Meet the 2023-24 NABE Scholars

The NABE Scholars Program is a key initiative of The NABE Foundation first offered in 2020 to expand opportunities in the profession for economics students and early-career economists from diverse backgrounds. Each year, early-career economists and economics students from groups underrepresented in the profession are named as NABE Scholars and awarded complimentary registration to four NABE conferences and one CBE continuing education course. Scholars also receive a complimentary NABE membership and a stipend to help offset travel costs to attend events. Interested in supporting the NABE Scholars Program? Please consider a donation to The NABE Foundation

Meet the 2023-24 Class of NABE Scholars below! 

Arthak Adhikari, Econ One Research
Arthak Adhikari is a professional economist with more than 3 years of experience working for the government and private sector. He completed his Masters in Science in Applied Economics from the University of Maryland College Park. Following the completion of his graduate studies, Arthak joined the Bureau of Labor Statistics as a Research Economist. After 2 and a half years with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arthak made a career transition to litigation consulting, initially with FTI Consulting, where he supported the development of economic analysis for various litigation such as antitrust litigation, intellectual property, product liability, and fair lending litigation, among others. Arthak is now a senior economic analyst with Econ One Research.

Merlissa Alexandre, The Conference Board
Merlissa graduated from Stony Brook University with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics. She started exploring economics during an internship at the Institute for Economics and Peace during the summer of 2022, and afterwards started her current role as a research assistant at The Conference Board. There, she helps to support their work in forecasting the US economy and developing economic scenarios on the Oxford Economics Global Economic Model. Merlissa is also interested in International Relations as she was a JFEW SUNY Global Affairs Scholar during her time as an undergrad. In the future, she hopes to earn her master’s degree as she continues to explore the economics field.

Ashley Allen, J.P. Morgan Private Bank
Ashley Allen is Executive Director, Global Credit Strategy for J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Prior to this, she worked for Franklin Templeton, where she provided fundamental investment analysis of the US Retail, Food & Beverage and Consumer Products industries for both the high yield and investment grade sectors.  Prior to joining Franklin Templeton, she worked as a high yield credit research associate in the Global Investment Research Division at Goldman Sachs. Ashley also previously worked for several years in the Personal and Workplace Investing Division of Fidelity Investments where she provided investment-oriented financial planning services for high net worth families. She has appeared on Bloomberg TV and Radio, participates in various industry panels, and regularly mentors young women and underrepresented minorities who are interested in careers in finance. Ashley earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and her MBA from Columbia Business School where she was a Robert Toigo Foundation Fellow. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder as well as a CFP® professional.

Frances Bayly, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
Frances graduated from Covenant College with a dual degree in economics and business. She also received a master’s in applied economics from Purdue University with a certification in financial economics. She started work as an economic forecaster at TVA. Frances worked to better understand the key drivers and economic factors influencing the Tennessee Valley region. She served as a program manager supporting strategic decision making around wholesale pricing and market purchase. She currently is the manager of Enterprise Performance which supports the analysis and reporting of the TVA enterprise. Frances is a part-time adjunct professor at Covenant College teaching Econometrics and Behavioral Economics.

Ana-Maria Colina, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT
Ana-Maria Colina is a Senior Policy Associate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT, specializing in the Crime, Violence, and Conflict sector. Ana-Maria contributes to the organization's mission by writing influential policy publications, managing the Crime and Violence Initiative, and fostering new research partnerships. Prior to joining J-PAL, she worked as a research assistant for the Development Data Lab and the Center for International Development and Conflict Management. Ana-Maria's dedication to social causes is evident through her volunteer work with a women's advocacy group in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and her role as a youth tutor for the immigrant and refugee population in Columbus, Ohio. She holds a master's degree in international economics and finance from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, as well as bachelor's degrees in economics and international development from the Ohio State University. Ana-Maria aims to leverage her skills in economics and policy to address complex challenges and contribute to positive societal change.

Valerie De La Rosa, Trend Innovation Lab
Valerie De La Rosa is an economist at Trend Innovation Lab based in New York. Her research primarily focuses on financial economics and corporate governance and has been recognized with two research grants from the City University of New York (CUNY). Prior, she held roles at Condé Nast. De La Rosa graduated cum laude with a Master of Arts in Economics from the City University of New York - John Jay College. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin.  Outside her professional pursuits, De La Rosa serves as First Vice Chair for Manhattan Community Board 2.

