Sam Flaim

Senior Consultant

Dr. Flaim is a Senior Consultant at Compass Lexecon and an expert in natural resource economics, quantitative methods and tax law. He is the former Chief Economist for the state of New Mexico and a frequent policy advisor to governmental agencies and multi-national organizations. He has had many interactions with legislatures, cabinet agencies, and White House science staff on energy infrastructure, regulation and vulnerability issues. He provides economic analysis in the areas of natural resource extraction, transportation and infrastructure and has testified in U.S. Federal District Courts in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, and Kansas City. He also provided testimony for the U.S. Supreme Court in Wyoming vs Oklahoma, 502 U.S. 437 for the Wyoming Attorney General. Dr. Flaim builds computer models to estimate economic impacts, forecast market conditions, and to substantiate damages claims.

As Chief Economist for the state of New Mexico, Dr. Flaim developed capital outlay spending formulas and appeared on behalf of plaintiffs in The Zuni Public School District et al. v. The State of New Mexico et al., CV-98-14-11. The court-endorsed formula was enacted into law in 2004, and led to the construction of more than $2 billion in capital projects for 19 Pueblo governments in New Mexico. In separate instances, he provided testimony to the Jicarilla Apache on severance tax issues in litigation with the Department of Interior and Amoco Production Company. Most recently, Dr. Flaim provided modeling support to the Crow Nation to examine the impact of coal mining in Big Horn County and the state of Montana.

Dr. Flaim worked exclusively on climate change issues while working for the International Energy agency in Paris. He currently provides analytical support to UNESCO’s programs addressing statelessness, migration and human trafficking.

  1. Education icon


    • PhD, Cornell University
    • MSc in Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia
    • BSc in Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia

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