Tracey Ross is the Associate Director of the All-In Cities Initiative at PolicyLink, an initiative that helps cities across the country adopt policies and practices to promote equitable growth. She also serves as a delegate to the U.S.-Japan Leadership program, which fosters connections between leaders in both countries. Ross began her career as a Senate staffer, and has also been a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress, where she focused on urban poverty and environmental justice. She has written for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and been featured on MSNBC and Al Jazeera English.
Areas of Expertise: Public policy involving growth, economic progress, racial economic inclusion, U.S.-Japanese relations
David C. Kang is a professor of International Relations and Business at the University of Southern California. He is also the director of both the USC Korean Studies Institute and the USC Center for International Studies. Kang is broadly interested in the international relations of Asia, with his research exploring questions of economic development, security relations in the region, and the historical basis of contemporary relations. His latest book is American Grand Strategy and East Asian Security in the 21st Century (Cambridge, 2017).
Kang is a regular consultant for U.S. government agencies and the military for his regional expertise. He has also written opinion pieces in several publications, including the New York Timesand the Washington Post, and he has appeared regularly in media such as CNN, WNYC, and NPR.
Professor of International Relations and Business, University of Southern California
Areas of Expertise: International Relations of Asia, Economic Development, Security Relations of Asia, North Korea
Luisa Blanco, Ph.D. is an associate professor at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy where she teaches the core course on macroeconomic policy. Her research in Latin America concentrates on economic development and international policy-making. In the United States, Blanco studies household finance and financial planning, with a focus on minorities. She works in Malibu, California.
Her work has been funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Aging (NIA), USAID, Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, Pepperdine Office of the Provost, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and CAF Research Program on Citizen Security
Areas of expertise: financial planning, economic development, macroeconomics
Amy Liu serves as vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. She is a national expert on cities and metropolitan areas adept at translating research and insights into action on the ground.
As senior fellow and co-director of the Metro Program, which Liu co-founded in 1996, she pioneered the program’s signature approach to policy and practice, which uses rigorous research to inform strategies for economic growth and opportunity. Liu has worked directly on such strategies with scores of public and private sector leaders in regions around the country, including Chicago, Kansas City, and Phoenix.
Liu also has extensive experience working with states and the federal government to develop policies and strategies to support cities and metropolitan areas. She co-authored “Delivering the Next Economy: The States Step Up,” outlining a model for states to support bottom-up regional innovation and put this into practice when she worked with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and other state leaders to develop the New York Regional Economic Development Councils process, a pioneering model for regionalizing state economic development and incentivizing bottom-up innovation.
At the federal level, in 2013 Liu served as a special advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, guiding policy priorities related to trade, innovation, and data.
Vice President and Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institution
Areas of Expertise: Economic Development, Exports and Trade, State and Metropolitan Policies, Social Equity, Post-Disaster Recovery
He serves as co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, as well as on a number of national boards focusing on Native American development and wellness.
Prior to this appointment and while on faculty at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, she was also Deputy Director for Africa Research and Programs at the Center for International Development at Harvard University, was Managing Editor of the Harvard University-World Economic Forum Africa Competitiveness Report, and contributed to the Making Markets Work program at Harvard Business School.
Among her current research interests are economic growth and development, economic history, innovation, and financial institutions and markets. Cook is the author of a number of published articles, book chapters, and working papers. With former colleague and co-author Jeffrey Sachs, she advised the governments of Nigeria and Rwanda, and, as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, she was Senior Adviser on Finance and Development at the Treasury Department from 2000 to 2001.
From November 2008 to January 2009, Dr. Cook was on the Obama Presidential Transition Team and led the review of the World Bank and International Affairs division of the Treasury Department. During the 2011-2012 academic year, she was on leave at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and worked on the euro zone, financial instruments, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
Associate Professor of Economics and International Relations at Michigan State University
Areas of Expertise: Economic Growth and Development, Innovation, Economics, Microeconomics, Deficit, International Markets, Finance, Property Rights, Financial Institutions and Crises
In an interview with CA Forward Thinkers, Hyepin Im (HAY-pihn ihm) says, “From the beginning, we knew that it made sense to work with churches, because 75% of the Korean community here is connected to their church. At KCCD, we work through churches to provide access to services for newly arrived and not-so-newly arrived immigrants. Immigrants often see their church as a haven that supports them in so many ways.”
Im is the founder, president and CEO of Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD), a nonprofit that works nationally to connect local Korean and Asian-American immigrant community with the private and public institutions that affect their lives politically and economically. KCCD’s programs and services include homeownership and foreclosure prevention counseling and small business development training. A new chapter will be opening in DC in the upcoming future.
The Center for Community Economic Development reports that Im partnered with the FDIC and Freddie Mac to develop a Korean curriculum in financial literacy and homeownership, and she implemented a $5 million U.S. Department of Labor workforce development program.
President and CEO of Korean Churches for Community Development (www.kccd.org)
Areas of Expertise: Homeownership, Affordable Housing, Foreclosure, Financial Education, Savings & Investment, Workforce, Economic Development, Economics, Asian Americans, Immigration, Mental Health, Marriage Education, Domestic Violence, Digital Literacy