Shelby Francis, Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI)
In 2022, Shelby Francis joined RESI as an Economist. She works closely with RESI’s research associates to provide economic forecasts, economic commentary, and data analysis. She assists in developing comprehensive research plans for new projects and guides research staff in achieving the stated research objectives. Prior to this role, Shelby was a graduate research assistant at University of Maine, performing research for the USDA on the value chain of organic grain production. She was also an undergraduate research assistant at Towson University, working on a research project assessing the effect of free cataracts surgery on food security outcomes. Shelby earned a M.S. in applied economics from University of Maine and a B.S. in economics from Towson University. 

Edgar Gonzalez, United Parcel Service (UPS)
Edgar is a Planning and Forecasting Senior Analyst in UPS's Economic and Market Analysis team. He is responsible for modeling and forecasting the small package market to provide insightful information to internal stakeholders regarding market positioning, competitor analysis, and macroeconomic trends. Prior to joining UPS, Edgar earned a Master's degree in Economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. In recognition of his academic performance, Edgar was honored with the 2018 Economics Student Achievement Award at Georgia State University. He has gained valuable experience working at organizations such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Michael Green, Federal Reserve Board
Michael is a recent graduate from Ursinus College with a degree in applied economics. He has worked as a public policy intern for the Commonwealth Foundation in Pennsylvania. Last summer he was a scholar in the AEA Summer Program at Howard University. Currently Michael is working as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He aspires to earn a Ph.D. in economics and work to influence policy. NABE will provide the opportunity for continued learning under the guidance of successful economists and alongside a cohort of amazing peers. 

Nassir Holden, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia 

Nassir graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina A&T with a B.S. in economics and a minor in Spanish. He is a Research Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. In his role, Nassir focuses on regional, urban and labor economics. He plans to earn a Ph.D. in economics.  

Nia James, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
Nia is currently an Economist in the Mining, Manufacturing and Fixed Assets Branch of the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).  She is responsible for developing and analyzing estimates for durable goods and equipment. Nia joined BEA with a background in agricultural systems, agribusiness and applied economics. She has 5 years of experience working in the agricultural industry. More specifically, Nia has worked as a Research and Communications Analyst for a small consulting firm, a bank examiner for the Farm Credit Administration, and a Statistician for USDA. Nia holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Agribusiness and Applied Economics from North Carolina A&T State University.

Xavier Muriithi, State Street
My journey from Atlanta to Boston began during my time at Clemson University, where I graduated with a B.S. in Economics and a minor in Legal and Political Theory with a certification in the Lyceum Program. It was here where I found my passion for the global economy and markets gaining knowledge from some of the best that the south had to offer. I am looking to use this experience in Boston with State Street to further my skills in the professional world by trying different things and rotating into distinct roles within the bank. In the long term, I will utilize the tools I gained to become a board member & launch my own business. Therefore, I am hoping to use my time as a young professional over the next few years to build myself up and find my passion to become a successful businessperson.

Vanessa Ntungwanayo, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Vanessa has long possessed an interest in the utilization of economic methodology toward the exploration of social inequity. She currently works as a research analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Economic Research Department, helping to conduct research on racial differences in labor outcomes within the US, as well as forecast policy for the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. Prior to this, she received her bachelor's degree in economics and psychology from Wellesley College. Vanessa is very eager to take part in the NABE Scholars Program, and anticipates that it will provide access to exciting new research ideas, methodologies, and networks. In the future, she hopes to acquire a PhD in either public policy or economics, and continue her research at a think tank or governmental organization.

Anat Nusinovich, National Association of REALTORS®
Anat Nusinovich is an economist with the National Association of REALTORS®. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a master’s of science in Applied Economics. During her degree, she interned at the Inter-American Development Bank, where she analyzed data and literature on labor markets and policies for the Labor and Social Security Division. Before moving to the United States, she received a bachelor’s degree in economics and management from Toronto Metropolitan University and worked for a business accelerator in Toronto, Canada. Currently, she is looking for her next opportunity as an applied economist in an organization where she can help solve energy and environment-related issues.

