About Bill Watkins


Bill WatkinsBill Watkins, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (“CERF”) at California Lutheran University (“CLU”), Thousand Oaks, CA. Since joining the CLU community in June 2009, he has helped launch CLU’s new master of science in economics – a program that focuses on forecasting and applied research.  Bill and his CERF team are available to work with the Vision Economics team to assist local, county and other jurisdictions with a macro, down to a micro look at economic performance measures, along with economic research and forecasting needed to design, implement and measure the results of a realistic and viable economic development plan.

Prior to coming to CLU, Bill served as the Executive Director of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Economic Forecast Project. In his nine-year tenure, he expanded the project’s publications and geographic scope and enhanced its reputation. Previously, he served as an economist in the Monetary Affairs Division of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Watkins has been widely published in academic journals, traditional media and news media. He is quoted regularly by news organizations throughout the world on the issues of demographic trends, economic development, workforce issues, equity, and California economics  He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1998. After graduation, Bill worked as an economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington D.C.  He has been published in academic journals, traditional media, and news media.

Bill lives in Ventura, CA with his wife and children.  When not working, he enjoys fishing, music, and photography.