Coordinator of Special Programs
Economics Masters Student at George Mason University
Dafina is originally from Kosovo. She came to the United States to study at George Mason University where she recieved both her Bachelors and Masters Degree of Economics. Dafina had the opportunity to do economic research with various think tanks in Washington DC such as Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, German Marshall Fund, etc. She also participated in several internship programs and summer seminars with Institute for Humane Studies and Koch Foundation. She is currently working as a Coordinator of Special Programs at ICES and is enjoying every moment of working with students.
Déborah Mtz Villareal
ICES Research Intern
ICES intern Deborah Martinez graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in Economics and Finance. She was born in the Guaymas Bay and raised in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. She played for the UTEP women's golf team during college, and was named the Student-Athlete of the year in 2008-2009. She was a member of the Federal Reserve Collegiate Board of Directors in the Spring of 2011, and will work as a Fed research assistant while studying for her Masters of Science in Economics at UTEP next fall. She has collaborated with Dr. Nathan Ashby and the Fraser Institute as co-author of the Economic Freedom of The Mexican States Index. Debbie practices and enjoys outdoor sports, and loves to read and write in Spanish and English.
Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science
Chair, Department of Economics at George Mason University
Daniel Houser is Professor of Economics, Chairman of the Economics Department and Director of Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith's Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, all at George Mason University, where he is also on faculty in the Neuroscience Program. Prior to his arrival at Mason, Dr. Houser taught economics at the University of Minnesota and University of Arizona. Dr. Houser is lead author of the most widely cited theoretical and empirical analysis of online markets, providing evidence that decentralized reputation institutions promote economic efficiency. He has also collaborated in pioneering work connecting improved economic outcomes to institutions that offer opportunities for expressions of emotion. In addition, Dr. Houser was co-author of the first published study in the emerging field of neuroeconomics, and he continues to make fundamental contributions to this area.
Dr. Houser's research has garnered substantial media attention, including reviews in general interest publications such as The Economist, Wired, Harvard Business Review and The New Yorker. In addition to research, Dr. Houser is committed to excellence in the classroom, and he has won numerous awards for outstanding teaching. His scholarly activities have been sponsored by numerous public and private organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Searle Freedom Trust. Dr. Houser graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with BA degrees in both Mathematics and Mathematical Economics. He earned a Ph.D. in Economics, with a focus on Bayesian Econometrics, at the University of Minnesota.