Philip J. Romero has been a professor of business administration at the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business since the summer of 1999. From 1999-2004, he served as dean. During his tenure as dean, the college broke records for student and faculty quality, media visibility, and funds raised ($50+ million in four years).
Romero's background combines think-tank economics, corporate strategy, and high-level public policy. After working for most of the 1980s as a research economist and defense policy specialist at California's RAND Corporation, he was named director of strategic planning for United Technologies Corp. (UTC) in 1990. While serving in that job, Romero advised the UTC chairman on new market opportunities, acquisitions, and divestitures. He was instrumental in UTC's turnaround in the early 1990s, converting its worst performing division into its second most profitable.
In 1991 Romero was tapped by newly-elected Governor Pete Wilson to become California's chief economist. He served as troubleshooter on business and economic operations for Wilson until 1999, when term limits caused him to leave office. Romero was the author and lead implementer of key improvements in California's business climate. These reforms transformed California's recession-plagued economy in the mid-1990s: the state went from last in the nation in job growth to nearly twice the national average--from losing 1,000 jobs per day to gaining 1,000.
During his time in the California Governor's office, Romero served as acting director of the state Office of Planning and Research (OPR), the Governor's think tank. He transformed OPR from a moribund backwater into a powerful source of policy ideas and analysis. He also served as Wilson's national security adviser. As chief deputy cabinet secretary, Romero oversaw all state agencies that regulated or promoted business (a $5 billion budget and 40,000+ employees). He was executive director of the California Managed Health Care Improvement Task Force, which designed an overhaul of state regulation of the HMO industry. Governor Wilson summarized Romero's role as follows: "If it's big and complicated, we give it to Romero and he fixes it."
Romero has emphasized business and government collaboration by integrating business strategies into public policy. For example, he led the design of California's efforts to open telecommunications and utility monopolies to competition. Likewise, he improved public-sector performance by opening government monopolies to competition, saving taxpayers more than $10 million per year. Romero remains active in public policy through fellowships with the Hoover Institution and the Pacific Research Institute, as well as by publishing frequent opinion articles. He is also a columnist for Brainstorm magazine, a member of its editorial board, and director (and chair of the corporate governance committee) of Lithia Motors (NYSE: LAD), a Fortune 500 auto retailer.
Dr. Romero earned a PhD (1988) and MA with Distinction (1985) in policy analysis (mixture of economics and applied mathematics) from the RAND Graduate School and a BA in economics and political science from Cornell University (1983). He has published numerous research reports on a range of strategy and policy topics, including nuclear arms control, conventional forces, command and control, selecting Presidential advisers, business regulation, tax policy, international trade, international economic growth, health reform, the federal budget, and crisis management. He is co-author of five books: The De-Escalation of Nuclear Crises, published by St. Martin's Press; California: Problemos Economicos, Sociales, y Politicos; The Northridge Earthquake, 1994; California Policy Options 2000; and California in the 21st Century. Romero has taught graduate or undergraduate courses at UCLA, USC, Pepperdine University, and in the California State University system.
Philip Romero's public policy interests include defense policy, how governments compete for business investment and retention, government's role in creating conditions that nurture durable market advantage for resident businesses, and introducing competitive forces into the delivery of public services.
Romero is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a recipient of its Ford Foundation International Affairs Fellowship. He is also a member of the Governor's Council of Economic Advisers and a founding member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. In addition, he is a distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, a senior fellow in business and economic studies at the Pacific Research Institute, and an advisory board member of the Institute for Policy Research and Innovation.
Married to Lita Flores since 1984, Romero is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in the West. He enjoys designing and engaging in historical simulation games.