Christopher Bosso
Christopher Bosso
Professor of Public Policy
Christopher Bosso

Christopher Bosso

Professor of Public Policy

Christopher Bosso is a professor of public policy at Northeastern University. His areas of interest include food and environmental policy, science and technology policy, and the governance of emerging technologies. His newest books are Framing the Farm Bill: Interests, Ideology, and the Agricultural Act of 2014 and, as editor, Feeding Cities: Improving Local Food Access, Sustainability, and Resilience. His 2005 book, Environment, Inc.: From Grassroots to Beltway, received the 2006 Caldwell Award for best book in environmental policy and politics from the American Political Science Association. He also serves as associate director for academic affairs for the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, and coordinates the undergraduate minor on food systems sustainability, health and equity.

Shalanda H. Baker
Shalanda H. Baker
Professor of Law, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs
Shalanda H. Baker

Shalanda H. Baker

Professor of Law, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs

Shalanda H. Baker is a professor of law, public policy, and urban affairs at Northeastern University. Professor Baker is also an affiliate faculty member in Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute, and she teaches courses at the law school and in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Baker was awarded a 2016-17 Fulbright-García Robles grant, which she utilized to explore Mexico’s energy reform, climate change and indigenous rights.

Before joining Northeastern’s faculty, Professor Baker spent three years as an associate professor of law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai’i, where she was the founding director of the Energy Justice Program. Prior to that, she served on the faculty at University of San Francisco School of Law. Baker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from the United States Air Force Academy, a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law, and an LLM from the University of Wisconsin School of Law, where she also served as a William H. Hastie Fellow.

James Alan Fox
James Alan Fox
Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy
James Alan Fox

James Alan Fox

Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy

James Alan Fox is the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern University. He has written 18 books, including The Will to Kill, Extreme Killing, Violence and Security on Campus, and, his newest, Randomized Response and Related Methods. He has published dozens of journal and magazine articles, and hundreds of freelance columns in newspapers around the country, primarily in the areas of multiple murder, youth crime, school and campus violence, workplace violence, and capital punishment. In addition, as a member of its Board of Contributors, his column appears regularly in USA Today.

Fox often gives keynote talks on campuses and to professional or community groups, as well as testimony before Congress and in court. He has presented to various leaders here and abroad, including President Clinton, Attorneys General Reno and Holder, and Princess Anne of Great Britain. He has worked on criminal investigations surrounding serial and mass murder cases and served for several years as a visiting fellow with the Bureau of Justice Statistics focusing on homicide patterns and trends. He was also the founding editor of the Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

Fox was honored in 2007 by the Massachusetts Committee against the Death Penalty with the Hugo Adam Bedau Award for excellence in capital punishment scholarship and by Northeastern University with the 2008 Klein Lectureship.

Brian Helmuth
Brian Helmuth
Professor of Environmental Science and Public Policy
Brian Helmuth

Brian Helmuth

Professor of Environmental Science and Public Policy

Brian Helmuth joined Northeastern University in January 2013 as a professor of environmental science and public policy. He holds a joint appointment between the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences, based at Northeastern’s Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts. His research and teaching focus on predicting the likely ecological impacts of climate change on coastal ecosystems, and on the development of products that are scientifically accurate, understandable, and useable by a diverse array of stakeholders.

Professor Helmuth is a fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership program, which trains select scientists to interact with policymakers, journalists, and the public, and in 2011 he was named a Google Science Communication Fellow in the area of climate change. He served as a lead author on the technical input document for the inaugural “Oceans” chapter of the National Climate Assessment. Professor Helmuth also works with local teachers to develop educational materials, and to bring the excitement of science to the classroom as well as to the general public. In 2014 he served as science advisor to Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31, which reached an estimated 300 million people. Helmuth earned his PhD from the University of Washington.

