Leadership

Directors

Amy Cabrera Rasmussen

Dr. Cabrera Rasmussen received her B.A. and M.A. from California State University Long Beach, and earned her Ph.D. in political science from Yale University.  She was a visiting researcher at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University and has received research fellowships from Yale University, the Ford Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the CSULB Research Infrastructure for Minority Institutions’ NIH-sponsored health disparities program. Her scholarly work examines policymaking processes, discourse, and impact.  Substantively, she grounds her work in various aspects of public policy that involve health and identity, specifically issues such as environmental health, health disparities, and reproductive and sexual health.  Her research utilizes interpretive methods and a theoretical framework that emphasizes the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and nation.  Her current research includes a study of environmental health policy making as it affects and is affected by the local Long Beach community. In the local Long Beach community, she previously served as the chair of the collaborative Just Environment Long Beach (formerly the Environmental Health Work Group of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Long Beach initiative). She is also a member of the CSULB President’s and Provost’s Leadership Fellows Program where she is working to analyze and enhance the relationship between the CSULB campus and the local community.

Peter Levine

Dr. Levine is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life. He was the founding deputy director (2001-2006) and then the second director (2006-2015) of Tisch College’s CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. In addition, Levine co-leads the Civic Studies major, teaches the Summer Institute of Civic Studies, and organizes the annual Frontiers of Democracy conference. Levine graduated from Yale in 1989 with a degree in philosophy. He studied philosophy at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, receiving his doctorate in 1992. From 1991 until 1993, he was a research associate at Common Cause. From 1993-2008, he was a member of the Institute for Philosophy & Public Policy in the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. During the late 1990s, he was also Deputy Director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal. Levine is the author of We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America (Oxford University Press, 2013), five other scholarly books on philosophy and politics, and a novel. He has served on the boards or steering committees of AmericaSpeaks, Street Law Inc., the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, Discovering Justice, the Kettering Foundation, the American Bar Association Committee’s for Public Education, the Paul J. Aicher Foundation, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium.

Valeria Sinclair-Chapman

Dr. Sinclair Chapman earned her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and her B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Her research focuses on American political institutions, legislative politics, minority representation in Congress, and minority political participation, examining why and how previously marginalized groups gain inclusion in the American political system. She is author or co-author of journal articles in the Journal of Politics; Electoral Studies; Political Research Quarterly; and Politics, Groups, and Identities, as well as several book chapters and the award-winning Countervailing Forces in African-American Political Activism, 1973-1994 (Cambridge University Press 2006). She currently serves as a lead editor for the American Political Science Review, and is co-lead editor of Politics, Gender, and Identities; past president of the Women’s Caucus of the South in the Southern Political Science Association; and former co-president of the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.

Advisory Board

Rogers M. Smith

Rogers M. Smith (rogerss@sas.upenn.edu) has been the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania since 2001. He was previously the Alfred Cowles Professor of Government at Yale University, where he taught from 1980 to 2001. He is the author or co-author of many articles and eight books, including That Is Not Who We Are! (2020), Political Peoplehood (2015), and Civic Ideals (1997). Civic Ideals received six best book prizes and was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History. Smith was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004, the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 2011, and the American Philosophical Society in 2016. He served as Associate Dean for Social Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania from 2014-2018, and as President of the American Political Science Association in 2018-2019.

Mindy Romero

Mindy Romero is the founder and director of the Center for Inclusive Democracy (CID), formerly known as the California Civic Engagement Project, which is part of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and is based in Sacramento, California. Romero is a political sociologist and holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on political behavior and race/ethnicity, and seeks to explain patterns of voting and political underrepresentation, particularly among youth and communities of color in California and the U.S.

Romero has been invited to speak about civic engagement and political rights in numerous venues, testifying before the National Commission on Voting Rights and the California Legislature, among others. Her research has been cited in major news outlets, including The New York Times, Washington PostLos Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Politico and the Huffington Post. She has also been a frequent guest on National Public Radio, Capital Public Radio, and several other NPR-affiliated stations in California. She is a regular op-ed contributor to the Sacramento Bee and CalMatters.  

