Senior Managing Director and Chief Economist
Diane Swonk is Chief Economist and Senior Managing Director at Mesirow Financial, a diversified financial services firm based in Chicago. Her list of clients spans the private and public sectors, offering her a unique perspective on the inner workings of the U.S. economy.
Diane sits on advisory committees to the Federal Reserve Board and regional Federal Reserve banks; she has also been asked to provide analysis for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) for administrations of both parties. Swonk is among the most prominent economists in the financial press and can be seen and heard regularly on major news outlets, including television and radio. Swonk is the lead author of the “Economic Minds” blog, which is tracked by financial journalists, the newswires and public affairs programs such as the PBS Newshour. “Her name seems the very heartbeat of the business pages.” (Chicago magazine.)
Diane Swonk joined Mesirow Financial after nearly 20 years with Bank One Corporation (and its corporate predecessors, namely the legacy First Chicago corporation) where as Chief Economist/Director of Economics and Senior Vice President, she reported directly to Chief Executive and Chairman Jamie Dimon, managed the bank’s corporate economics group, created a regional economic model and published nationally acclaimed studies in addition to a book: The Passionate Economist: Finding the Power and Humanity Behind the Numbers.
Swonk participates actively in the business and nonprofit arenas, currently serving on the Sitting Committee for the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, the advisory committee for the Department of Economics at the University of Michigan and the board of the Posse Foundation of Chicago. As past-President and former board member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), she is a key member of the statistics committee and the NABE Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving economic education.
Previous public leadership roles include: Co-Chair of the Finance Committee for the Executive Club of Chicago, Clinical Professor at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, board member for NABE, the Joffrey Ballet and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Swonk has worked with the Economic Club of Chicago on the membership and forums committees and was appointed by the Mayor of Chicago to chair the Chicago Climate Initiative’s finance committee and the Workforce Board.
Swonk has won many awards: NABE named her a “Fellow” for outstanding contributions to the field of business economics; the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank has repeatedly recognized the accuracy of her economic forecasts; the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity lists her as a role model; and, the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago called her “Business Leader of the Year.”Educated at the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan, Swonk earned her MBA with top honors from Chicago’s Booth School of Business and her MAE and BA in economics from Michigan, also with top honors.