Timothy Hoff
Timothy Hoff
Professor of Management, Healthcare Systems, and Public Policy
Timothy Hoff

Timothy Hoff

Professor of Management, Healthcare Systems, and Public Policy

Timothy Hoff is a professor of management, healthcare systems, and health policy in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. He is a nationally recognized organizational and medical sociologist in the study of U.S. health-reform implementation, health-care quality, primary care, and physician behavior. In addition, he is a leading voice on the use of qualitative methods in health-services research. Professor Hoff has published over 45 articles, several book chapters, and the award-winning book Practice Under Pressure: Primary Care Physicians and Their Work in the 21st Century.

Professor Hoff’s health-care research, which examines the sociological dynamics of health-care workers and work settings and how they influence system performance, has won national awards from the American Sociological Association, Academy of Management, and the Society for Applied Anthropology. In 2012, he was named as one of the “100 Most Influential Professors of Public Health” by MPHProgramsList.com. He is a visiting associate fellow at Oxford University’s Green-Templeton College, and served as the Patrick and Helen Walsh Research Professor for the D’Amore-McKim School of Business during 2015-17. He is on several healthcare journal editorial boards.

Professor Hoff has consulted with numerous agencies and organizations including the American Cancer Society, Veterans Health Administration, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He also leads and participates in executive education for the healthcare industry. He is currently co-principal investigator on a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examining how physicians adapt to payment reform. Professor Hoff earned his PhD in public administration from the University at Albany.

Linda Kowalcky
Linda Kowalcky
Professor of the Practice in Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Linda Kowalcky

Linda Kowalcky

Professor of the Practice in Public Policy and Urban Affairs

Linda Kowalcky is a professor of the practice in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, where she teaches public policy, public administration, and works with the school’s internship programs. Her career includes senior positions in government as well as academia. Most recently, Professor Kowalcky served as liaison to higher education to former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, with responsibility for higher education policy, city-university partnerships, and campus planning for the 34 colleges and universities in Boston. She also served as senior staff in the U.S. House of Representatives. Professor Kowalcky previously taught American government and public policy as an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and has also taught at Wellesley College and the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her PhD in political science at Johns Hopkins University.

Laura Kuhl
Laura Kuhl
Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and International Affairs
Laura Kuhl

Laura Kuhl

Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and International Affairs

Laura Kuhl is an assistant professor in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the International Affairs Program. Her research examines climate adaptation and resilience in developing countries. Prior to teaching at Northeastern, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, where she helped establish a new research partnership with the United Nation Development Program on climate policy in developing countries. She has studied innovation, technology transfer and adoption for adaptation, as well as mainstreaming adaptation in development policy in East Africa and Central America. Current projects also address climate information and early warning systems, coastal resilience, adaptation finance, and national adaptation plans. She has conducted fieldwork in Ethiopia, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and New England and has collaborated with the Global Environment Facility, United States Agency for International Development, and UNDP. She has a PhD and MA in Law and Diplomacy in international affairs from the Fletcher School, and a BA in environmental studies and anthropology from Middlebury College.

Alicia Sasser Modestino
Alicia Sasser Modestino
Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and Economics
Alicia Sasser Modestino

Alicia Sasser Modestino

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and Economics

Alicia Sasser Modestino is an associate professor with appointments in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Department of Economics at Northeastern University. Since 2015, Professor Modestino has also served as the associate director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. She is also a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and an invited researcher of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT.

Previously, Professor Modestino was a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, where she led numerous research projects on regional economic and policy issues. Professor Modestino’s current research focuses on labor and health economics including changing skill requirements, youth development, healthcare, housing, and migration. Her work has been funded by the William T. Grant Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Boston Foundation, the National Security Agency, and J-PAL.

Professor Modestino has published in peer-reviewed publications including Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Human Resources, Labour Economics, Health Affairs, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and Regional Science and Urban Economics. Professor Modestino’s research has been covered extensively in the media including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Bloomberg, the Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Globe, Politico, and Vox. She has appeared on NPR’s On Point, WBUR’s Radio Boston, WCVB’s CityLine, NBC News, and FOX25 News. Professor Modestino holds both a master’s degree and a PhD in economics from Harvard University, where she also served as a doctoral fellow in the Inequality and Social Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government.