Romero works with a wide array of policymakers, elected officials, voter education groups and community advocates to strengthen political participation and representation. She is currently an adjunct fellow of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and former member of their Statewide Survey Advisory Committee. Romero is a member of the California Secretary of State’s Taskforce on the Voter’s Choice Act. She is the former Chair of Mutual Housing California and former Vice-Chair of the Social Services Commission for the City of Davis.

Adam Levine

Dr. Levine is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan, and was a faculty member in the Government Department at Cornell before joining Johns Hopkins in 2020. A vibrant democracy demands collaboration, and his research focuses on when, why, and how people with diverse forms of knowledge and lived experience work together to solve problems of mutual concern, such as improving the health of their local community and directly addressing many of the social determinants of health. The types of collaborations he focuses on are largely between researchers and community leaders such as nonprofit practitioners, advocates, organizers, and local policymakers. In addition to advancing the study of collaboration he spends considerable time putting his and others’ research findings into practice as president of research4impact (r4impact.org), a nonprofit organization that connects researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. Since 2018 he has created over 250 new collaborations and also led dozens of workshops across the world to help people build new collaborations in their own organizations, educational institutions, and workplaces. He also serves on the advisory board for a number of national initiatives to strengthen connections between research, practice, and policy, including with MetroLab, the National Science Foundation, Civic Science Fellows, and others. 

John Dedrick

John Dedrick is executive vice president and chief operating officer at the Kettering Foundation. He has a longstanding research interest in the theory and practice of democracy and has worked closely with higher education professionals and community-based forum moderators on numerous scholarly and community-based research studies.

Dedrick has written on deliberative politics in The Deliberative Democracy Handbook (Gastil and Levine, eds., Jossey-Bass, 2005), The Journal of General Education, and Deliberation and the Work of Higher Education: Innovations for the Classroom, the Campus, and the Community (Dedrick et al., eds., Kettering Foundation Press, 2008). Dedrick is former board president of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement. He serves on the executive committee of Deliberative Democracy Consortium, the public policy committee of Philanthropy Ohio, and the editorial board of the Journal of Public Deliberation. He is also a Faculty Fellow at Fielding Graduate University, where he leads seminars on topics including deliberation, dialogue, and civic engagement. Dedrick received a BA and MA from the College of William and Mary and an MA and PhD in political science from Rutgers University.

Jamila Michener

Jamila Michener is an associate professor in the department of Government at Cornell. She is co-director of the Cornell Center for Health Equity, co-director of the Politics of Race, Immigration, Class and Ethnicity (PRICE) initiative, and board chair of the Cornell Prison Education Program. She studies poverty, racial inequality, and public policy. She is author of an award-winning book: Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism and Unequal Politics (Cambridge University Press). As an engaged scholar, Michener engages extensively with state, local, and national policymakers and organizations, advising on issues related to poverty, racial inequality, and public policy. She is a member of the executive board of the Scholars Strategy Network (SSN), an organization focused on bringing academic research to policymakers, civil associations, and the media. Michener’s public writing and commentary have been featured in the New York Times, the Washington PostVoxNPR and many other outlets. Prior to working at Cornell, Dr. Michener was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at the University of Michigan. She received her MA and PhD from the University of Chicago and her undergraduate degree from Princeton University.  

Karthick Ramakrishnan

Karthick Ramakrishnan is professor of public policy and political science at the University of California, Riverside, and founding director of its Center for Social Innovation. He has published many articles and 7 books, including most recently, Citizenship Reimagined (Cambridge, 2020) and Framing Immigrants (Russell Sage, 2016). He has written dozens of opeds and has appeared in nearly 3,000 news stories. Ramakrishnan was named to the Frederick Douglass 200 and is currently working on projects related to racial equity in philanthropy and regional development. He holds a BA in international relations from Brown University and a PhD in politics from Princeton.

