Jennifer Clark, Ph.D.

Director of the Center for Urban Innovation; Associate Professor of Public Policy

Member Of:
  • School of Public Policy
  • Center for Urban Innovation
  • Technology Policy and Assessment Center
Office Phone:
Office Location:
DM Smith 218

Jennifer Clark is an Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy and Director of Georgia Tech's Center for Urban Innovation, a GT Interdisciplinary Research Center

Dr. Clark has written three books: Working Regions: Reconnecting Innovation and Production in the Knowledge Economy (2013), Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy (2007) (w/ Susan Christopherson), winner of the Best Book Award from the Regional Studies Association in 2009, and the 3rd edition of Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning (w/ Carl Patton and David Sawicki), a widely adopted text in policy and planning courses. Her current research projects include a new book: Making Smart Cities: Innovation and the Production of New Urban Knowledge (with Columbia University Press). In 2015 she co-edited the Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy (w/ John Bryson and Vida Vanchan). In addition, she has written more than thirty articles and book chapters.  

Within the field of regional economic development policy, Dr. Clark focuses on the actors and processes that shape agglomeration economies and innovation systems in and across city-regions. Her work draws on economic geography, public policy, and regional planning. The resulting research program and publications focus on: 1) the co-location of innovation and production through firm networks (clusters), regional innovation systems, and institutional intermediaries, and 2) the governance (national and regional policies) behind the organization of resilient regional economies and “smart” cities.

Dr. Clark writes, consults, and speaks on the subject of national and regional development policies related to innovation and manufacturing and production (esp. among small and medium sized firm networks). She has collaborated on manufacturing and innovation policy projects with a broad range of national and state/provincial governments and non-governmental organizations including: the OECD, the EU, the Canadian, UK, and US governments, professional academic associations such as the Regional Studies Association and the Industry Studies Association, and the National Science Foundation (US). 

Dr. Clark's academic leadership includes serving as Chair (2017-2018) of the Economic Geography Specialty Group (EGSG) of the American Association of Geographers, previously serving as EGSG's Vice-Chair (2015-2016). Dr. Clark is also an editor of the journal, Regional Studies. She is also on the editorial review board of the book series, Economic Transformations, with Agenda Publishing.  Dr. Clark has been an honorary senior research fellow with the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. She is also a Founding Member of the Industry Studies Association and served as the Regional Planning conference Track Chair for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning from 2009-2012. She also served from 2012-2014 on the International Society for Optics and Photonics' (SPIE) Engineering, Science, Technology Policy Committee. Since the mid-1990s, Dr. Clark has studied the spatial and organizational dynamics of the optics, imaging, and photonics industry both in the U.S. and internationally. 

Dr. Clark earned her Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University, a Master’s degree in Economic Development and Planning from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Dr. Clark teaches courses on urban and regional economic development theory, analysis, and practice as well as research design and methods.

  • PhD, Cornell University
  • MPlan, University of Minnesota
  • BA, Wesleyan University (CT)
Awards and
  • Editor, Regional Studies
  • Chair, Economic Geography Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers
  • Nominating Committee, American Association of Geographers
  • Regional Studies Association Best Book Award, 2009 - Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy. London: Routledge.
  • Honorary Senior Research Fellow, 2013-2016, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Keynote Speaker. Smart Cities and Social Entrepreneurship: Remaking Markets and Manufacturing Open Innovation Spaces. The 19th Uddevalla Symposium on "Geography, Open Innovation, Diversity and Entrepreneurship", London, UK June 2016
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada Faculty Research Award, 2007 - 2010, Canadian Studies Program
  • Commissioner, Bipartisan Commission on New Manufacturing, 2013-2014, Miller Center, University of Virginia
  • Engineering, Science & Technology Policy Committee (ESTeP) Member, 2012-2014, International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE)
  • Economic Adviser 2012-present, The Essential Economy Council
  • Selected Participant, Science Tour 2016: City of the Future, DAAD: The German Academic Exchange Service or Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst
Areas of
  • Industrial Districts
  • Innovation Systems
  • Labor Markets
  • Manufacturing Policy
  • Regional Development