Economics Center Selects Jebaraj as Director

The University of Arkansas need a new director of its Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Mervin Jebaraj has been serving as interim director of the center since April 2017, and he takes the over as director on Jan. 1. He replaces Kathy Deck.

“I look forward to continuing and expanding the range of economic analyses and services that the Center for Business and Economic Research has been known for during its 75-year history,” Jebaraj said. “The center will continue to fulfill its role as the most relied-on resource for critical economic information in the state of Arkansas and serve as a catalyst for economic development in the state.”

Jebaraj earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from the University of Arkansas in 2007 and a master's degree in public policy from the university in 2011. He was previously the assistant director at the center, where he has worked since 2007.

“Mervin has been key to the depth and breadth of data to come out of the Center for Business and Economic Research for several years,” said Matt Waller, dean of the Walton College and the Sam M. Walton Leadership Chair. “We are excited that he will now lead the center and its work that is so pivotal to the success and growth of business all across Arkansas. He is a great resource to have at the head of this key player in the state’s economic and business activity.”

During his more than 10 years at the center, Jebaraj has been instrumental in creating and executing economic studies for clients such as the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Northwest Arkansas Council, the Walton Family Foundation, Arvest Bank, the University of Arkansas and many others.

Jebaraj has made presentations that share the center's expertise directly to more than 5,000 individuals annually, and tens of thousands more hear and see his economic analysis and commentary through TV, radio and print media.