Rudolph Penner is an Institute fellow at the Urban Institute. Before joining Urban, he was a managing director of the Barents Group, a KPMG Company. Penner directed the Congressional Budget Office from 1983 to 1987 and was a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute from 1977 to 1983. His previous posts in government include assistant director for economic policy at the Office of Management and Budget, deputy assistant secretary for economic affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers.
Penner was elected president of the American Tax Policy Institute in 2005 and is past president of the National Economists Club. He received the Abramson Prize for the best article published in 1988-89 in Business Economics and a prize for the best article published in 2002 in Public Budgeting and Finance.
In 2004, Penner chaired the Commission on Metro Financing for the Washington Metropolitan Area Council of Governments and others. In 2009-10, he cochaired the Committee on the Fiscal Future of the United States for the National Research Council and the National Academy of Public Administration. He is on the boards of MDRC, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and Fix the Debt. He is also on the advisory committee for the Committee for Economic Development and for the American Council for Capital Formation.
In 2016, he was awarded the Peter D. Rossi award by the University of Maryland and the Association for Public Policy and Management for contributions to the theory and practice of program evaluation. In 2018, he received the Federal Budgeting Career Legacy Award from George Mason University.
Penner received his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and his doctorate degree in economics from the Johns Hopkins University.