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W&L Professor Named President-Elect of the Virginia Association of Economists Niels-Hugo Blunch was selected for the post at the organization’s annual meeting last month.

Hugo-Blunch-scaled-600x400 W&L Professor Named President-Elect of the Virginia Association of EconomistsNiels-Hugo (Hugo) Blunch, Darrold and Kay Cannan Term Professor of Economics

Niels-Hugo Blunch, the Darrold and Kay Cannan Term Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee University, was named president-elect of the Virginia Association of Economists (VAE) at the group’s annual meeting held on April 20 in Richmond, Virginia.

Blunch, who has served on the VAE board for three years, will play a large role in preparing and organizing the VAE’s 2024 annual meeting, which he intends to host in Lexington as a joint effort between W&L and Virginia Military Institute. He will also assist in the production of the Virginia Economic Journal, which is printed annually and supports the association’s mission to enhance economic education at all levels and provides a forum for analysis and discussion on economic issues that are of special concern to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Additionally, Blunch will spend the next year learning the finer points of the organization in preparation for serving as president, a role which will pass to him at next year’s annual meeting.

“I am thrilled to have been asked to serve the economics profession specifically here in Virginia as president-elect (and, later, as president) for the Virginia Association of Economists,” said Blunch. “I hope to learn a lot from this, personally, and also aim to serve the W&L community in the process, including both faculty and students.”

Blunch hopes that hosting the 2024 annual meeting in Lexington will showcase both W&L and VMI to representatives from around Virginia, as well as provide W&L students and faculty with the ability to participate. He also believes it will be the perfect opportunity to create teambuilding exercises across the two institutions and their economics departments.

“The VAE actively seeks to have at least one undergraduate session at the annual meeting, which is chaired by a professor and includes professors as discussants for the papers in the session,” said Blunch. “This should provide our students with a taste of how such a scholarly session is organized – should they consider an academic career themselves.”

Blunch has been a member of the W&L faculty since 2006 after working as a consultant with the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Aarhus (Denmark), a master’s degree in economics and econometrics from the University of Southampton (U.K.) and a doctorate in economics from George Washington University.

The VAE aims to promote inquiry into economics, improve economic education, and develop an understanding of the operations of the Virginia economy. Membership in the VAE is open to individuals who have an interest in theoretical or applied economics, economic education, or the Virginia economy, but is limited to those who are residents of, or whose principal place of employment is, the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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