UAA selects Townsend to lead social and economic research center

June 10, 2016

Today the University of Alaska Anchorage names Ralph Townsend to lead its highly regarded public policy research center. He brings an expertise in the economics of fisheries and nearly 30 years of higher education experience to his new role as the director of UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research.

Starting in August, Townsend will help guide UAA’s social and economic research priorities, working closely with faculty and Alaskans to study pressing questions about Alaska’s economy, health, industry, environment, and education.

“Ralph’s depth of expertise in policy research, distinguished work as a policy advisor to the government of New Zealand and leadership experience in higher education will greatly benefit UAA as we work toward increasing Alaska’s capacity to make informed choices during this critical transitional period,” said Rashmi Prasad, dean of UAA’s College of Business and Public Policy.

Townsend earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Madison-Wisconsin. Most recently he worked as Winona (Minn.) State University’s dean of liberal arts. His work experience includes serving as chief economist for the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries, and economics professor and department chair at the University of Maine. Townsend is the current president of the International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade.

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