Dr. Diane Hirshberg appointed ISER Interim Director

by UAA Institute of Social and Economic Research  |   

Dr. Diane Hirshberg, professor of education, has been appointed interim director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER). Dr. Hirshberg is an 18-year veteran of UAA and ISER, and has served in leadership roles such as president of UAA’s faculty senate and advisor to the chancellor on Arctic Research and Education. She was the founding director of the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research and is currently vice-president academic at the University of the Arctic.

ISER’s current director, Dr. Ralph Townsend, is retiring after six years leading the institute. “We thank Dr. Townsend for his leadership,” said John Nofsinger, dean of UAA’s College of Business and Public Policy where ISER resides. “He led ISER during a difficult time in Alaska’s economy. This is a time when research that informs state fiscal policy is more important than ever. During his tenure, ISER researchers also contributed to various economic and social studies that contributed to our understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in Anchorage and at the state level. These research activities are at the core of ISER’s mission to enhance the well-being of Alaskans and others.”

Dr. Townsend will continue to serve the College of Business and Public Policy as a professor of economics, where he will focus on Alaska economic and fiscal policy and fisheries economics.

ISER is currently conducting a search for a permanent director.

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