Former Congressmen Roemer, Watts Join Mercatus Center

Posted: January 29, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Amy Biderman

Two former members of Congress have joined the Mercatus Center, a nonprofit research and educational institution dedicated to improving public policy outcomes. Tim Roemer (D-Ind.) is a Distinguished Scholar and J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) is a Distinguished Senior Fellow. Both work with the center’s outreach programs.

“The addition of Tim Roemer and J.C. Watts to the Mercatus Center marks an exciting new chapter in our effort to integrate world-class scholarship with effective real-world practice,” says Paul Edwards, president of the center. “Watts is recognized as an extraordinary communicator, Roemer as a scholar-statesman. Both are proven coalition builders. These extraordinary men bring a wealth of practical knowledge about how government can promote freedom and prosperity.”

Roemer will serve as a key spokesperson for the center’s Capitol Hill outreach and education program, which teaches economics and policy analysis to congressional staff. In addition, he will provide leadership to the center’s efforts to enhance its flagship educational programs, helping to expand both the scope and the scale. Roemer also will continue his work on security and intelligence issues. He serves on the recently created commission investigating the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

“I am always seeking opportunities to bring innovative ideas to people in policymaking roles, and I believe working with the scholars at the Mercatus Center will give me that chance,” says Roemer. “I’ve worked for more than 16 years in public policy on a broad spectrum of concerns, and I look forward to developing bipartisan consensus on issues I care deeply about, such as trade, education, and national security.”

Watts will play a key role in the center’s Global Prosperity Initiative, a project that examines the root causes of poverty around the world. He will bring his knowledge of international development and trade issues to scholars, graduate students, and policy experts studying economic development and globalization. In addition, his experience in championing the Community Renewal Act in Congress will help Mercatus scholars address domestic poverty reduction policies.

“We all want the freedom to prosper,” says Watts. “It is important that government, as a major force for change, understands how the ideas behind entrepreneurialism, free enterprise, risk, and investment can be used and implemented. I am pleased the Mercatus Center affords me the opportunity to join with scholars, students, and public decision makers in exploring new and creative ideas about how we might bring about a more prosperous and peaceful society.”

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