Department of Economics

Joel Hefner

  • Graduated: 1991
  • Field: Finance, Management/Entrepreneurship

Joel Hefner, who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Economics and Political Science in 1991, is vice president at Dimensional Fund Advisors in Austin, Texas. Joel was also student of the year for the College of Behavior and Social Sciences when he graduated. As an undergraduate Joel was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the national honor society, and Omicron Delta Epsilon, the economics honor society.

After graduation Joel enrolled in the Economics graduate program at UC Santa Barbara where he earned his MA in Economics in 1992.

In 1994 Joel accepted a position as chief portfolio manager for Mercer Advisors. He was “responsible for trading over $1 billion in client assets for a Registered Investment Advisory Firm specializing in wealth planning for physicians and dentists,” according to his LinkedIn page. After two years with Mercer Joel moved on to Ernst and Young as their senior manager.  In 1998 Joel accepted a position with Dimensional Fund Advisors where he is currently working as head of the National Relationship Group. “I spearhead the firms' virtual service offering for financial advisors,” Joel stated in a recent email.

 “I ‘backed in’ to an Economics degree from Chico State and am sure glad I did.  Originally I was a double major in Political Science and German but after the Intro to Micro and Macro courses I took my sophomore year, I fell in love with Economics and decided that would be my second major entering my junior year.  Turns out that was a game changing decision for the rest of my career. I particularly liked monetary policy, investments and banking and that hard work got me into a top 25 graduate program in Economics.”

“An Economics degree can take you in so many positive directions for your future career and so much of what you learn can apply to many things in your life.” (Last Updated 1/1/21)

Portrait of Joel Hefner