Home » Additional Features

Meet Jason Brown: Associate Commissioner for the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics

1 July 2019 169 views No Comment

Jason Brown has been the associate commissioner for the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics at the Social Security Administration since November 2018. Prior to this position, he served as the director of the Office of Microeconomic Analysis and acting assistant secretary for economic policy/acting chief economist with the Department of the Treasury. Throughout his career, Brown has conducted research and policy analysis on a range of topics related to health and aging. He holds a PhD in economics from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Texas A&M University.

    What about this position appealed to you?

    Social Security is a trillion-dollar program that has a profound effect on the most vulnerable people in society and on the economy as a whole. The Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics (ORES) helps the public and policymakers—whether they are workers, claimants, or members of Congress—understand the program through data, statistics, and research so they can make informed decisions. I was a consumer of the office’s work for years and knew the talent and dedication of the staff. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with them to shed light on important policy issues.

    Describe the top two or three priorities you have for the SSA Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics.

    The work of ORES consists of extracting administrative data, producing statistics and research from that data, and disseminating those research and statistics. My priorities are to continue to fulfill these obligations through the principles established by the Committee on National Statistics for federal statistical agencies: produce information relevant to public policy; build credibility through quality and accuracy; maintain our data sources’ trust (primarily workers and beneficiaries) by properly using and protecting their information; and produce objective research and statistics free of political influence. By adhering to these principles, we can continue to be an important and trusted source of information about Social Security programs.

    What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) for the ORES?

    We have access to a trove of administrative data that we use for statistical and research purposes, and there is high demand for the data both internally and externally. We are always reassessing our priorities and determining the highest-value use of our resources and time; there are always more data sets and statistics you would like to create, and more research you would like to undertake, than you have the resources for. And because the data development and research processes take time, we need to anticipate the most relevant questions we will need to answer.

    What kind of support from the broader statistical community do you look for?

    Although I’ve spent my career as an economist in the federal government, I’m new to the federal statistical community and have a lot to learn. Fortunately, the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy has a terrific network of experts who have considerable experience in many of the same questions and issues I face at ORES. The Committee on National Statistics is also a great resource for guidance and wisdom on meeting our statistical objectives. As we implement the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, I will be looking to these organizations and others for their ideas and knowledge of how best to fulfill the expectations placed on us as a federal statistical agency.

    Prior to your tenure, what do you see as the biggest recent accomplishment of the agency?

    Thinking more long term, I am impressed by the vision that has put ORES in the position of producing so much valuable data, statistics, and research. We create approximately 700 extracts from administrative data every year for statistical and research use. We publish around 1,000 statistical tables and charts every year. Our researchers produce around 30 research products a year, and we support around 60 additional papers a year through our Retirement and Disability Research Consortium. As a result of all of this work, the public and policymakers know an awful lot about the very large, complex program we are tasked with studying, and we stand ready to inform new questions as they emerge.

    1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

    Leave your response!

    Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

    Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

    You can use these tags:
    <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

    This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.