Young Gun Alum | Donald Schneider ’12

He might only be 26, but this School of Business alum is already impacting tax policy on Capitol Hill.

Donald Schneider ’12 is the senior economist for the Committee on Ways and Means at the U.S. House of Representatives. The Ways and Means Committee has a wide jurisdiction encompassing tax policy, international trade, health care, Social Security, and welfare. Schneider advises the Chairman and committee staff on economic issues – and also provides analysis on macroeconomic modeling of fiscal policy, the debt limit and budgetary matters, as well as poverty and income mobility.

Donald Schneider 12, senior economist for the Committee on Ways and Means at the U.S. House of Representatives

Donald Schneider 12, senior economist for the Committee on Ways and Means at the U.S. House of Representatives

And he is getting noticed. Forbes recently named him to its 30 Under 30 list, an annual honor awarded to 600 young entrepreneurs and talent in 20 different sectors. Schneider made the list for law and policy.

“It is amazing to see what our students are capable of achieving after they graduate,” said Peter Calcagno, professor of economics and director of the Center for Public Choice and Market Process. “I had the pleasure of teaching Donald in two of my classes and he was a great student.  It has been fun keeping up with him and watching him become an impressive young economist.”

For his part, Schneider credits School of Business professors with fanning his interest in economics. His father introduced him to the field at an early age because he holds a Ph.D. in Economics and spent his career working on policy.

Schneider recalls changing his original plan to major in international business after taking microeconomics with Douglas Walker, professor of economics, his freshman year. That, followed by other coursework, particularly macroeconomic analysis, comparative economic systems, and senior seminar, fueled his interest in policy and the role of empirical research.

Schneider took these skills to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University, where he earned an MA in Applied Economics and went on to work at a think tank and later as an economist at the House Budget Committee for now Speaker Paul Ryan in D.C.

“Donald is a great example of what happens when talent and drive intersect,” said Mark Witte, associate professor of economics, who served as Schneider’s academic advisor and helped guide his graduate study plans. “Seeing him evolve from undergrad, to graduate student, to policy maker reminds all of us about the importance of education’s role in life.”

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