Staff

Staff Directory

Gwendolyn Aldrich, Research Scientist II
B.S. (Economics), Lewis & Clark College, 1994
M.S. (Agricultural & Resource Economics), Oregon State University, 2002
Ph.D. (Economics), University of New Mexico, 2008
Since joining BBER in 2011 Gwendolyn has worked on a variety of projects addressing a wide array of socioeconomic issues, including oil and gas development, environmental and natural resource issues, health matters, public transportation, and equity concerns. Specific projects in which Gwendolyn has had a substantial or primary responsibility include an analysis of the impacts of technology change on New Mexico’s oil and gas revenues, socioeconomic assessments of New Mexico’s National Forests, an impact analysis of New Mexico’s Sustainable Building Tax Credit, and an econometric analysis of pay equity among University of New Mexico faculty. Her roles in these and other projects have included data collection, model development, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and production of written reports. Gwendolyn has solid econometric and statistical skills, experience working with and analyzing survey data, and the ability to produce written reports that communicate effectively with professional and lay audiences.

Before joining BBER Gwendolyn was a Senior Economist at the New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department, where she gained experience with New Mexico tax issues. Prior to working at NM Taxation & Revenue Department her graduate research focused on issues pertaining to invasive vegetation management and the regulation of environmental externalities, specifically the resource and environmental effects of regulating exhaustible resource extraction, the integration of risk preferences into regulations imposed on agricultural nonpoint pollution, and the regulation of urban sprawl.

Staff Directory

Doleswar Bhandari, Sr. Research Scientist (Economist)
B.Sc. (Agriculture), Tribhuwan University, Nepal, 1992
M.M. (Agribusiness Management), University of Philippines, 1997
M.S. (Agricultural Economics), Louisiana State University, 2003
Ph.D. (Agricultural Economics), University of Missouri, 2008
Doleswar has been working at the University of New Mexico's (UNM) Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) since July 2008. His research focus has been economic impact analysis, economic modeling, statistical analysis, and healthcare related studies. He is interested in economic development, participatory development, subjective wellbeing, workplace happiness, and experiential learning. After joining BBER, Doleswar has conducted research for a number of federal, state, local and private agencies including New Mexico Office of Recovery and Reinvestment, Los Alamos National Lab, Air Force Research Lab, New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force, New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, University of New Mexico, University of New Mexico’s Health Science Center, Albuquerque Public Schools, Bernalillo County, the City of Albuquerque, City of Las Cruces, Santa Fe County, New Mexico Loan Fund, New Mexico Highlands University, and Federal Highway Administration.

Doleswar has a unique mix of expertise in regional economics, participatory development, statistical analysis, and business analytics. He has expertise in statistical and econometric tool kits including economic forecasting, spatial econometrics, simultaneous equation modeling, factor analysis, qualitative and limited dependent variable technique, multivariate analysis, linear mixed modeling, non-linear modeling, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and panel data and time series analysis. He has 11 years of experience working with SAS programming to manipulate, summarize, and produce reports from multiple large, complex data sets and conducting econometric analysis.

Doleswar has designed and administered social surveys. He has worked in multidisciplinary research teams, and coordinated research and development program as a team leader. He presented research papers to various audiences in and outside of the university setting. Before joining BBER, Mr. Bhandari earned his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri, Columbia. His dissertation research analyzed the impact of spatial interactions between Missouri counties on the local labor, housing and public goods markets. Doleswar obtained a master's degree in Agricultural Economics from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge in 2003. Before joining the master's program, he worked for nine years in various community development programs in Nepal.

Staff Directory

Debbie Garcia, Accountant III
B.A. (Business Administration), New Mexico Highlands University
M.B.A. (Management Information Systems), New Mexico Highlands University
With over 16 years of Higher Education financial experience, Debbie is currently employed as an Accountant III with the Institute for Policy, Evaluation, and Applied Research (IPEAR) under the Office of the Vice President for Research. Responsibilities include Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Pre-Award, Post- Award, Labor management, and Financial Management for the departments under IPEAR, including the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Center for Education Policy Research, and Geospatial and Population Studies. Debbie collaborates with all components of the organization to ensure adherence to federal and state financial reporting regulations and guidelines, and conformity with university fiscal policies and procedures.

