From insight to impact: fall 2018 faculty news

September 4, 2018

Our top-notch associate leadership team remains in place, with Paula Lantz continuing on as associate dean for academic affairs, Elisabeth Gerber continuing as the school’s associate dean for research and policy engagement, and Ann Lin continuing to serve as the school’s course manager. Sharon Maccini also returns as our BA Program Director after being on leave last year. New to the leadership team this year is John Leahy, who takes over as our PhD Program Director.

Hearty congratulations to Shobita Parthasarathy, who was promoted to full professor over the summer. Shobita is a leading scholar of science and technology policy studies. Her last book, Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe, won the prestigious Robert K. Merton Award. The award, given by the Science, Knowledge, and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association, goes to the author of “an outstanding book on science, knowledge, and/or technology published during the preceding three years.”

Congratulations are also in order for Joy Rohde, who was promoted to associate professor with tenure over the summer. Joy is a historian who works at the intersection of U.S. intellectual and policy history, and is currently working on a book project that explores how ideas about cybernetics and advances in information technology influenced the social sciences and policy analysis in the U.S. since World War II.

We welcome a number of outstanding new faculty members and visitors as well:

Robert Hampshire, a queuing theorist and associate professor of public policy, focuses on the management and policy analysis of emerging innovative mobility services such as smart parking, connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles, ride-hailing, bike sharing, and car sharing.

Andrew Kerner, a political scientist and lecturer of public policy, studies the politics of corporate finance, with a primary focus on the politics of foreign direct investment and the international investment disputes that arise from it.

Eduardo Montero, an economist and assistant professor of public policy, focuses on development economics, political economy, and economic history and studies how variation in institutional arrangements, such as property rights regimes, affect development in Central American and Central Africa.

Yusuf Neggers, an economist and assistant professor of public policy, researches the intersection of development economics and political economy, with a focus on state capacity and the delivery of public services.

Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist and professor of public policy, examines misperceptions about politics and health care, and is a co-founder of the Bright Line Watch, a watchdog group that monitors the status of American democracy.

Conan Smith, a lecturer in public policy, specializes in developing and leading intergovernmental partnerships to support economic and social justice policies and practices.

Molly Spencer, a lecturer in expository writing, is a poet, editor, and literary critic. She has taught writing to students of all ages and previously worked in large-scale public sector management and legislative relations.

Alton Worthington, a political scientist and lecturer in applied statistical analysis and data visualization, whose primary research interests are in the areas of comparative and international political economy.

Our distinguished visiting policy-makers in residence this year will include:

Javed Ali, former Senior Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council, joins us as our newest Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence this fall; Dudley Benoit (PPIA, MPP ‘95), the director of community development finance at Santander Bank, returns as a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence; Dale Giovengo, a foreign service specialist who has worked in Washington, D.C. as well as in a wide range of hot-spots around the world, will continue as our State Department Diplomat in Residence through the fall. In the winter, the Diplomat in Residence role will be filled by Louis Fintor, who is currently serving as a spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan; Broderick Johnson, a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence for winter 2019 and partner in the Washington office of Bryan Cave, most recently served as assistant to the president, cabinet secretary, and chair of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force under President Obama; The Honorable Sander Levin, also joins the Ford School as a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence this winter after representing residents of Southeast Michigan in Congress for over 35 years; and Phyllis Meadows, a senior fellow in The Kresge Foundation’s health program and former director of the Detroit Health Department, rounds out our Towsley Foundation Policymakers in Residence this winter.

A few faculty members will be on leave for all or part of the year, including Shobita Parthasarathy (fall 2018 - spring 2019), Natasha Pilkauskas (fall 2018), Alex Ralph (fall 2018 – spring 2019), Carl Simon (spring 2019), Kevin Stange (fall 2018 - spring 2019), and Megan Tompkins-Stange (fall 2018 - spring 2019).

You can find bios of all our faculty online here (or look for the print version in boxes around the building).

We also have two events this fall to recognize legendary former faculty members.

On September 27 from 3-5pm, we’ll be hosting a retirement celebration for longtime Ford School Professor Mary Corcoran. You can learn more and RSVP to attend here: On September 28 and 29, we’ll be hosting the conference Defense against the Dark Arts: A labor economics conference in honor of John E. DiNardo, our esteemed colleague who passed away last year.

Our longtime colleague and friend, the eminent Bob Axelrod will be retiring at the end of the year. Look for more information this year as we make plans to celebrate Bob's towering intellectual achievements