RSA Board

Andrew Beer: Chair

Andrew Beer is Dean, Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia Business School. He previously worked at the University of Adelaide and the Flinders University of South Australia. His research interests include the operation and functioning of Australia’s housing markets, the drivers of regional growth, economic change in major cities and the impacts of an ageing population. Andrew has been the Chair of the Regional Studies Association since 2012.

Mia Gray: Secretary

Mia Gray is an economic and social geographer at Cambridge University.  Her current research explores the politics and the distributional effects of austerity. She examines the intertwining of the economic, social and political effects on the local decisions around austerity and the shaping of the local state. This project highlights the uneven nature of the budget cuts, the political coalitions surrounding funding change, and the institutional mechanisms which promote change in policy priorities in the UK, the US, and Canada. She is also one of the editors of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society.  

Jessie P. Poon: Vice Chair, Chair, International Territorial Committee

Jessie P.H. Poon is Professor of Geography at the University at Buffalo, New York. She is currently an editor of Environment and Planning A. She was the North American editor of Papers in Regional Science from 2002 to 2006. She has published widely on multinational firms’ locational strategies in Asia, foreign direct investment, multinational firms' locational strategies, and technological upgrading dynamics in Asia.

John Shutt: Vice Chair, Publications and Chair, Publications Committee

Professor Shutt is Professor of Employment and Regional development at Leeds Business School,Leeds  Beckett University,United Kingdom. He is also a Visiting Professor at CURDS,Newcsastle University and at the College of Management,Zheijang University of Technology, Hangzhou,China. John has worked for local, regional,national and European governments. He has directed the European centre at Leeds Business School (ERBEDU) and was deputy Director of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies(CLES) the local economic think tank in Manchester. He has recently completed research assignments in China, South Africa and the United States as well as Europe. He is currently undertaking research on place based development and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) in the North of England and on the implementation of European Union Regional Policy 2014-2020. John teaches on the Leeds MBA and Masters in Regeneration and Urban Management and the Masters in International Trade and Finance. 

Ron Boschma: Vice Chair, Research and Chair, Research Committee

Since January 2013, Ron Boschma is Full Professor in Innovation Studies at Lund University in Sweden. He is also Full Professor in Regional Economics at the Department of Economic Geography at the Faculty of Geosciences, University of Utrecht. He has widely published in international journals on Evolutionary Economic Geography, the spatial evolution of industries, regional systems of innovation, the structure and evolution of networks, agglomeration externalities and regional growth. 

John Bachtler: Vice Chair, Europe

Professor John Bachtler is Professor of European Policy Studies and a Director of the European Policies Research Centre. His research experience is principally in regional and industrial development in Europe, encompassing the economic development policies of the EU Member States and several other European countries, the structural and cohesion policies of the European Union, EU integration and enlargement.

Sarah Ayres: Treasurer

Sarah Ayres is a 'Reader in Public Policy and Governance' at the University of Bristol, UK. Her central research interest is the governance of place, space and territory. This core provides the basis for two main strands of work. First, her research is concerned with devolution and decentralisation in both a UK and an international context, with a particular emphasis on analysing inter-governmental relations between central government and local actors. Second, it has explored the role of partnership working and network management in the governance of territory. Sarah is a political scientist with expertise in public administration and theories of policy making. Her research is concerned with territorial and collaborative governance - how actors from state, market and civil society coalesce and work with one another in specific localities. Details on research projects, publications and professional roles can be found at

Ivan Turok: Editor-in-Chief, Regional Studies

Professor Ivan Turok is Executive Director of the Economic Performance and Development Programme at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal ‘Regional Studies’ and Honorary Professor at the Universities of Cape Town and Glasgow. He is also Chairman of the City Planning Commission for eThekwini (Durban). Ivan is a regular adviser to the United Nations, OECD, European Commission and several national governments. He is a member of the Expert Panel set up by the SA Government to prepare an Urban Policy for the country. He is the author of over 150 academic publications, journal articles, book chapters and books on urban and regional economics and development. He also wrote the 2011 State of South African Cities Report and was co-author of the 2006 State of English Cities Report.