Prior to joining the IPEAR, other positions within her career have included Financial Analyst in the Budget Office at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences, Senior Budget Analyst at Central New Mexico Community College, Senior Financial Coordinator with the State of New Mexico Higher Education Department, and Accountant with New Mexico Highlands University. Debbie holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Management Information Systems from New Mexico Highlands University.

Staff Directory

Jeffrey Mitchell, Director
B.A. (Economics & Political Science), University of Pennsylvania, 1982
M.A., Ph.D. (Economic Geography), Clark University, 1996
Dr. Mitchell has been with BBER since 2003 and became BBER’s Director in 2014. As director, he oversees BBER’s research activities and information services, and manages the Bureau’s day-to-day operations and long-range strategic plans. Since 2010, Jeff has contributed to BBER's New Mexico economic forecasting service (FOR-UNM). His responsibilities at FOR-UNM include oversight of data collection, model development, forecast preparation, written publication of results, and presentations of the forecast to professional and lay audiences.

Jeff is engaged in research on a wide range of issues, generally focusing on problems of community and regional economic development in New Mexico. His work typically involves an integration of economic and institutional analyses, with the purpose of developing a framework and strategies for community economic planning. Major projects have included 23 community economic assessments for New Mexico MainStreet; inventories and assessments for the state’s Arts & Cultural District program; socioeconomic assessments of the five national forests in New Mexico; studies of the creative economies of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and a statewide study commissioned by the NM Department of Cultural Affairs; housing analyses for Santa Fe County and the Town of Taos; programmatic needs assessments for the United Way of Central New Mexico; strategic and institutional assessments of the economy of San Miguel County; an analysis of tax increment financing in the City of Las Cruces. He is co-founder and board member of SHARE New Mexico, a web-based referral and data portal for New Mexico residents, grant-makers, non-profit organizations and social service providers.

Before joining BBER, Jeff was on the faculties of Clark University in Massachusetts, New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico. He has published in various scholarly journals, including Economic Geography, Urban Geography and Applied Geography. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Venezuela, an international economist with Chase Econometrics (an early form of Global Insight), and a project manager for a nonprofit organization promoting alternative energy development.

Staff Directory

Michael O'Donnell, Research Scientist III
B.S. (Business Economics), University of Arizona, 2002
J.D. University of Arizona, 2006
M.S. (Agricultural and Resource Economics), University of Arizona, 2010
Michael has been with BBER since 2010, where he has conducted a variety of socioeconomic analyses related to national, state and local economies. His research includes tax policy analysis, legal analysis, demographic analysis, housing policy and revenue forecasting. In addition, he regularly conducts analysis of employment and income dynamics as he is responsible for maintaining BBER's quarterly FOR-UNM state and regional econometric forecasting model, which is detailed economic forecasting model of the New Mexico economy. In that capacity, he is responsible for data collection, model development, forecast preparation and final forecast report compilation. He is also responsible for writing select portions of the report, assisting in the writing of the FOR-UNM Bulletin, which is a summary of the New Mexico and U.S. economies, and writing a quarterly article summarizing the state of the New Mexico economy in New Mexico Business, Current Economic Report.

Prior to joining BBER, Michael was a graduate research assistant in the department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Arizona, where his research focused on the development of innovative water trading arrangements for the purpose of improving water supply reliability. In that capacity, he worked on a multidisciplinary project sponsored by the United States Bureau of Reclamation for the express purpose of bringing together disparate academic disciplines with the goal of improving water management in the southwest United States. Prior to his graduate education, Michael began his legal studies at the University of Texas at Austin and completed his training at the University of Arizona. He is a member of the Arizona State Bar.

Staff Directory

Suzan Reagan, Senior Program Manager - Data Bank
B.S. (Mathematics, Minor in Computer Science), College of Santa Fe, Dec 1990
Suzan was hired by the bureau in 2013 to over see the BBER Data Bank. She has over 20 years of experiences in analyzing industry and occupation statistics for New Mexico's economy. She came from New Mexico's Department of Workforce Solutions, Economic Research and Analysis Bureau where she worked on a variety of programs involving Labor Market Information. She has been requested to do presentations to a variety of audiences including the annual Data Users Conference.

