Bruce Fisher, J.D.

Expertise: Urban Policy and Planning, Economic Policy, County Government Operations

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  • Founding Director of Center for Economic and Policy Studies, Buffalo (NY) State College
  • Deputy County Executive, Erie County, NY (2000-2007)
  • Deputy Comptroller, City of Buffalo (1996-99)
  • Published Author on Regionalism and Urban Development Issues


Bruce Fisher is the founding director of the Center for Economic and Policy Studies at Buffalo State College, where he is visiting professor of Economics. He lives in Buffalo, New York, where he served as deputy county executive from 2000 to 2007. From 1996 to 1999, he served as deputy comptroller of the City of Buffalo.

Under his direction, major policy innovations and institutional reorganizations were implemented, including turning around a formerly subsidized and now cash-positive regional trauma center, regionalizing urban and suburban parks with a hybrid public-private workforce, creating a regional public-safety campus for Homeland Security and emergency response, developing America’s first urban wind-turbine farm, creating the  bi-national tourism alliance and integrating cultural tourism, historic preservation, and fishing with existing convention promotions, and creating an award-winning IT platform for formerly siloed human and social services functions.

Fisher also led the effort to propose regional restructuring of municipal services, and one of the first major tobacco-bond issuances to transfer taxpayer risk to investors and thus maximize the public value of the 1998 master settlement agreement with the tobacco manufacturers.

Before entering public service in his hometown, Fisher was research director for a national tax-policy group that the Wall Street Journal called “instrumental” in enacting the Tax Reform Act of 1986. He spent a decade in Washington as a speechwriter and consultant for Democrats including the late Paul Simon, Joseph Biden, Carol Moseley Braun and Bill Clinton.

He wrote Growth and Equity: Tax Policy Challenges for the 1990s, and in 2012 SUNY Press published Borderland: Essays from the US-Canadian Divide. His essays and op-eds have been published in Canada and the US, including the Hamilton Spectator, Artvoice, the Chicago Reader, the New York Times, the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Albany Times-Union, the Hartford Courant and other newspapers and magazines.

Bruce Fisher writes a weekly column on policy for Artvoice, and is a frequent contributor to Huffington Post Live, and formerly for National Public Radio. He received his law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his BA and MA in history from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where he was a University Fellow.  MORE