Economic Impact

April 13, 2024
Justin Begley

Buffalo, NY - Justin Begley ’20 may not be a household name – yet – but you may have read his perspectives as a frequent contributor to financial news outlets such as Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, the Washington Post, USA Today, Reuters and Newsweek.  

As an economist with Moody’s, Begley conducts research and analyses on a vast array of economic data and trends, with a special interest in U.S. fiscal policy. He also serves as lead analyst for Minnesota, Wyoming and Alabama, as well as several U.S. metro areas. Much of his research is published on the firm’s website As his career has grown, Begley recalls his interests in finance and economics took root during his time as a student at Canisius.

“I had an interest in finance and when I was looking at colleges in high school, I was attracted to the Golden Griffin Fund at Canisius, seeing as how it offered real world experience for seniors in investment management and equity analysis,” Begley recalls. “Then, as I studied as an honors student in the Richard J. Wehle School of Business at Canisius, I began to see how I could merge my interest in finance with economics.”

Begley credits his father – a local entrepreneur who started several of his own businesses without a higher education degree – as a major influence on learning as much as he could in college. From there, Canisius professors became a pivotal force as he shifted his focus to economics. Begley points to five economic professors who played an integral role in his Canisius education including Drs. George Palumbo, Julie Anna Golebiewski, Mark Zaporowski, Richard Wall and Steven Gattuso, director of the Golden Griffin Fund.

“I developed extremely close relationships with my professors who were genuinely interested in my success as a student and my career goals,” Begley says. “In fact, some of those professors came to my wedding; I don’t think that would happen in a large, 20,000 student university.”

That wedding was another Canisius benefit for Begley as he met his wife Lauryn Saldana Begley ’20, MBA ’21 in an economics class at the school. Prior to graduation, Begley himself was awarded the John S. Murphy Award for Excellence in Economics, which recognizes the top student by GPA, and the Kristin M. Brady Award for Excellence in Honors Thesis.

Graduating summa cum laude from Canisius, he went on to earn a master of science in economics from Florida State University and is currently pursuing a master of divinity degree in biblical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Begley and his wife currently reside in Tallahassee, FL where he works remotely, and she is finding her own success as a social media coordinator for The Zimmerman Agency, developing marketing campaigns and content for a variety of clients, including Pilot Pen and the Tallahassee Museum.  

“I turn to my Canisius education and the economic intuition I fostered there several times a day in my work,” Begley concludes. “In fact, I still have my economics textbooks on my office shelves and I will sometimes send what I am working on to Dr. Golebiewski to share with her students.”