Staff Directory

Lee Reynis, Research Professor, Economics
B.A. (Economics), Mount Holyoke College, 1970
M.A., Ph.D. (Economics), University of Michigan, 1973, 1976
Lee joined BBER in 1998 as the associate director. She became the director of BBER in August 1999, holding that position until July 2014. Since coming to BBER, Lee has been actively involved in producing, with Larry Waldman, quarterly economic forecasts for New Mexico and for the Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces MSAs using the FOR-UNM model. She has been the principal investigator on a number of major research projects, including: a study of the feasibility of South Valley incorporation; three studies of the Santa Fe Living Wage (2007, 2005, 2004), the research report for the New Mexico First Town Hall on the Management and Future of Federal Investment in New Mexico (2005); an analysis of the financial costs and benefits of the proposed City-County Consolidation (2004); various regional studies, including a community audit for Raton (with Tony Sylvester, 2004) and a study of the changing economy and demographics in Lea County and the larger region (with Dely Alcantara, 2007); several studies on New Mexico health care, including a study of the economic impacts of alternative models for achieving universal coverage (2007), a household survey that explored health care coverage and access (2000), and a study that produced estimates of NM health care expenditures (1998); and, various economic and fiscal impact analyses, including estimating the fiscal impacts of Industrial Revenue Bond proposals to the City of Albuquerque (continuing) and a study of the economic importance of the arts and cultural industries in Santa Fe (with Jeff Mitchell, 2004).

Lee has been a close observer of the New Mexico economy for almost 25 years. Before joining the BBER, she was the City Economist for the City of Albuquerque for 12 years, where she prepared the City's revenue estimates, worked on capital financings, and analyzed financial policy issues and as well as issues related to the costs and benefits of growth. Prior to joining the City, she worked as an economic analyst and then as the Chief Economist for the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration in Santa Fe. Lee has taught a number of courses over the years at the University of New Mexico and was formerly on the faculty at the University of Utah.

Staff Directory

Daren Ruiz, Research Scientist III
B.S. (Statistics), University of New Mexico, 2004
M.A. (Economics), University of New Mexico, 2006
Daren has been with BBER since 2005, where he has conducted a variety of socioeconomic research, which includes:

  • Economic impact analysis
  • Fiscal impact analysis (gross receipts and property tax estimation and forecast)
  • GIS analysis
  • Revenue modeling and forecasting
  • Survey design, implementation, and data analysis

He has conducted research for federal, state, county, and municipal governments, as well as for other political subdivisions. Several examples of his research are listed below along with links to the reports.

  • For the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, he conducted the National Visitor Use Monitoring Survey for Cibola National Forest, for which he gained UNM Institutional Review Board approval to conduct research on human subjects. (NM Business Monthly, August 2011)
  • For the New Mexico Department of Transportation, he has estimated highway-related revenue and expenditures for New Mexico Counties and Municipalities, to compile and submit Form-536 to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.
  • For the New Mexico State Land Office, he has modeled and forecasted oil and gas royalties. (NM Business Monthly, January 2012)
  • For the Santa Fe County Growth Management Department, he has modeled and forecasted employment.
  • For the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department, he has conducted economic and fiscal impact analysis of proposed Industrial Revenue Bonds and Local Economic Development Act projects. (NM Business Monthly, January 2009)
  • For the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority, he has estimated the increase in flood insurance cost that would occur if the United States Army Corps of Engineers de-authorized the levees along the Rio Grande in Bernalillo County.

Staff Directory

Julian Baca, Research Scientist
B.A. (History), Yale University, 1999
M.A. (Economics), University of New Mexico, 2004
Julian joined BBER in 2015 and has worked on research projects, including the New Mexico state public education capital outlay process and a study assessing the impact of small business equity and debt investments on the local economy. He has contributed articles to the New Mexico Business Weekly on the topics of local labor force development, the oil & gas industry, public finance, and foreign trade. Julian is also involved with the Evaluation Lab under the UNM Public Policy program.   A native of Albuquerque, Julian has varied experiences, including community organizing, and advocacy work. In his free time he enjoys outdoors activities and spending time with his family.

UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research • Onate Hall at The University of New Mexico
303 Girard Blvd. NE, Suite 116; Albuquerque, NM 87106 • 505.277.2216 Main • 505.277.6626 Data Bank