California Department of Finance
Somjita Mitra is chief economist at the California Department of Finance. She oversees the Economic Research Unit, which prepares economic forecasts and analyses of various economic developments, provides economic information to the general public, and reviews economic impact analyses of major state regulations. She provides advice on economic policy issues to the director of finance, the governor’s administration, and other state and local departments and agencies. She also guides and convenes the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. Prior to joining the Department of Finance in 2019 as chief of economic research, she was director of the Institute for Applied Economics at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). She started at the institute as an economist in 2013 and was involved in research and analysis for consulting clients and local businesses and government. Her focus was on regional analysis, economic impact studies, and the industrial and occupational structure of local economies. Before joining the LAEDC, she was an economist for a local economic research and litigation consulting company evaluating economic damages, estimating lost profits, identifying key economic issues, and developing necessary analytical and empirical frameworks. Prior to this, she was a project director for a consumer research firm in Los Angeles, where she managed projects that identified and analyzed key market issues for small, local firms as well as multinational corporations. She is a member of the PPIC Economic Policy Center Advisory Council. She received her BA in economics and political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her MA in politics, economics, and business as well as her PhD in economics from Claremont Graduate University.