Gatton's Troske Appointed to Federal Policymaking Commission

Posted: August 11, 2016

University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Outreach Kenneth R. Troske has been appointed to serve as a member of the newly established Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, part of the executive branch of the federal government.

Troske was appointed to the 15-member commission by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Among other responsibilities, the commission is charged with conducting a comprehensive study of the data inventory, data infrastructure, database security, and statistical protocols related to federal policymaking.

"Ken is highly qualified for service on this new commission," said McConnell. "He is a well-recognized researcher in the area of evaluating the effectiveness of government programs, or lack thereof. His research and experience at the University of Kentucky and his previous work at the Census Bureau make him well suited for this commission’s mission. I look forward to monitoring the activities of the commission and know that Ken’s leadership will be a welcomed addition to the commission’s work."

Established by congressional legislation passed earlier this year and signed into law by President Barack Obama, the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking is empowered to hold hearings, take testimony and receive evidence. The commission must submit a comprehensive report of its findings to the president and Congress within 15 months.

“Ken is an excellent choice,” said David Blackwell, dean of the Gatton College. “Both as an economist and as a leader on campus he promotes making important policy decisions — either by government or by the university — based on scientific evidence and good data. Further, he has examined the effectiveness or the potential impact of public policy through his academic research and as a consultant to government and industry. He is one of the leading economists in Kentucky and is very well respected across the economics discipline.”

Troske, the William B. Sturgill Endowed Professor of Economics at UK since 2005, previously served as a member of the Congressional Oversight Panel, which was created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to evaluate the U.S. Department of the Treasury's efforts under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, commonly referred to as TARP.

Troske, who earned his doctoral degree in economics from the University of Chicago, has served as a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany, since 2002. He also is in his seventh year as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Lexington Business Advisory Council.

"I am pleased that Sen. McConnell has chosen me to serve on this commission," Troske said. "My academic career has been focused on producing research that is designed to help policymakers make more informed decisions about the most effective ways to use taxpayer dollars. It is something I am passionate about, so I am excited to serve on a commission whose purpose is to increase the amount of policy research being conducted and to amplify the impact this research will have on government policy."

Troske's research consistently appears in leading academic journals and he is frequently quoted in the local, regional and national news media.

A 2014 recipient of the William T. Lyons Award for outstanding service to the university, the community and the Commonwealth, Troske is a member of the American Economic Association, the Southern Economics Association and the Society of Labor Economists.