Godwin Nutsugah, University of Georgia
Godwin Nutsugah is a dedicated Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Georgia. His research focuses on applied econometrics, development economics, machine learning, and causal inference, showcasing his commitment to merging complex economic theories with modern computational approaches. Godwin holds a master's degree from Michigan State University. His academic journey is a testament to his drive and intellectual curiosity, which he brings to all his professional pursuits. Godwin is a voracious reader outside the academic realm, constantly seeking to broaden his knowledge and perspectives through literature. He also values his time with friends, appreciating the joys and insights from interpersonal connections. As a NABE scholar, Godwin is eager to bring his unique skills and interests to the program. He looks forward to significantly contributing to his field and learning from the dynamic and diverse community of scholars.

Cassia Rodrigues, University of Maryland
With prior formal experience in Finance and Banking, I am currently engaged in the pursuit of a graduate degree at the University of Maryland. I aim to contribute to organizations dedicated to providing finance, advice, and research to developing nations. My career goals for the next five years include making a significant impact in the field of economics, and contributing to the intersection of economics and data journalism. To achieve these objectives, I recognize the importance of advanced knowledge, research skills, and networking opportunities provided by the NABE.

Alberto E. Valcárcel Rodríguez, University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras
Alberto E. Valcárcel Rodríguez, born and raised in Puerto Rico, is currently pursuing a master's degree in Economics at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras campus. His research explores the effects of oil supply and demand shocks on the island's economic growth. During the summer of 2022, he was chosen as a Scholar for the American Economic Association Summer Program, an experience that helped him solidify his technical research skills. In addition, Alberto has gained experience in the economic consulting field as he worked for more than 2 years as a Jr. Economist at a leading research, planning, and economic advisory firm. Given his interest in public policy, he is now joining the newly created Budget Office of the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico as Economist. In his free time, he enjoys watching baseball, and historical documentaries, and going out for runs. 

Lilianna Ruby, Citigroup
Lilianna Ruby is a Corporate Banking Analyst on the Global Healthcare, Consumer & Wellness Team at Citigroup. Her work includes credit underwriting, monitoring, and performing analyses for client discussions involving capital structure, debt financing, credit ratings, capacity for M&A, and general relationship updates. She has previously interned with Citigroup for two summers, including a summer as part of Citi's Sophomore Leadership Program, a highly selective rotational program across the bank. Lilianna graduated summa cum laude with a Finance and Economics double major from Temple University, graduating with the highest GPA in both majors across the business school. She developed her passion for the intersection of economic and financial markets through her four-year involvement in Temple’s student investment fund. In her senior year, she became the first woman to be Chief Investment Officer since the Fund’s inception in 2007. During her tenure as CIO, the Fund managed ~$920,000 of the University's endowment. She joined NABE after learning about the organization her senior year and quickly became involved, co-authoring "Estimating the Impact of NABE member characteristics on compensation" with her former Economics Capstone professor and fellow NABE member, Dr. Christopher Swann. She is excited to use this program to learn more about the industry, grow her network, and further develop her career in economics.

Kenya Schott, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
I graduated as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society at Whitman College with a degree in economics and then went on to obtain my master’s in economics from Southern Methodist University. Currently, I’m an energy research analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas where I work with both business and research economists. I study the fossil fuel industry and the energy transition, both of which are constantly in the news and of high importance for the Texas and U.S. economy.

Maxwell "Max" Tejera, City and County of Denver
Max is currently a candidate for the University of Colorado Denver's dual Master of Arts - Economics and Master of Public Administration degree. He currently works for the City and County of Denver as a Fiscal Administrator in the Office of City Council. Prior to his current role, he worked for two years as a Senior Budget Analyst at Jefferson County, Colorado, where he provided economic analysis on the county's response to the COVID-19 pandemic to elected officials and managed projects related to the stimulus funds the county received through the American Rescue Plan Act & CARES Act. Max has also spent two years working as an Investment Banking Analyst underwriting municipal bonds and providing municipal advisory services for George K. Baum & Company and later Stifel Financial Corp. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a minor in Economics from the University of British Columbia, where his culminating project involved presenting monetary policy recommendations to the Bank of Canada.

Arthur Xie, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Arthur Xie is a research analyst in the Strategy, Policy and Review (SPR) Department of the IMF. His research interests include sovereign debt, exchange rates, monetary policy, quantification of geopolitical risk and the geo-economic impacts on macroeconomy and fixed income asset classes. Previously, he interned at the Institute of International Finance (IIF) and the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI). Prior to earning his graduate degree, he was a researcher at the Glacier Media Group and a junior research scholar at the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada (APFC). Arthur received his BA in Economics from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and Master's in International Economics and Finance (MIEF) from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.