Economics Staff Bios

Benjamin M. Simon (Economist).  Ben is the Director of Economics in the Office of Policy Analysis.  He has also worked as an economist at the New Zealand Ministry of Finance.  At Interior he has worked on a wide variety of water and land management issues.  Ben leads the annual development of the DOI Economics Report, co‐chairs (with NMFS staff) the economics team for the Klamath Secretarial Determination; led the Office’s analysis of royalty matters, and led the annual report to Congress on the recreational fee demo program.  Ben is also an adjunct professor of economics at The George Washington University.

Don Bieniewicz (Operations Research Analyst).  Don has been on the economics staff in the Office of Policy Analysis since 1975.  He has expertise in survey design, sampling, and statistics, design of auctions for federal oil & gas leases and coal leases, and determination of fair market value.  Don oversees Departmental compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, including reviewing and submitting to OMB for approval all DOI requests to collect information from the public.   Don has an M.S. in Operations Research from Stanford University.

Kristin E. Skrabis (Economist).  Kristinjoined the Office of Policy Analysis in 1999.  She has worked on a variety of projects while at PPA, including economic valuation of natural resource damages, FERC licensing of hydropower dams and pipelines, carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services.  Kristin’s efforts include providing policy support to the Office of Restoration, along with claim development work on over 120 damage assessment cases.  Kristin has an M.S. in public policy analysis from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in natural resource and environmental economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Christian Crowley (Economist).Christian began his career at the Department of the Interior in 2005 after working as a contractor in the Department of Energy.  He has worked on projects in the areas of royalties (hardrock minerals, oil and gas, renewable resources), hydro-power licensing, and economic impacts.Christian's duties also involve providing economic support for the Office of Restoration in both policy and case-work capacities. Christian holds a Ph.D. in economics from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. 

Peter E. Grigelis (Economist).   Peter began his career at the Department of the Interior in 2005.  He has been with the Office of Policy Analysis since 2009 after spending four years at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Prior to joining Interior, Peter worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s natural resource damage assessment program.  Peter has provided economics expertise to a variety of project areas over his career, including work supporting the Secretarial Determination for the Klamath River Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, Interior’s Economic Contributions Report, endangered species critical habitat designations, and natural resource damage assessment cases.  He has also been engaged in research associated with ecosystem service valuation of National Wildlife Refuges.  Peter earned a Ph.D. in Economics from Georgia State University and a B.A. in Mathematics-Economics from Ithaca College.

Sarah Cline (Economist).  Sarah joined the Office of Policy Analysis in 2010, after working at the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.  She also has several years of experience conducting natural resource economics research at non-governmental research organizations.  She has worked on a variety of projects at DOI, including the economics of invasive species, recreation economics, returns on investment in conservation, rural economic growth, and DOI’s Economic Contributions report.  Sarah has a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Colorado State University, and a M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics and a B.S. in Environmental Science from West Virginia University.

Adam Stern (Economist). Adam joined the Office of Policy Analysis in 2013, after spending two years at Resources for the Future. Adam has focused primarily on energy-related issues at DOI including offshore leasing policy, economic impacts of unconventional oil and gas production and the economics of energy security. In addition, Adam has worked on projects in the area of hardrock royalties. Adam earned a M.S. Resource Economic and Policy at the University of Maine and a B.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.