Stephen Lerch joined the Washington State Investment Board in July 2006 as the Board’s first Research Director. In 2008, he took a six month leave of absence to serve as Washington State’s interim chief economist. Previously, he has worked as an economist and researcher on public finance and health care issues in government (U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Taxation; Washington State Institute for Public Policy; Washington State Department of Revenue) and the private sector (HCIA-Sachs/Solucient). For the past 10 years, he has also taught evening courses for St. Martin’s University at the Ft. Lewis Army base. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.