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Rich Roesler

Summer 2011

Arun Raha ’91—The good, the bad, and the budget

When Arun Raha ’91 started work as the state of Washington’s chief economist three years ago, his new staffers welcomed him with a gift: an official Magic 8 Ball.

“I said ‘OK, great! Now I have a forecasting tool,’” he recalls.

If only it were that easy.

At 51, Raha is the E.F. Hutton of state government: When he talks, people listen. He speaks at more than 100 events a year, from universities to small-town chambers of commerce. His quarterly revenue forecasts are broadcast live on TV.

That’s because the forecast, once approved by a bipartisan council that Raha reports to, frames the state budget. … » More …

Winter 2010

Mieko Nakabayashi ’92—Making policy public

Growing up in late 1960s Japan, Mieko Nakabayashi had an unlikely goal. The eldest daughter of a farmer-turned-land-developer, she dreamed of living overseas.

“I was so curious about the world,” she recalls.

Four decades later, that Saitama Prefecture schoolgirl has grown into a power player with a résumé spanning the Pacific Rim and two nation’s capitals. Nakabayashi, 50, has worked as a television reporter, think tank researcher, and professor. For a decade, she worked as a U.S. Senate budget staffer.

Her biggest move came last year, when she was elected to Japan’s House of Representatives. Long acquainted with the cherry blossoms of Washington, D.C., … » More …