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updated: 1/9/2018 7:57 AM

Grant Thornton accounting firm hires Diane Swonk

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  • Diane Swonk, who has spoken at many suburban economic events, has joined Grant Thornton as chief economist.

    Diane Swonk, who has spoken at many suburban economic events, has joined Grant Thornton as chief economist.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer, May 2015

  • Diane Swonk

    Diane Swonk


Diane Swonk, one of the most recognizable faces in economic forecasting, joined Grant Thornton as its first chief economist, the company said.

Based in the Chicago headquarters of the large accounting and consulting firm, Swonk will enhance client services with her economic forecasting acumen and significant experience advising U.S. policymakers, central banks, multinational corporations and C-suite teams, according to the company.

She has worked with a range of companies throughout her career, most recently with her private consulting firm, DS Economics. Swonk and her team have transitioned to Grant Thornton from DS Economics.

The acclaimed economic adviser left her post as chief economist at Mesirow Financial two years ago. Known for her easy-to-understand analysis, Swonk, 55, regularly spoke at economic events throughout the suburbs.

"Businesses today are undergoing a huge amount of change," said Grant Thornton CEO Mike McGuire. "Companies need sharp and timely economic insights to succeed -- the very insights that have made Diane so well known. With her knowledge and experience across multiple sectors, including the high-growth middle market, Diane and her team complement our forward-thinking approach to solving clients' problems."

"My team and I are excited to work with Grant Thornton. We are looking forward to collaborating with the firm's industry and policy leaders to help Grant Thornton's clients move forward with confidence," Swonk said. "It's an extraordinary opportunity to provide strategic advice and practical solutions to a spectrum of businesses in an increasingly complex economic environment."

Through DS Economics, Swonk has advised clients from the Fortune 500 to small and mid-size firms. She served two terms as an adviser to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Swonk advises the Federal Reserve. She is a distinguished Fellow and past-President of the National Association for Business Economics and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Swonk serves on the Sitting Committee for the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and advises the Department of Economics at the University of Michigan. She sits on the NABE Statistics and Policy Committees as well as the board for the NABE Foundation. She is an active member of the board of the Posse Foundation in Chicago, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to higher education. She has also served on a number of other nonprofit boards including the Joffrey Ballet, as well as state and local advisory panels.

Swonk received her bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from the University of Michigan. She received a master's degree in business administration in finance from the University of Chicago.

Grant Thornton LLP was founded in Chicago in 1924 and has revenues in excess of $1.7 billion and operates 59 offices, works with a broad range of dynamic publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations.