Samira Salem and Jordan van Rijn join the Council of Cooperative Economists

Samira Salem, Ph.D., Senior Policy Analyst CUNA (left) Jordan van Rijn, Ph.D., Senior Economist CUNA (right).

NCBA CLUSA is proud to announce that Samira Salem and Jordan van Rijn, both of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), have joined the Council of Cooperative Economists. These highly distinguished researchers will work with their eleven colleagues to continue harnessing the best contemporary social scientific techniques and methods to understand and demonstrate the cooperative advantage across every sector.

SamiraĀ Salem has over 20 years of experience in international economic development, community development, policy research, and social finance. She joined the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in 2018 as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Research and Policy Analysis division. Recently, she was promoted to Vice PresidentĀ for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at CUNA. Prior to joining CUNA, she worked for Forward Community Investments (FCI), a Madison-based community development financial institution (CDFI) focused on supporting initiatives throughout Wisconsin that address racial, social, and economic inequities.

Earlier, Samira worked at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington D.C. where she was a Senior Trade Analyst for Labor and studied the impact of globalization on U.S. labor market outcomes. Ā Prior to that, she had an eight-year tenure at Washington-based DAI where she was an international economic development specialist.Ā  Samira earned her Ph.D. in Political Economy and Public Policy and her M.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California.

JordanĀ van RijnĀ is a Senior Economist at the Credit Union National Association and Lecturer in the department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a Fellow at the UW-Madison Center for Financial Security and serves on the board of Working Capital for Community Needs, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit social impact investment organization. Jordan received his PhD in 2018 from the department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at UW-Madison and also holds degrees from UC-San Diego’s School of Global Policy & Strategy and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Jordan conducts research on financial cooperatives and is particularly interested in comparing the structures, incentives and related outcomes of credit unions and commercial banks. Current research projects include comparing subprime mortgage lending and loan performance at credit unions and banks during the 2007-2009 financial crisis; examining differences in auto loan rates between credit unions and other lenders; exploring differences in branch location patterns between credit unions and banks; and investigating how banks and credit unions differ in their pricing strategies in response to exogenous changes in local market power.

The Council of Cooperative Economists (CCE) fills a critical gap within the cooperative movement, providing a forum for best-in-class cooperative economists, as well as other experts, to explore ideas and publish research meant to help tell the story of cooperative impact in a more powerful and compelling way. Research by the council informs the work of the Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus and the Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development, and is meant to influence policymakers, thought leaders and other stakeholders.

For questions or more information, please contact Greg Irving at

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