for Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign. He also worked for several years at the American Enterprise Institute.

Bio: Alan Viard 

Alan D. Viard is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies federal tax and budget policy. Prior to joining AEI, Viard was a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and an assistant professor of economics at Ohio State University. He has also been a visiting scholar at the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Tax Analysis, a senior economist at the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, and a staff economist at the Joint Committee on Taxation of the US Congress. While at AEI, Viard has taught public finance at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute. He also cohosted the New York University Law School tax policy colloquium in the spring 2015 semester. Earlier in his career, Viard spent time in Japan as a visiting scholar at Osaka University’s Institute of Social and Economic Research. A prolific writer, Viard is a frequent contributor to AEI’s “On the Margin” column in Tax Notes and was nominated for Tax Notes’s 2009 Tax Person of the Year. He has also testified before Congress, and his work has been featured in a wide range of publications, including Room for Debate in The New York Times,, Bloomberg, NPR’s Planet Money, and The Hill. Viard is the coauthor of “Progressive Consumption Taxation: The X Tax Revisited” (2012) and “The Real Tax Burden: Beyond Dollars and Cents” (2011), and the editor of “Tax Policy Lessons from the 2000s” (2009). Viard received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in economics from Yale University. He also completed the first year of the J.D. program at the University of Chicago Law School, where he qualified for law review and was awarded the Joseph Henry Beale prize for legal research and writing.