John Downen is the deputy director of economic and public policy research, specializing in economic impact analysis, economic development, and spatial analysis.
Downen manages a team of analysts researching the Utah economy and public policy issues that impact the state. His most recent work includes a study of the supply and demand for skilled labor in Utah, an analysis of the energy industry in Utah, and a review of water supply and consumption.
Before becoming deputy director, Downen spent 12 years as a research analyst at the University of Utah. He also 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.