Paul Coomes and John Garen to join Pegasus Institute as senior fellows

Paul Coomes, left, and John Garen
Paul Coomes, left, and John Garen

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2017) — Pegasus Institute, a public policy think tank based in Louisville, announced the addition of two senior fellows on Monday, Dr. Paul Coomes and Dr. John Garen.

Coomes, a retired emeritus professor of economics at the University of Louisville who recently worked in the Bevin Administration as executive director of the Office of Health Policy in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and Garen, the BB&T professor of economics in the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky, will both join the organization, effective immediately.

Both will work on research projects of their own choosing, as well as projects that promote Pegasus Institute’s overall mission.

“It’s huge news for our organization,” said Jordan Harris, the founder of Pegasus Institute. “It expands our research capacities. It allows us even more filters to push ideas through to refine our work, and new avenues to promote our brand. We cannot overstate how excited we are to work alongside these incredibly talented individuals to make Kentucky a better place to live, and find solutions to our states biggest policy problems. There aren’t many academics in the commonwealth that are more highly respected than Paul Coomes and John Garen. Adding them as senior fellows, along with our stable of policy advisors and academic advisors, gives us even more confidence that we have the most talented collection of policy minds in Kentucky affiliated with our organization.”

The role of senior fellow does not impact existing roles for either men, or prohibit them from taking on other academic roles. John Garen retains his position at the University of Kentucky in his full capacity.

Bio for John Garen

John Garen is the BB&T professor of economics in the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky and was the founding director and an affiliate of the John H. Schnatter Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise. He has been a member of the Gatton faculty since 1985. Dr. Garen received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1982 and has served as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, a visiting scholar at the Mercatus Center, at National Sun Yat-Sen University, and at National Taiwan Normal University, and is a member of the Mercatus Center’s Faculty Network.

From 2005-2009 he served as department chair and during 2004-2005 he was co-director of the Gatton College’s Center for Business and Economic Research. Dr. Garen’s interests have focused on the economics of organizations, labor and human resource economics, and the role of government in society. He has conducted research on a wide variety of economic issues, leading to over 35 publications in many of the foremost academic journals, as well as numerous reports and manuscripts. Based on this experience, Dr. Garen has generated a flow of opinion columns, media work, and presentations to the public on the economy and economic issues, and on the importance of economics to good public policy.

Bio for Paul Coomes

Paul A. Coomes is a graduate of Brescia College (BA), Indiana University (MS), and the University of Texas (Ph.D.). Professor Coomes came to the University of Louisville from Texas in 1985. Most of his research concerns regional and urban economics, economic development, and measurement problems.

His scholarly research has appeared in many journals, including Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Real Estate Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Regional Science, Environment and Planning A, Urban Studies, Economic Development Quarterly, and the Journal of Economic and Social Measurement. Coomes is past president of the Kentucky Economic Association, and past chair of the economics department at Louisville.

He has had university-based contract research arrangements with most of the large organizations in the region, including UPS, General Electric, Amazon, Churchill Downs, Louisville Water Company, Brown-Forman, Humana, Kentucky Fair Board, Kentucky Hospital Association, and several state government cabinets. Professor Coomes has completed several major projects that impact local economic development policy, including the macro performance measuring system that became the analytical basis behind the Boyle Report and the organization of Greater Louisville, Inc., Louisville’s Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Coomes served in the Bevin Administration as executive director of the Office of Health Policy in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Dr. Coomes lives with his wife in eastern Jefferson County. He is descended from William and Jane Coomes, who arrived in 1774 at Fort Harrod, Ky. where Jane became the first school teacher in the state. His hobbies include hiking, camping, cycling, and carpentry.

His favorite quote is by Nobel Laureate Ronald Coase: “If you torture the data long enough, Nature confesses.”

About Pegasus Institute

Pegasus Institute is a first of its kind, millennial-led, state-based think-tank. Our mission is to provide public policy research and solutions that help improve the lives of all Kentuckians. Pegasus Institute operates as an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization focused on state and local policies.

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