Ramakrishnan serves on the Board of The California Endowment and the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni, chairs the California Commission on APIA Affairs, and serves on the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee (NAC). Ramakrishnan is founding director of AAPIData.com, which publishes demographic data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He also founded Census Legacies, which builds on the foundation of census outreach coalitions to build more inclusive and equitable communities.

Samantha Majic

Samantha Majic received her PhD in Government from Cornell University and is an associate professor of political science at John Jay College-CUNY. Her research lies in gender and American politics, with specific interests in sex work, civic engagement, and celebrities and politics. She is the author of Sex Work Politics: From Protest to Service Provision (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), co-editor (with Carisa Showden) of Negotiating Sex Work: Unintended Consequences of Policy and Activism (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), and co-author (with Carisa Showden) of Youth Who Trade Sex in the US: Agency, Intersectionality, and Vulnerability (Temple University Press, 2018). Her research has also appeared in numerous political science and gender studies journals. A Fellow of the American Association of University Women, Dr. Majic is also a member of the editorial boards for Perspectives on Politics, The American Political Science Review, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Critical Policy Studies.

Amber Wichowsky

Amber Wichowsky is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Marquette Democracy Lab. Her research explores the intersections between politics and socioeconomic inequality in the United States. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University’s Center for the Study of American Politics. She previously worked at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in Washington, DC. Professor Wichowsky’s research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Urban Affairs Review, among others. Her book, The Economic Other: Inequality in the American Political Imagination (co-authored with Meghan Condon) was recently published by the University of Chicago Press.

Ethel Tungohan

Ethel Tungohan is an Assistant Professor and a Canada Research Chair in Canadian Migration Policy, Impacts and Activism at the Department of Politics at York University. Her research looks at migrant communities and migrant movements in Canada, in Southeast Asia and transnationally. Recent projects include collaborative research partnerships assessing the occurrence of Anti-Asian racism in Canada during COVID-19 and examining the effects of COVID-19 on Filipina care workers. She has written widely on socially-engaged research, participatory action research and activist scholarship. In addition, she is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Migrant Resource Centre Canada, a grassroots migrant-serving organizing based in Toronto, Canada. She has also recently started a podcast called “Academic Aunties,” and regularly writes op-eds on migration issues.

Dorian Warren

A progressive scholar, organizer and media personality, Dorian Warren has worked to advance racial, economic and social justice for more than two decades. Like the organizations he leads, Warren is driven by the innate conviction that only social movements – led by the communities most affected by economic, gender and social injustice – can change their communities and public policies for the better.

At this historical and challenging moment, Dorian is uniquely positioned to lead the work of Community Change – organizing and mobilizing powerful, multi-racial alliances around social justice at a time when inequality, political apathy and exclusion are on the rise.

Growing up on Chicago’s South Side, Dorian learned firsthand the power of unions to unleash economic opportunities. His great-grandparents were sharecroppers, his grandparents were janitors and his mother was a teacher in Chicago’s public schools for more than 40 years.

Guided by his intuitive understanding of inequality, Dorian has devoted his life to building the power and capacity of low-income people. As an alum of progressive organizations and universities, Dorian is an unparalleled force in progressive politics in America.

Adriano Udani

Adriano Udani is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Public Policy Administration Program at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. He also serves as the Research Advisor for the Community Innovation and Action Center at the university. Adriano specializes in the study of mass political attitudes toward immigrants and migrant communities as well as the local impact of detention and surveillance. His research is published in peer-reviewed social science journals in public administration, public policy, public opinion, state and local politics, as well as race and identity studies. Currently partnering with immigration attorneys and grassroots advocacy groups in St. Louis, Adriano works with Central American and Mexican asylum seekers to create a process that educates, accompanies, pays, and positions asylum seekers as policy leaders and knowledge producers to abolish any and all forms of detention. This work has led to developing a general framework that centers equity and reciprocity in research collaborations between academics and people beyond academia. Adriano graduated from Northwestern University, received his MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a PhD from the University of Minnesota.

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