CSU economics professor appointed vice chair of Colorado Legislature’s Economic Recovery and Relief Cash Fund Subpanel

Elissa Braunstein
Elissa Braunstein, chair of the Department of Economics

Written by Becca Lee

Colorado State University Chair and Professor of Economics Elissa Braunstein has been appointed to serve as vice chair of the Economic Recovery and Relief Cash Fund Subpanel created by the Colorado Legislature. The subpanel was created to guide Colorado’s spending of $700 million in federal relief funds remaining from the American Rescue Plan Act.  

“The economy is getting better, but the still-fragile recovery is unequally distributed across different groups of Coloradans, and it is important to invest these one-time funds in ways that support closing those gaps and make the future brighter for all Coloradans,”  Braunstein said. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve Colorado in this capacity.” 

The subpanel consists of five economists appointed by majority and minority leaders, Governor Jared Polis and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Braunstein and Chair Phyllis Resnick of Colorado Futures Center were both appointed by Democratic majority leaders Sen. Leroy Garcia and Rep. Alec Garnett. 

As vice chair, Braunstein works with the team of economists to better understand who is being left behind as Colorado emerges from the pandemic. The subpanel is tasked with cataloguing, explaining and ranking the pandemic’s impacts on the Colorado economy, as well as making recommendations to state legislators on policies that will stimulate the economy, provide necessary relief for Coloradans and/or address emerging economic disparities resulting from the pandemic. Their report will go to the legislative task force to vote on and submit to the governor before the next legislative session. 


Elissa Braunstein is a professor of economics at Colorado State University, as well as editor for the journal Feminist Economics. Most recently she worked for two-and-a-half years as a senior economist at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies. Her work focuses on the international and macroeconomic aspects of growth and development, with particular emphasis on the interactions between macroeconomic policy and gender equality, as well as the consequences of incorporating care and social reproduction into macroeconomic models. She publishes widely in both academic and policy venues and has done consulting work for a number of international development institutions, including UN Women, the International Labour Organization, the World Bank and the United Nations Research Institute on Social Development. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master’s of Pacific International Affairs from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California San Diego.