Remembering Philip Romero (Cohort '83)

Philip Romero (cohort '83), passed away August 24, 2019. He served as chief economist and deputy cabinet secretary for former California Gov. Pete Wilson and was the former business school dean at the University of Oregon.

Romero grew up in East Brunswick, New Jersey. He earned bachelor degrees in economics and government from Cornell University and in 1988 received his Ph.D. in policy analysis from what was then the RAND Graduate School.

He continued as an associate economist at RAND and then worked at United Technologies Corp. as director of corporate strategy. He then worked for California Gov. Pete Wilson from 1991 until 1999, first as chief economist and later as chief deputy cabinet secretary and acting director of the Office of Planning and Research. He was executive director of the California Managed Health Care Improvement Task Force, which designed an overhaul of state regulation of the HMO industry.

As dean of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business from 1999 to 2004, Romero oversaw record-setting fundraising efforts and construction of Lillis Business Complex. After stepping down, he remained on the college faculty, teaching finance, macro and micro economics, and competitive strategy.

Romero's public policy interests included 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.

He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a recipient of its Ford Foundation International Affairs Fellowship. He was also a member of the Oregon governor's Council of Economic Advisers and a founding member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. In addition, he was 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.

Romero authored and co-authored numerous books, including It’s the Income, Stupid: The Seven Secrets of a Stress-Free Retirement, and wrote many op-eds for a variety of publications. He taught graduate or undergraduate courses at UCLA, USC, Pepperdine University, and in the California State University system.

He is survived by Lita Flores-Romero, his wife of 35 years, and his brother, Paul Romero.

A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Oct. 5 at Harvest Community Church, 8215 NE Quatama St., Hillsboro, Ore. In lieu of flowers, his family asks that donations be made to Harvest Community Church.