Federal Bank economist explores Virginia, U.S. economies at Davis College Global Capitalism lecture

Davis College Global Capitalism Lecture
Economist Sonya Ravindranath Waddell (left) with Davis College Dean Joy Bhadury.

Economist Sonya Ravindranath Waddell of the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond delivered the keynote address on Feb. 28 at the Radford University Davis College of Business and Economics Global Capitalism Lecture Series, which is sponsored by BB&T.

Waddell engaged students, faculty and community leaders with remarks focused on the economic outlook for Virginia and the United States. Using a series of charts and graphs, she explored economic growth in Virginia’s rural areas compared with urban areas of the Commonwealth and examined which industries have grown most since December 2017.

“Davis College was honored to have Ms. Waddell as the speaker for the Spring 2019 BB&T Global Capitalism Lecture and is thankful to her, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond,” said Davis College Dean Joy Bhadury. “The lecture was very informative with regards to the overall macroeconomic climate in the Commonwealth as well as Southwest Virginia and the challenges that lie ahead for disparities in the economic climate across the Commonwealth.”

In her role as vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank, Waddell is responsible for the regional and community development research areas within the research department, including setting strategic direction for various data products, surveys and other regional and local analysis.

Waddell’s work involves analyzing economic trends, writing for a variety of publications and presenting on regional and national economic conditions.

Prior to joining the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank in 2008, Waddell worked as an economist in the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, also in Richmond, Virginia, and at ICF International in Washington, D.C.

She earned her bachelor's degree from Williams College in 2001 and her master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006.

Waddell is among the many distinguished speakers invited to share ideas at the semi-annual symposium that is designed to stimulate thought and discussion about capitalism, the tenets of free enterprise and the best practices of successful businesses and organizations.

Part of its importance is the involvement of students. Davis College faculty members are encouraged to invite one student “whom they feel will most benefit from the lecture,” Bhadury said.

Accounting, Finance and Business Law Chair Dan Davidson invited to the lecture Yalaina Dupre, a senior finance and management double major from Norfolk, Virginia.

“It was an honor that Dr. Davidson selected me to attend the lecture," Dupre said. “I accepted the invitation right away because I knew this would be a great opportunity and wonderful learning experience.”

In addition to Waddell, COBE BB&T Global Capitalism Lecture Series events have included:

  • Jamie Webster ’98, senior director at the Boston Consultant Group
  • Cheryl Anderson, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • David Kelly, Atlas Society Founder and Chief Intellectual Officer
  • Jennifer Grossman, CEO of the Atlas Society
  • John Allison, retired chairman and CEO at BB&T, retired president and CEO of the Cato Institute
  • Barry DuVal, president and CEO of Virginia Chamber of Commerce
  • Brady Deato, BIFAD chair and chancellor emeritus of University of Missouri
  • Ann Cudd, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of Kansas
  • Russell S. Sobel, visiting scholar in entrepreneurship in the School of Business Administration at The Citadel
  • Steve Pearlstein, Pulitzer-Prize winning business and economics columnist for the Washington Post
  • Christopher Coyne, director of graduate studies of the Department of Economics at George Mason University
  • Hamid Ghanadan, founder and president of the Linus Group
  • Mary Rose Carosia and Theresa Werner, Standard and Poors (S&P) Capital IQ
  • Kevin Daley, former vice president at the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency and founder of Communispond
  • Faye Gilbert, former Radford University College of Business and Economics dean
  • Jason Bingham, vice president, central territory of North America, for Ingersoll Rand
  • John Allison, former BB&T chair and CEO
  • Keith Shields, senior statistician and analytic development lead for Marketing Associates in Detroit.


Mar 19, 2019
Chad Osborne