Richard O’Bryant
Richard O’Bryant
Advisory Board Member, Humanities Center
Richard O’Bryant

Richard O’Bryant

Advisory Board Member, Humanities Center

Richard L. O’Bryant is director of the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute at Northeastern University, named in remembrance of his dad. At the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Professor O’Bryant oversees educational and cultural programs, services, and activities focused on African American students. Under his vision and leadership, the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute has become more engaged with Northeastern University including academic components, community outreach efforts, connecting with Northeastern University Black alumni, and the enhancement of the breadth and depth of programs and services offered.

In the fall of 2018, Professor O’Bryant and the Institute hosted the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute in 1968. Hundreds of participants including students, alumni, faculty, staff, and members of the Boston community came together to celebrate the Institute’s rich history and highlight and dialogue about the future. Professor O’Bryant is also a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, and the College of Professional Studies.

John Portz
John Portz
Professor of Political Science
John Portz

John Portz

Professor of Political Science

Selected Publications

  • Leader-Managers in the Public Sector: Managing for Results. With Michael S. Dukakis. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2010.
  • “Governance and the Boston Public Schools,” in Boston: A Decade of Urban School Reform, ed. by Paul Reville, Harvard Education Press, 2007.
  • “Boston: Agenda Setting and School Reform in a Mayor-Centric System,” in Mayors in the Middle: Politics, Race, and a Mayor-Centric
  • Approach to Urban Schools, ed. by Jeff Henig and Wilbur Rich, Princeton University Press, 2003.
  • “Supporting Education Reform: Mayoral and Corporate Paths,” Urban Education, November 2000.
  • City Schools and City Politics: Institutions and Leadership in Pittsburgh, Boston, and St. Louis. Lawrence, KS:University Press of Kansas, 1999 (with Lana Stein and Robin Jones)
  • “Problem Definition and Policy Agendas: Shaping the Education Agenda in Boston.” Policy Studies Journal 24:3, 1996
  • The Politics of Plant Closings. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1990

Awards and Honors

  • 1997 Theodore Lowi Award. From the Policy Studies Organization for the best article in the 1996 issue of the Policy Studies Journal.
  • 1993 Involved Citizen of the Year. From the Watertown Chamber of Commerce.

Professional Associations

  • American Political Science Association
  • American Society for Public Administration
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Massachusetts Association of School Committees
David A. Rochefort
David A. Rochefort
Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Political Science
David A. Rochefort

David A. Rochefort

Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Political Science

David A. Rochefort is an arts and sciences distinguished professor of political science. He also holds an appointment as an affiliated faculty member of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and is part of the core faculty and research group at the Center for Health Policy and Law, Northeastern University School of Law. For the 2016-17 academic year, he was a faculty fellow at Northeastern’s Humanities Center. Professor Rochefort’s visiting appointments include research and/or teaching positions at the University of Montreal, University of Toronto, Rutgers University, and Brown University. His main research and teaching areas include public policy analysis, political language, health and mental health care, and novel writing as public policy advocacy. He also has created several seminars for the university Honors Program on these topics.

Jennie Stephens
Jennie Stephens
Director of SPPUA
Jennie Stephens

Jennie Stephens

Director of SPPUA

Jennie C. Stephens is the director of Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and dean’s professor of Sustainability Science and Policy. She is also the director for strategic research collaborations at Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute. Her research, teaching, and community engagement focus on social-political aspects of renewable energy transformation; energy democracy; climate resilience; reducing fossil-fuel reliance; gender diversity in energy and climate; and social, economic and racial justice in climate and energy policy. Before coming to Northeastern, she taught at University of Vermont, Clark University, Tufts, and MIT. She earned her PhD and MS at the California Institute of Technology in Environmental Science and Engineering and her BA at Harvard in Environmental Science & Public Policy.


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