Paul Winfree

Paul Winfree

Former Distinguished Fellow in Economic Policy and Public Leadership

Paul was a distinguished fellow in economic policy and public leadership at The Heritage Foundation.

This expert is no longer a staff member at The Heritage Foundation.

Paul Winfree was a distinguished fellow in economic policy and public leadership at The Heritage Foundation.

Prior to returning to Heritage, Winfree served as the Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, the Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and the Director of Budget Policy, all at the White House. Winfree was also the Chair of the Deputies Committee that oversaw the execution of all domestic policy at the Deputy Secretary level throughout the administration as well as the interagency policy coordination process. During the 2016 Presidential Transition, Winfree led the team responsible for the Office of Management and Budget.

Prior to joining the Trump administration, Winfree was the Director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and the Center for Data Analysis as well as the inaugural Richard F. Aster Fellow, all at The Heritage Foundation. Before joining Heritage, he was the Director of Income Security at the United States Senate Committee on the Budget.

At the White House, Winfree was responsible for developing and executing the President’s Executive Order number 13781 to establish “A Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch.” He has also led several policy initiatives within the administration on welfare reform and the plans for reforming the Federal budget process. He was also integral to the development of the President’s first two budgets and was immersed in all major domestic policymaking decisions.

During Winfree’s earlier tenure at Heritage, he spearheaded many of the organization’s most important projects including major elements of the Mandate for Leadership series of documents that provided guidance for the incoming administration. On the Senate's Budget Committee, he was responsible for the committee’s work on tax, health, and welfare policy.

Winfree’s research focuses on public finance (including budget and appropriations policy), health economics, the history of economic thought, and microeconomic modeling. In 2009, he developed a health insurance microsimulation model that is still used extensively by analysts at Heritage to estimate how changes in federal health policy affect federal budgetary outcomes.

Winfree is the author of The History (and Future) of the Budget Process in the United States: Budget by Fire (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). This book chronicles the evolution of economic policy and political power through the development of public finance.

Winfree has also published on the issue of economic mobility in America through work with Pew Charitable Trusts in conjunction with related work by scholars at other Washington-based think tanks and academia.

His research has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Congressional Quarterly, The Hill, and Morning Consult, among other publications.

Winfree is Chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, a 12-member board selected by the President of the United States, that oversees the Fulbright program and other educational exchanges sponsored by the US Department of State. 

He was named one of the four "Rising Stars of 2017" in the Trump Administration by Congressional Quarterly.

Winfree has a master of science in economics and economic history from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a bachelor of science in economics from George Mason University.