ORA Team

Chief of the Office of Revenue Analysis – Paul L. Dion, Ph.D.

Paul L. Dion is the Chief of the Office of Revenue Analysis in the Rhode Island Department of Revenue.  He was originally appointed to a five-year term as Chief on March 23, 2008 and has since been reappointed to two additional five-year terms.  The Office of Revenue Analysis has a staff of five economists.

Prior to his current position, Paul worked in CVS’ pharmacy benefits management division as the Director of Plan Analytics.  From 2001 to 2006, he was the State of Rhode Island Budget Office’s economist where he was responsible for revenue forecasting and fiscal impact analyses.

Mr. Dion is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston–New England Public Policy Center’s Advisory Board, the state’s Council of Economic Advisors, the Rhode Island Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation, the North Kingstown Planning Commission, and an elected member of the Board of the Employees Retirement System of Rhode Island.  He is also an active participant at the annual Federation of Tax Administrators’ Revenue Estimation and Tax Research Conference.

Paul earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Washington State University and his B.A. degree in Political Science and Economics from the University of Rhode Island.  In addition, he received a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Finance from Bryant University.

Chief Economic & Policy Analyst – Madiha Zaffou, Ph.D.

Madiha Zaffou is a Chief Economic and Policy Analyst in the Office of Revenue Analysis (ORA), Rhode Island Department of Revenue. She has worked for ORA for the past five years, starting as a Principal Economic and Policy Analyst. Prior to her current position, Madiha worked as a research assistant and an instructor in the University of Connecticut.

Madiha earned her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from University of Connecticut and her M.S. degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Texas Tech University. 

Madiha’s current work focuses on performing cost-benefit analyses to evaluate a variety of State tax incentives, forecasting revenue and budget drivers to assist with budget development, and estimating the impact of proposed policy changes on general revenue. Madiha is a proficient user of the REMI PI+ and Tax-PI economic modeling software used by ORA to measure the economic impacts of state polices and tax programs.

ORA’s work on state tax incentive evaluations is highly regarded and nationally recognized. Madiha was invited by the Pew Charitable Trusts to lead a training session on how to incorporate cost-benefit analyses into economic development tax incentive evaluations. During this training session, Madiha shared her expertise with economists and policy analysts from around the country and the training was made available for more than 30 state evaluation offices. In addition, Madiha has presented her work multiple times at conferences and meetings such as the REMI users conference and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) evaluators roundtable.

Principal Economic & Policy Analyst – Bethany I. Scanlon

Bethany Scanlon is a Principal Economic and Policy Analyst in the Office of Revenue Analysis (ORA) in the Rhode Island Department of Revenue. She has worked for ORA for the past 11 years, starting as a Budget Analyst/Economist in 2010. Prior to working for the State, Bethany worked in the Planning and Development Division for the City of Woonsocket.

Bethany earned her Master’s in Economics from the University of Connecticut and her B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Assumption College.

Current primary duties in the Office of Revenue Analysis include monitoring and calculating aid associated with the motor vehicle phase-out, project leader for the production and writing of the biennial tax expenditure report, fiscal notes, personal income tax model simulation and working in the Office’s sales and use tax model.

Senior Economic & Policy Analyst – Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio is a Senior Economic and Policy Analyst in the Office of Revenue Analysis (ORA) in the Rhode Island Department of Revenue. She joined ORA in 2019. Emily’s primary duties focus on monthly cash collections and revenue analysis, cost-benefit analysis of state tax incentive programs, forecasting revenue collections, and estimating the impact of proposed policy changes on general revenue.

Emily is a proficient user of the REMI PI+ and REMI Tax-PI economic modeling software which ORA uses to estimate the economic impacts of state tax incentive programs. ORA’s work on state tax incentive evaluations is highly regarded and nationally recognized. At a training organized by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Emily demonstrated how ORA uses REMI Tax-PI to conduct breakeven cost-benefit analysis of state tax incentive programs to evaluators from other states. The training was later made available to more than 30 state evaluation offices.

Emily earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Economics from Boston University. Prior to becoming part of the ORA team, Emily worked as an economist for Moody’s Analytics specializing in regional economics, high-frequency forecasting and analysis, demographics, and the economic impacts of climate change.

Senior Economic & Policy Analyst – Stephanie L. Hume

Stephanie L. Hume is a Senior and Economic Policy Analyst in the Office of Revenue Analysis in the Rhode Island Department of Revenue.  She started with the Office of Revenue Analysis in November 2015 as a Revenue Policy Analyst. 

Stephanie earned her M.S. in Social and Applied Economics in 2015 from Wright State University, where she was a graduate assistant. Her B.A. degree was in International Studies and Sociology from Baldwin-Wallace College.  Prior to her work for the state, she was employed by the Wright State University Department of Management and International Business and Huntington National Bank.

Stephanie’s current work focuses on estimating the fiscal impact of proposed policy changes on general revenue, writing and editing monthly cash and revenue reports, and assisting with the completion of the biennial Tax Expenditures Report.  She is responsible for programing the Rhode Island Personal Income Tax Simulation Model using SAS software and producing sales tax estimates using the Rhode Island Sales Tax Simulation Model from Chainbridge Software.