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I am an interdisciplinary public policy scholar broadly trained in the social sciences. I am currently a Professor of Community and Regional Development in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of California, Davis.

As an interdisciplinary public policy scholar, I have built my career on three concepts: rigor, relevance, and reach. First, my research seeks to build empirical scholarly knowledge in my academic fields of public policy, industrial relations, regional studies, and economic development (rigor). Second, my work aims to develop innovative ways to apply this knowledge to contemporary socioeconomic conditions, and offers insight for policy and advocacy groups to place their experiences into larger societal and economic perspectives and direct their efforts more strategically (relevance). Third, my scholarship seeks to build partnerships with and extend knowledge to leaders in the government and non-profit sectors to inform policy decisions and debates surrounding socioeconomic issues and inequalities nationally and globally (reach).

My research and teaching interests focus on issues of economic development and socioeconomic equity  as they interface with policy and political systems in societies. I focus on two distinct areas within this framework: i) economic and labor market outcomes and opportunities as they are influenced by the social regulation and ii) the production and maintenance of geographies of socioeconomic inclusion and exclusion. Specifically, I seek to advance theoretical and empirical understandings of the interplay between social, political, and economic processes (including the organization of labor markets, community responses to market failures, as well as the state and its regulatory powers) and the socioeconomic outcomes experienced by individuals and groups in society. I combine qualitative and quantitative methods to understand these interfaces holistically and in a manner that supports public policy development and learning and the local, regional, national, and international levels.

My research has been funded by multiple government agencies and foundations including: National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Labor, National Institute for Food and Agriculture, the Norwegian Research Council, the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. For more information on my research or teaching please refer to the Research Projects and Teaching pages.