Current research interests/specializations: Fiscal austerity & OECD economic growth; other macroeconomic policies; fiscal policies in Puerto Rico; alternative risk analysis measures for foreign investment; internet & telecommunications policy.
Justin Vélez-Hagan is an economic policy analyst and researcher at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, founder of The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, and co-founder of INACT, a startup cybersecurity training and research facility. Additionally, he serves as an adjunct professor of economics and is the author of the book The Common Sense behind Basic Economics (Lexington Books, 2015).
Over the past decade, Vélez-Hagan has worked closely with the public and private sectors to advance policy priorities ranging from promoting business development and job creation efforts within the technology sector to improving economic development efforts in Puerto Rico to expanding the deployment of and access to U.S. telecommunications infrastructure. As an advisor and frequent guest speaker on these issues, Vélez-Hagan has and continues to work closely with a diverse stakeholder community, including federal, state, and local elected officials, leading advocacy groups, and the small business and tech startup community.
His unique knowledge of the economic conditions of Puerto Rico have led national legislators, congressional committees, and administration officials to seek his advice and request testimony, while he is also frequently invited to provide guest lectures at universities both on the mainland and in Puerto Rico.
His work has been featured in numerous national publications, including: Forbes, Fox News, Politico, The Hill, CNBC, The Huffington Post, and newspapers and various academic publications around the country and in Puerto Rico. He has also been a guest on Fox News, BBC World News, Fox Business, Al Jazeera English, NPR Radio, SiriusXM, and Fusion, among others.
Previously, Vélez-Hagan worked as an international developer of assisted living facilities. He also founded D.C. Concrete Technologies, which was a frequent guest on HGTV’s Curb Appeal, NBC’s House Smarts, and was featured in several national and local magazines and newspapers.
Vélez-Hagan serves on the boards of several national organizations such as the National Military Family Association’s Technology Advisory Board, The Latino Coalition’s National Coalition Partners’ Board, and the Multicultural Media, Telecom, and Internet Council‘s Telecommunications and Internet Policy Task Force. Recently, he was invited to serve on Maryland’s GOMA Small Business Advisory Council.
Vélez-Hagan received a BS in Finance from the University of Louisville, an MBA from Arizona State University, and is completing his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. He is also a combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
He can be reached at Justin@JustinVH.com, or via Twitter @JVelezHagan.
(Click here for a list of recent speaking engagements.)
A quick note . . .
To whom it may concern,
Contrary to the heading above, I don’t intend for this site to be about me. It’s about something greater than me and greater than all of us. Whether for our God, our families, our country, or a combination of all three, we are all encouraged to succeed by an external force that impels us.
The free market is no different. Contemporary thinkers try to convince us that that capitalism is based on selfishness and greed, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The more successful a business (or individual) is, the more opportunity it provides to its employees and investors, who provide for their families, save for their retirements, give to their needy neighbors, and then re-introduce capital so that other businesses can grow and succeed, continuing the cycle. It’s never about just us.
The freedom granted by our economic system has allowed for the development of the most successful, benevolent, and free society the world has ever seen. That’s something we shouldn’t take lightly. Nor should we forget that our freedom was derived from God, ushered by the blood, sweat, and tears of our forefathers, and guaranteed and upheld for more than 200 years by a single constitution.
When it comes to our system of economics, it’s much simpler than we all presume. The disciplines of business and economics really are just common sense. But since human nature compels us to over-analyze and over-complicate I’m making it my business to re-simplify, explain, and give my take on the reality of it all.
What do I know? Well, probably not a whole lot, but I’ve learned a few lessons from my entrepreneurial successes and failures, a lot more from researching the work of so many others, and probably the most from students and others curiously interested in the dismal science of economics. If there is anything I’ve learned from it all, it’s this: The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know, and the more I know the people I thought knew don’t know either.
There will always be much more to learn. But no matter how much we know, there are always ways to apply that knowledge for the betterment of our neighborhoods, our country, and the world. In the end, that is the point of it all.
Soli Deo Gloria.