Paul Elhorst: Editor-in-Chief, Spatial Economic Analysis

Paul Elhorst is Professor of Spatial Econometrics at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and author of the book “Spatial econometrics: from cross-sectional data to spatial panels” that appeared in 2014. Since September 2015 he is Editor-in-Chief of the RSA journal Spatial Economic Analysis. His research interests are spatial econometrics, both theoretical and empirical, software, regional labour market analysis, economic growth, research productivity, military spending, contagion, FDI, fiscal policy interaction and transport economics. He has written more than 100 papers in refereed journals, both in English and Dutch, and supervised 7 PhD theses.

Frank Peck: Editor, Regions

As Director of the Centre for Regional Economic Development, Frank Peck conducts research on regional economies and provides consultancy services for external agencies and organisations involved in local and regional development. Previous research includes publication on the regional impacts of inward investment, industrial restructuring and small business and entrepreneurship in rural areas. More recent work has focused on the regional effects of public procurement and the employment impacts of contact centres in peripheral regions.

Martin Jones: Representative Editor, Territory, Politics, Governance

Professor Martin Jones joined the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield in September 2013 as Director of the White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (WRDTC) and as Professor of Urban and Regional Political Economy. He previously held positions at Aberystwyth University and was a Pro-Vice Chancellor. Martin is the originator and co-editor of the journal Territory, Politics, Governance and plays an active role in learned societies through the Regional Studies Association. Martin is an interdisciplinary researcher, working in the broad area of society and space and specifically on the interface between economic and political geography. 

Stephen Hincks: Representative Editor, Regional Studies Regional Science

Stephen is a Senior Lecturer in Planning and Environmental Management at the University of Manchester. His research lies within the broad scope of urban and regional studies with a specific focus on applied spatial analysis, uneven spatial development and urban-regional policy and governance. He has recently published articles on recession and uneven spatial development, neighbourhood change, the governance and politics of spatial economic re-balancing, and city-regional agglomeration 'boosterism’. His co-edited volume ‘Territorial Policy and Governance: Alternative Paths’ is due to be published in 2017 as part of the Regional Studies Association's ‘Regions and Cities’ book series (Routlledge).

Fulong Wu: Representative Editor, Area Development and Policy

Fulong Wu is Bartlett Professor of Planning at University College London. His research interests include urban development in China and its social and sustainable challenges. He has recently published a book, Planning for Growth: Urban and Regional Planning in China (2015, Routledge). He was awarded 2013 Outstanding International Impact Prize by UK ESRC. He is an editor of International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. He has previously taught at Cardiff University and the University of Southampton. Details on research projects, publications and professional roles can be found at

Dieter Kogler: Conference and Events Coordinator

Dieter F. Kogler is a lecturer in economic geography at University College Dublin. His research focus is on the geography of innovation and evolutionary economic geography, with particular emphasis on knowledge production and diffusion, and processes related to technological change and innovation. He is involved in several multidisciplinary and multi-collaborative research projects, and has recently edited two special journal issues on the topics of global and regional dynamics in knowledge flows and innovation networks (European Planning Studies, 09/2013) and evolutionary economic geography (Regional Studies, 05/2015). His career path combines professional, education and research experience acquired in Europe, the United States, and Canada within a variety of areas pertaining to the spatial analysis of socio-economic phenomena.

Paul Hildreth: Policy and Debate

Paul is an independent advisor on cities, regions and local economies with local, national and international experience. He is a Visiting Policy Fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF) at Salford University, Associate for the Centre for London and non-executive Director of Cambridge Econometrics. He participated in the 2014 Research Evaluation Framework (REF) of UK universities. He has been an adviser to international (e.g. OECD, UNHABITAT, Council of Europe and UNDP) and UK organisations (e.g. Centre for Cities, Work Foundation, Department of Communities and Local Government and CABE). He has published papers on regional policy, place shaping, governance and localism, city-regions, medium-sized cities and sub-national economic policy.

