Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2013-The Heritage Foundation's top "number cruncher" since 1995 is leaving to become chief economist on the minority staff of the Senate Budget Committee, the leading think tank announced, and his longtime deputy will take over as director of Heritage's Center for Data Analysis (CDA).
Effective Jan. 14, Rea S. Hederman Jr. will assume full responsibility for Heritage's trusted data analysis from William W. Beach, who has overseen CDA since its inception in 1997.
Over 15 years, Hederman worked alongside Beach at CDA in such capacities as research fellow, assistant director and, most recently, deputy director. Now he will oversee the think tank's original statistical research on taxes, employment, health care, entitlements, energy, trade and education, among other issues. CDA also publishes Heritage's annual Index of Dependence on Government.
"Under Bill Beach's leadership, CDA has produced some of the most sophisticated data analysis done anywhere in the world," Heritage President Edwin J. Feulner said. "Over the years he assigned or delegated key responsibilities to Rea Hederman, who took them on with relish and today stands out among Heritage's new generation of leaders.
"Bill couldn't pass up this opportunity to knock some economic sense into the establishment over on the Hill at this historic juncture," Feulner said, "and in Rea he has left a clear-eyed, ready successor. Rea will build on Bill's legacy by leading our strongest-ever CDA staff."
Like Beach, Hederman is a founding member of CDA, which Heritage created in 1997 to provide the public policy community with state-of-the-art modeling, database products and research assistance.
His recent research and writing have focused on economic mobility, employment, Medicare and taxes. He has managed CDA's work on legislative analysis and Social Security and provided statistical analysis and econometric modeling for key Heritage policy initiatives such as poverty, income inequality and welfare.
CDA's team maintains scores of databases to support strategic research; provides confidential reviews of legislation for members of Congress and the White House; and supplies data and analysis for news organizations. Census Bureau, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security, Medicare and Department of Education are only a few of the agencies and programs included in the databases.
Since April 2012, Beach also had held the title of Lazof Family Fellow, an honor made possible by a gift from Ron and Chenza Lazof, of Dallas, Texas, longtime proponents of free enterprise, low taxes and limited government.
As chief economist and senior adviser for the Republican staff of the Senate Budget Committee under Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Beach will analyze budget proposals, assess government actions and economic events that affect the federal fiscal situation, and coordinate work with economic teams at the Congressional Budget Office and the Congressional Research Service.
The Heritage Foundation is the nation's most broadly supported public policy research institute, with hundreds of thousands of donors. Founded in 1973, it develops public policy solutions that advance free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values and a strong national defense.