The faculty and staff of the Scrivner Institute are defined by their passion, expertise and dedication to using public policy as a tool to create a more just, equitable and healthy world. The Institute draws faculty from across the Korbel School and the whole University to ensure its research, programming, and curriculum interrogates policy in an interdisciplinary and holistic way. Learn more about them and how they're advancing positive public policy solutions below.

Scrivner Institute Team

Naazneen Barma


Naaz Barma

Naazneen H. Barma is Director of the Doug and Mary Scrivner Institute of Public Policy, Scrivner Chair, and Associate Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is a political scientist whose work spans topics including peacebuilding, foreign aid, the political economy of development, and global governance. She is currently working on a collaborative project that aims to develop a principled and pragmatic roadmap for a modern global liberalism. She is author of The Peacebuilding Puzzle: Political Order in Post-Conflict States (Cambridge University Press 2017), co-author of Rents to Riches? The Political Economy of Natural Resource-Led Development (World Bank, 2011), and co-editor of Institutions Taking Root: Building State Capacity in Challenging Contexts (World Bank, 2014) and The Political Economy Reader: Markets as Institutions (Routledge, 2008). Prior to joining the Korbel School faculty, she was Associate Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School from 2000–2010 and previously worked from 1998–2001 and 2007–2010 as a development practitioner at the World Bank.

Landon Mascareñaz

Consultant, Democracy and Civil Discourse Initiatives

Landon Mascareñaz headshot

Landon is an educator, writer, and democracy builder. As co-founder of the Open Systems Institute, he partners with leaders around the country to encourage an emerging discipline for openers everywhere. He advises The Colorado Project and Denver Democracy Summit, promotes democracy redesign through ranked choice voting as co-chair of Denver Deserves Democracy, and expands economic opportunity in southern Colorado through adapting the award-winning Emergent Campus initiative to Trinidad. He is also a founding leader of The Cornerstone Project, working to upgrade democracy infrastructure in education races across the country. Dr. Mascareñaz is the current elected chair of the Colorado State Board for Community Colleges & Occupational Education, appointed by Colorado Governor Jared Polis. He also serves as chair of the Reisher Scholars Program, supporting students across the state to achieve their higher education goals.

Katie Aker

Assistant Director

Katie Aker

Katie Aker is the Assistant Director for the Scrivner Institute of Public Policy. She has a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Katie has previously worked as a program manager and coordinator for several social impact initiatives, including programs related to university-community engaged research, ocean conservation and social enterprise, and sustainable agriculture action research. Prior to graduate school, Katie served as a community economic development volunteer with the Peace Corps in Peru and completed her undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Spanish at Colorado State University.

Scrivner Faculty

Naazneen Barma

Associate Professor, Scrivner Chair

Naaz Barma headshot

Expertise: political economy, statebuilding, public policy, foreign aid, global governance

Ajenai Clemmons

Assistant Professor

Ajenai Clemmons headshot

Expertise: police-community relations in the U.S. and Europe, inequality, intersection of policy and politics

Hinckley Jones-Sanpei


Hinckley Jones-Sanpei headshot

Expertise: ethics in public policy, U.S. social policy, and program evaluation

Matt Kazan

Associate Professor of the Practice

Matt Kazan

Expertise: health policy, legislative and regulatory policy

Lapo Salucci

Teaching Associate Professor

Lapo Salucci headshot

Expertise: urban politics and policy, demographics, US policy, methodology, statistics

Kaitlyn Sims

Assistant Professor

Kait Sims headshot

Expertise: applied economics, public health, public policy, crime

Korbel Faculty

Deborah Avant

Distinguished University Professor, Sié Chéou-Kang Chair

Deborah Avant headshot

Expertise: security, human rights, climate, technology, business, non-state actors, governance

Rachel Epstein

Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Affairs

Rachel Epstein headshot

Expertise: economy, security, international organizations

Ritwick Ghosh

Assistant Professor

Ritwick Ghosh headshot

Expertise: environmental policy, market-based solutions, climate change

Frank N Laird

Associate Professor

Frank Laird Headshot

Expertise: renewable energy policy, renewable energy politics, environmental policy, climate policy, science policy

Rebecca Galemba

Associate Professor, Co-Director of DU Center for Immigration Policy & Research

Rebecca Galemba Headshot

Expertise: Im/migration; Borders; Labor Rights; Smuggling; Engaged Ethnography

Fritz Mayer

Dean and Professor, Korbel School

Fritz Mayer Headshot

Expertise: international trade, climate change, value chains, narrative politics, democracy

Linda Mendez Barrientos

Assistant Professor

Linda Mendez Barrientos headshot

Expertise: power, institutional change, water governance, environmental justice

Tamra Pearson d’Estrée


Tamra Pearson d'Estree headshot

Expertise: identity dimensions of social and ethnic conflict, intergroup conciliation and reconciliation, evaluation of international, community and environmental conflict resolution

Martin Rhodes


Martin Rhodes headshot

Expertise: comparative political economy, European public policy

Francisco Rodríguez

Rice Family Professor of the Practice of International and Public Affairs

Francisco Rodriguez headshot

Expertise: Economic sanctions, economic development, Latin American economics

Rachel Sigman

Assistant Professor

Rachel Sigman headshot

Expertise: democracy, governance, public administration, bureaucratic politics, policy implementation, African politics and administration, state capacity

Other DU Faculty

Andrew R. Goetz

Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment

Andy Goetz headshot

Expertise: transportation, urban studies, urban and regional planning, sustainability




Jennifer Greenfield

Associate Professor; Associate Dean for Doctoral Education, Graduate School of Social Work

Jen Greenfield Headshot

Expertise: social policy analysis, health policy, aging policy, family caregiving, economics of caregiving




Rafael Ioris

Professor, Department of History and Urban Studies

Rafael Ioris headshot

Expertise: Latin American politics, the history of development, Latin American foreign policy and US-Latin American relations




Seth Masket

Professor, Department of Political Science; Director, Center on American Politics

Seth Masket headshot

Expertise: US politics, campaigns and elections, parties, polarization

Govind Persad

Associate Professor, Sturm College of Law

Govind Persad headshot

Expertise: health law, health policy, health insurance, public health, bioethics




Lolita Tabron

Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Lolita Tabron headshot

Expertise: P-12 educational leadership, critical policy analysis, college readiness, access, and transitions; STEM education and pathways for historically underserved communities, critical approaches to quantitative inquiry and research


Chiara Piovani

Associate Professor, Department of Economics

Chiara Piovani headshot

Expertise: political economy, environmental justice, feminist economics


Ellen Winiarczyk

Academic Director and Teaching Associate Professor, Nonprofit Leadership, University College

Ellen Winiarczyk headshot

Expertise: leadership development, diversity/equity/inclusion/belonging, strategic planning, executive coaching


Support the Scrivner Institute's mission to explore how public policy can help address our most pressing collective problems

Give Now