E. J. McMahon

Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

Edmund J. McMahon is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and its Albany-based Empire Center for New York State Policy.

McMahon writes on regional, state and local issues, recommending policy changes and reforms to increase economic growth. His recent work has included studies focused on New York's unsustainable public pension and retiree health care costs, the out-migration of New York residents to other states, and a "blueprint" for cutting and restructuring New York's deficit-ridden state budget. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Barron's, the Public Interest, the New York Post, the New York Daily News, Newsday, and the New York Sun, among other publications.

McMahon's professional background includes more than twenty-five years as an Albany-based policy analyst and close observer of New York State government, working in both the private and public sectors. He served as deputy commissioner for tax policy analysis and counselor to the commissioner in the state Department of Taxation and Finance; director of minority staff for the state Assembly Ways and Means Committee; vice chancellor for external relations at the State University of New York; and director of research for the Public Policy Institute, research arm of The Business Council of New York State.

At the Public Policy Institute, McMahon's influential research included "The Zero Option," calling for a state employee pay freeze, which was subsequently imposed by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo in the early 1990s; and "Measuring Up In Our Schools," a 1989 study recommending a model school accountability report card later implemented by the state Department of Education. McMahon played the lead role in developing and drafting a historic personal income tax cut enacted under Gov. George Pataki in 1995, and served as an adviser to Pataki's budget transition team in late 1994. He also served on a Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) task force that recommended new disclosure requirements for derivatives and hedging instruments, which GASB adopted in 2007.

Earlier in his career, he was a staff writer and columnist for newspapers including the Albany Times Union and The Knickerbocker News. McMahon is a graduate of Villanova University.]

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Publications and Multimedia
When States Go Broke - Event Video
Faculty Division
November 14, 2012