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Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024

Professional Profile: Alan Gin


Name: Alan Gin.

Organization: University of San Diego.

Title: Associate professor of economics.

No. of employees: 2,250.

Year founded: 1949.

Education: B.S., California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (1979); M.A. (1982) and Ph.D. (1987), University of California Santa Barbara.

Birthplace: San Luis Obispo.

Age: 55.

Current residence: Rancho Penasquitos.

Family: Wife, Theresa; daughter, Alesa; son, Mark.

Alan Gin is an economics professor at the University of San Diego. He is best known for developing and publishing the USD Burnham-Moores Center Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, a monthly report on the short-term outlook for the local economy. Because of his research, he is an expert source on the local economy for the media.

Professor Gin is one of the affiliated faculty members of the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate. The center’s mission is to create exceptional value for the real estate professionals of today and tomorrow through personalized education and career services, industry support, research, and the promotion of socially responsible leadership. All of the center’s initiatives are industry-oriented and attempt to maximize students’ opportunities to get involved directly in the real estate industry, both in the classroom and in extracurricular programs.


Essential working philosophy: The university (and my job) would not exist without students.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: I don’t sleep much.

Guiding principles: Do the right thing; get involved, even if the issue doesn’t directly affect you.

Yardsticks of success: The achievements of my students.

Goals yet to be achieved: Co-authoring an economics book with my daughter (not likely to be achieved as she’s a sophomore in high school who is interested in medicine).


Best professional decision: Developing USD’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County.

Toughest professional decision: In 2009, becoming the first faculty member from the School of Business Administration to chair the University Senate since the 1990s.

Mentor: Professor Jon Sonstelie, my dissertation adviser at UCSB.

Word that describes you: Quirky.


What you like best about your job: Interacting with the students.

What you like least about your job: Assigning grades.

Pet peeves: People who waste food and energy.

Most important lesson learned: Treat students like adults and let them make most decisions on their own.

Person most interested in meeting: Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burma human rights activist. I admire her work and the sacrifices she made to help her country.

Three greatest passions: Women’s rights, my children’s education and volunteering.

First choice for a new career: Film editor.


Favorite quote: “Money is like manure. If you spread it around it does a lot of good. But if you pile it up in one place it stinks like hell.” Clint Murchison Jr., Texas businessman and founder of the Dallas Cowboys.

Most influential book: “The Feminine Mystique,” by Betty Friedan.

Favorite status symbol: No physical object, but the proclamation by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors declaring November 8, 2011 “Alan Gin Economic Indicators Day” in the County of San Diego and the San Diego City Council doing the same a week later for the city on the the 20th anniversary of the release of the Leading Economic Indicators.

Favorite restaurant: Emerald Chinese Seafood Restaurant.

Favorite place for business meetings: Bert’s Bistro for meetings at USD.

Favorite vacation spot: The Central Coast of California.

Favorite way to spend time: Volunteering at my children’s school and going to their activities.


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