Albany, NY — The Rockefeller Institute of Government has named four dynamic researchers as 2019 Richard P. Nathan Public Policy Fellows. Over the next year, they will work with Rockefeller Institute experts to research timely public policy issues: access to postsecondary education for inner-city residents, the fiscal health of small cities, higher education accessibility and affordability, and social safety net programs in New York State.
The prestigious fellowship program was named after longtime former Rockefeller Institute Director Richard Nathan. Candidates with policy expertise were invited to apply to spend a year working with the Institute to advance their research and connect it with policymakers.
“As Richard P. Nathan Public Policy Fellows, these diverse, distinguished researchers have a unique opportunity to dig deeply into pressing public policy issues that affect New Yorkers,” said Rockefeller Institute Interim Executive Director Patricia Strach. “By connecting their findings with the policymakers and stakeholders who can make a difference, they’re truly embodying Richard Nathan’s career. I look forward to the results of their work here at the Institute.”
The fellows are:
Dr. Amalia Dache is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, Dr. Dache was an Afro-Cuban American scholar and assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri. Her experiences as a former Cuban refugee and student traversing U.S. educational systems, such as urban K-12 schools, community college, state college, and a private research-intensive university inform her research and professional experiences. She earned her Ph.D. from University of Rochester’s Margaret Warner School of Education. Dr. Dache plans to use the fellowship to work closely with local governments in Rochester and other western New York cities with similar racial and economic demographics to share and publish geographic data on racial, transit, and economic factors inhibiting access to local postsecondary education.
Michael W. Klein
Dr. Michael W. Klein is an associate member of Rutgers University Ph.D. in Higher Education Program faculty. Previously, he was a research associate for the Office of the Provost and interim executive director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University. Before joining the Hughes Center, Dr. Klein served as the executive director of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU), a nonprofit advocacy organization for New Jersey’s state colleges and universities, from 2012 to 2017. He served as NJASCU’s director of government and legal affairs between 1998 and 2011. Upon his departure from NJASCU, he was presented with a Joint Legislative Resolution from the members of the Senate and Assembly Higher Education Committees, commending his service to public higher education in New Jersey. As a Nathan Fellow, Dr. Klein will advance his research on the affordability and accessibility of higher education.
Dr. Gregory Rabb is a professor of Political Science at Jamestown Community College. He is a national mentor and consultant to the College in Advance Placement U.S. and Comparative Government and Politics. He is also an adjunct lecturer in political science at Buffalo State College. Outside of campus, Dr. Rabb has been president and councilman at large of the Jamestown City Council since 2008, a city of Jamestown marriage officer since 2011, and he was delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention from New York’s U.S. House District 27. Dr. Rabb’s fellowship research will take an in-depth look at 10 representative small cities in New York State to examine conditions that led to fiscal stress in 2018, and how these cities have coped, with recommendations for short-, middle-, and long-term policy solutions.
Dr. Tara Watson is a professor of Economics and chair of the Public Health program at Williams College. As an applied microeconomist focused on U.S. social policy, Dr. Watson will focus her fellowship research on the U.S. social safety net and its implementation in New York State. Before graduate school, Dr. Watson worked at the Brookings Institution, studied health policy with a postdoctoral Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan from 2007 to 2009, and spent a year as a visiting scholar at the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. She has also served as deputy assistant secretary for microeconomic analysis in the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Economic Policy in 2015 to 2016.
About the Rockefeller Institute of Government
The Rockefeller Institute of Government is the public policy research arm of the State University of New York. The Institute conducts cutting-edge research and analysis to inform lasting solutions to the problems facing New York State and the nation.