John Downen is a senior managing economist for the economics and public policy team, specializing in economic impact analysis, economic development, and spatial analysis.
Downen manages a team of analysts researching energy, tourism, and other economic and public policy issues that impact the state of Utah. His most recent work includes a study of the defense industry in Utah, an analysis of potential opportunity zones in the state, and an assessment of the state’s strategic clusters.
Prior to joining the research team at the University of Utah, Downen held a wide variety of positions in California, Louisiana and Montana, including technical editor for a large engineering firm, editorial assistant and copy editor for various computer magazines, freelance editor, and research associate and publications and program coordinator for a small nonprofit organization. Downen holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in physics from Georgetown University and a master’s in economics from Tulane University, as well as a certificate in applied GIS from the University of Utah.