Clark economist Brown named Mosakowski Research Fellow

John Brown, Clark University Professor of Economics

Clark President David Angel has named Professor of Economics John Brown as the first Jane and William Mosakowski Distinguished Faculty Research Fellow of Clark’s Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise.

Brown is an economic historian affiliated with the Clark program in Urban Development and Social Change. He also serves as a research economist with the Program in Cohort Studies of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His recent work has examined efforts to revitalize Worcester’s Main South neighborhood, and his research as Mosakowski Fellow is expected to focus on the problems and opportunities of America’s mid-sized cities.

Mosakowski Institute Director Jim Gomes said Professor Brown’s research focus and scholarship on urban economies are perfectly fitted to the Institute’s mission and Clark’s engagement with Worcester. “Tens of millions of Americans have been hit hard by the recession, and figuring out how these places can thrive again is a major challenge of the coming decades, and a major opportunity also,” he said.

“As the national economy slowly recovers from the recent housing boom and bust cycle, we are again paying attention to the important role older cities in the Northeast and Midwest can play in economic recovery,” Brown said. “My research focus will be on mid-sized cities and understanding the deeper structural factors—both economic and spatial—that influence their resilience and growth potential. I am hopeful that this kind of research can help policy-makers as they respond to both the short-run challenges posed by the recent recession (and foreclosures) and the longer-run concerns about sustainable development.”

Brown received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Earlier in February, Clark announced the appointment of John O’Brien as its new Jane and William Mosakowski Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, effective in August.

O’Brien is a national leader in advocating for the health of vulnerable populations. He formerly served as CEO of the Cambridge Health Alliance and Commissioner of Health for the City of Cambridge. He is a past chair of the Board of the Massachusetts Hospital Association. He holds an A.B. in Economics from Harvard and an MBA in Health Care Administration from Boston University.

“John O’Brien is an eminent and sophisticated practitioner, an outstanding thought leader who wants his work to have an impact on the outside world. His work with the Institute is going to help shape and advance the debate around health care in America,” said Gomes.

The post of Mosakowski Distinguished Professor of Higher Education was held previously by Richard Freeland, current Commissioner of Higher Education for Massachusetts and former president of Northeastern University.

Brown’s and O’Brien’s appointments mark “an important moment in the development of the Mosakowski Institute,” said President Angel. “Their expertise and insights will advance the mission of the Institute and the University’s leadership in bringing use-inspired research to bear on important problems facing our country and the world.”

Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a small, liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark’s faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to contemporary challenges in the areas of psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University’s motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.