Mark Tewdwr-Jones: Partnership & Cooperative Working

Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones is Director of Newcastle City Futures and Newcastle University's Chair of Town Planning and one of the UK's leading authorities on planning, land use, historic and contemporary urban change, and community participation in places. He was previously Government Advisor on planning, land use and housing issues to ministers in UK Government, the Welsh Government and Scottish Government, and served as a lead expert for the Government Chief Scientist Sir John Beddington’s Foresight project on Land Use Futures; more recently he has been involved in Sir Mark Walport's Future of Cities Foresight project. He was also a lead expert on the NHS NICE project on spatial planning and health, advised the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, served on the ESRC CASE Award Panel and RTPI General Assembly, has given evidence to select committees, and was a panel member for DFiD's Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. He leads the Newcastle Gateshead RCUK Innovate UK urban living partnership, co-leads the EPSRC Digital Economy Research Centre and Digital Civics CDT programme, and is a member of the MRC National Innovation Centre for Ageing Science. He directs Newcastle City Futures, and chairs the City Futures Development Group, an innovative collaborative arena bringing together academics from Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, with officials from Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, and business representatives.  

Weidong Liu: China and Editor, Area Development and Policy

Weidong Liu is a full professor in Economic Geography and assistant director at the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. His areas of study are regional development and policies in China, foreign direct investments, spatial impacts of new information and communication technologies, and the changing geography of automobile industry in China. Weidong is the (co-)author of 12 books (one in English) and 150 peer-reviewed journal papers (35 papers in English). He is the chair of the RSA-China Division and the head of the Commission on Economic Geography of the Geographical Society of China.

Julie Tian Miao: Membership and Member Services

Julie Miao is a Lecturer in Urban Planning and Development at Glasgow University, and Glasgow-Nankai Postgraduate School in China. Her research interests are knowledge economy, innovation policy and knowledge-based city/regional development. Especially she is interested in knowledge spaces, such as science parks, innovation centre and incubators, and their effect on cities’ competitiveness. Previously (2013-2017), Julie worked as the Early Career Representative for the RSA. 

Chloe Chang Liu: Student Representative

Chloe Liu is currently a PhD research student in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong. Her current research interests are about the cultural and creative industries and regional development studies. She has previously been awarded a M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University in New York, and holds a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from Tongji University in Shanghai.

Mattia Casula: Student Representative

Mattia Casula is currently a PhD research student in the Department of Political Science at LUISS University in Rome. His research interests are about Cohesion Policy in European underdeveloped regions and defragmentation policy in Italian regions. He has previously been awarded a BA in Political and Organizational Sciences and a MA in Politics, Administration and Organization from the University of Bologna. 

Michael Taster : Observer

Michael Taster is a current PhD research student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield. His current research project is sponsored by the RSA and is entitled, "The Creation and Reproduction of Policy Relevant Spatial Knowledge and New Publishing Models, A Case Study of Regional Studies." The project seeks to investigate how developments in the scholarly communication system are affecting spatial studies. He has previously been awarded an MA in Town and Regional Planning from the University of Sheffield and holds an BA and MSt in Classical Archaeology from the University of Oxford.

Edward Jones: Observer

Edward Jones is in the final stages of PhD research at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London. His doctoral research has investigated the operation and governance of Tech City, a cluster of creative-digital firms in inner east London. He has published co-authored papers on industry and manufacturing in London, and is currently developing a tool to enable researchers to investigate economies in London from the grassroots. Edward is a chartered town planner, and prior to returning to academia worked for several London local authorities. He manages the RSA’s Brexit and Industrial Strategy site and is keen to hear from researchers and policymakers working on issues related to Brexit, Industrial Strategy and Regional Policy.

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