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RSA Board

Mark Tewdwr-Jones: Chair (Trustee)

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.

Mia Gray: Vice Chair, Communication and Public Engagement, Secretary/Prize and Awards (Trustee)

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.

Sarah Ayres: Treasurer (Trustee)

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

Jessie P. Poon: Vice Chair; Chair, International Territorial Committee (Trustee)

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.

Andrew Beer: Vice Chair, Publications and Chair, Publications Committee (Trustee)

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 previously been the Chair of the Regional Studies Association (2012-2017).

Ron Boschma: Vice Chair, Research and Chair, Research Committee (Trustee)

Ron Boschma is a Full Professor in Regional Economics at the Department of Economic Geography at the Faculty of Geosciences, University of Utrecht. From January 2013 and until recently, he was also Full Professor in Innovation Studies at Lund University in Sweden. 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 and Regional Policy (Trustee)

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.

David Bailey: Editor-in-Chief, Regional Studies (Trustee)

Professor David Bailey is an influential business expert on economic restructuring and industrial policy and is perhaps best known for his knowledge of UK and West Midlands car manufacturing. Most recently, David has undertaken European funded research on using foreign investment to upgrade clusters and on industrial and regional policy. He has twice chaired the Regional Studies Association, and has acted as a Special Advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on the West Midlands region, presenting to a number of select committees and All Party Parliamentary Groups. He has also been a Non-Executive Director at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust from 2006-2013. Further details on his professional roles can be found here.

Paul Elhorst: Editor-in-Chief, Spatial Economic Analysis (Trustee)

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.

Martin Jones: Editor, Territory, Politics, Governance (Trustee)

Professor Martin Jones is Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Staffordshire University. He previously held the position of Director of the White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (WRDTC) and Professor of Urban and Regional Political Economy at the University of Sheffield and was Pro-Vice Chancellor at Aberystwyth University. 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.

Julie Tian Miao: Editor, Regions (Trustee)

Dr Julie Tian Miao is a Senior Lecturer in Property and Economic Development in the Melbourne School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. Her research and teaching interests cover the economics, planning and the built environment of the knowledge economy, knowledge workers, housing market dynamics and affordability, as well as innovative, informal and entrepreneurial urbanism. Previously (2013-2017), Julie worked as the Student and Early Career Representative for the RSA, and currently she is the Co-Editor for Regions Magazine and associate Editor for Regional Studies, Regional Science.

Dieter Kogler: Conference and Events Coordinator (Trustee)

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.

Joan Fitzgerald: Editor-in-Chief, Regions and Cities Book Series (Co-optee)

Joan Fitzgerald is a Professor of Urban and Public Policy at Northeastern University. She focuses on urban climate governance and the connections between urban sustainability and economic development and innovation. Her third book, Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development (Oxford Univ. Press, 2010), examines how cities are creating economic development opportunities in several green sectors. She is currently working on her next book, Greenovation, which examines how cities advance green technologies. Fitzgerald has published in numerous academic journals.

Stephen Hincks: Editor, Regional Studies Regional Science (Co-optee)

Stephen is a Reader in Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield.  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 (Routledge).

Weidong Liu: Member, China and Editor, Area Development and Policy (Co-optee)

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.

Paul Hildreth: Chair Policy Committee (Co-optee)

Paul is a UK and international advisor on cities, regions and local economies. He has contributed to policy nationally and to local economic development, governance and place-shaping. His distinctive expertise is working across policy practice and academia. Paul is Chair of the Policy Committee of the Regional Studies Association and is a non-executive Director of Cambridge Econometrics. In 2014, Paul contributed to the Research Evaluation Framework of UK universities (REF 2014). He has provided policy expertise to international (e.g. Council of Europe and OECD) and UK national organisations (e.g. Centre for Cities, Work Foundation, Department for Communities and Local Government, CABE), as well as being Visiting Policy Fellow at Salford University and Associate for the Centre for London, He has published on regional policy, place-shaping, governance and localism, city-regions, medium-sized cities and sub-national economic policy. Paul is completing a PhD part-time at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, London.


Helen Lawton-Smith:Chair of the Equalities Committee  (Co-optee)

Helen Lawton-Smith is Professor of Entrepreneurship, Department of Management, and is Director of the Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research, Birkbeck, University of London. She is an economic geographer and research career has focused on the links between entrepreneurship, innovation, public policy and regional development in national and international contexts. She is the Founder and Research Director of the Oxfordshire Economic Observatory ( and a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University.  She was the Birkbeck PI in the European Union project ‘Transforming Institutions by Gendering contents and Gaining Equality in Research’ (TRIGGER) (2014-2017).


Camilla Chlebna: Early Career Representative (Co-optee)

Camilla Chlebna is a postdoctoral researcher in the REENEA project on regional energy transitions at the Faculty for Sociology at University of Oldenburg in Germany. Her research is focused on sustainability transitions and the role of actors and agency in regional transition processes. She did her PhD at Oxford Brookes University on the subject of the role of institutions for the development of the wind energy industry in Britain and Germany. Camilla holds a Masters degree in Planning from Oxford Brookes University, UK, and a Bachelors degree in Regional Development and Planning from University of Technology, Vienna, Austria

Joshua Barrett: RSA Blog Editor (Co-optee)

  • Organisation: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • Email:

Joshua Barrett is a Senior Policy Analyst in the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation within the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. In this current role, he works to shape public policy related to innovation and regional development. His research interests include economic geography, regional development, public policy, democracy, governance, and labour mobility. Joshua holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Political Science, and a Master of Arts in Geography from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Alex de Ruyter: Co-optee

Alex de Ruyter is a professor at Birmingham City University and serves as Director of its Centre for Brexit Studies. He brings a wealth of research experience and academic engagement in the area of regional economic development and labour market issues. He has published over 60 academic outputs in leading national and international journals, including the International Journal of HRM, British Journal of Industrial Relations, European Journal of Industrial Relations, Cambridge Journal of Regions Economy and Society, and has been the recipient of research funding, including being an investigator in the ESRC-funded study on the effects on subsequent employment experience of workers from MG Rover (with David Bailey) after plant closure in 2005. Professor de Ruyter has undertaken numerous media interviews and is currently researching on the likely impact of Brexit on the UK automotive supply chain in addition to exploring working in the “gig economy”.

Fulong Wu: Representative Editor, Area Development and Policy (Observer)

  • Organisation: Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, UK
  • Email:

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

Donna Carmichael: Student Representative (Observer)

Donna is a PhD research student at the London School of Economics, London.  Her research examines urban regeneration in deindustrialized cities with particular focus on spatial and wealth inequality and the issues related to inclusive growth, and her thesis is entitled “Culture-led Regeneration and Rebranding of Mid-Sized Post-Industrial Cities and the Challenge of Inclusive Growth”.  Donna holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto, Master of Business Administration (MBA) from York University in Toronto, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Regional and Local Economic Development from the University of Dundee in Scotland.

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.

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