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From Dick Conway’s perspective, life is not a straight line. When he entered Stanford University as a freshman, he planned to become a mechanical engineer if not a professional baseball player. In his second year, after pitching against a team of inmates in the yard of San Quentin Prison, a back injury ended his major league dreams.

Later that year, he took the introductory course in economics taught by Professor Lorie Tarshis, who was a student of John Maynard Keynes. Although Dick graduated with a degree in General Engineering—and never regretted taking courses in mathematics, physics, and engineering—Professor Tarshis’ stimulating lectures had steered Dick’s academic interests toward economics.

After teaching secondary school mathematics as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, Dick earned an MBA from the University of Washington and a PhD in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania. As a Research Associate at the University of Washington, he co-authored the 1972 Washington input-output study and developed a regional interindustry econometric model. When Dick finally looked for a permanent job at a university, his timing could not have been worse, as the academic market had dried up with the passing of the baby boom generation through college.


Coincidently, the state of Hawaii asked him to help build an interindustry econometric model to support its long-term planning process. The project was challenging but enjoyable, working in downtown Honolulu by day and staying in Waikiki by night. Dick also began to realize that consulting had all of the elements of an academic job: research, writing, and teaching.

As a consequence, for the next forty years, Dick was principal of Dick Conway & Associates, a Seattle research and consulting firm specializing in regional economic forecasting and analysis. Between 1993 and 2017, he and Doug Pedersen published The Puget Sound Economic Forecaster, a quarterly forecast and commentary on the regional economy.

While making a living as a private economist and spending thirty-three years as a member of the Washington State Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, Dick managed to keep one foot in academia. He taught courses in Macroeconomics, Regional Analysis, and International Trade, Transportation, and Logistics as an instructor at the University of Washington, published nineteen articles in regional economic journals and books, and served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Regional Science and the International Regional Science Review.

In his free time, Dick enjoys puttering around the yard, hiking, fly-fishing, and hanging out with his family.

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