Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

Jennifer Clark

Jennifer Clark PhD

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Office: 218 DM Smith Building
Phone: 404-385-7224

Jennifer Clark is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy and Director of the Center for Urban Innovation in the Ivan Allen College. Her research focuses on the development and diffusion of regional policies and their effect on cities and their economic resilience. Her newest book, Working Regions: Reconnecting Innovation and Production in the Knowledge Economy (2013) focuses on policy models aimed at rebuilding the links between innovation and manufacturing in the U.S. 

Her first book, Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy (with Susan Christopherson) won the Best Book Award from the Regional Studies Association in 2009. Dr. Clark’s second book, Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning (with Carl Patton and David Sawicki) is widely adopted in policy and planning courses.  She is also the co-editor of the forthcoming Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy with John Bryson and Vida Vanchan (f 2014). 

Dr. Clark writes, consults, and speaks on the subject of national and regional development policies related to innovation and manufacturing. She has collaborated on manufacturing and innovation policy projects with a broad range of governments and non-governmental organizations including the OECD and the Canadian, UK, and US governments. She currently serves as an economic advisor to The Essential Economy Council, a commissioner on the Miller Center's New Manufacturing Commission (part of the Milstein Symposium: Creating the Jobs of the Future), and a distinguished visiting fellow with the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. 

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. She served from 2012-2014 on the International Society for Optics and Photonics' (SPIE) Engineering, Science, Technology Policy Committee. At Georgia Tech, she is a faculty affiliate with the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE) and the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI). 

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. At Georgia Tech, Dr. Clark teaches courses on urban and regional economic development theory, analysis, and practice as well as research design and methods.


  • Working Regions: Reconnecting Innovation and Production in the Knowledge Economy

    Working Regions focuses on policy aimed at building sustainable and resilient regional economies in the wake of the global recession. Using examples of four ‘working regions’ — regions where research and design functions and manufacturing still coexist in the same cities — the book argues for a new approach to regional economic development. It does this by highlighting policies that foster innovation and manufacturing in small firms, focus research centers on pushing innovation down the supply chain, and support dynamic, design-driven firm networks.

    This book traces several key themes underlying the core proposition that for a region to work, it has to link research and manufacturing activities — namely, innovation and production — in the same place. Among the topics discussed in this volume are the issues of how the location of research and development infrastructure produces a clear role of the state in innovation and production systems, and how policy emphasis on pre-production processes in the 1990s has obscured the financialization of intellectual property. Throughout the book, the author draws on examples from diverse industries, including the medical devices industry and the US photonics industry, in order to illustrate the different themes of working regions and the various institutional models operating in various countries and regions.

  • Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy

    Since the early 1980s, the region has been central to thinking about the emerging character of the global economy. In fields as diverse as business management, industrial relations, economic geography, sociology, and planning, the regional scale has emerged as an organizing concept for interpretations of economic change. 
    This book is both a critique of the "new regionalism" and a return to the "regional question," including all of its concerns with equity and uneven development. It will challenge researchers and students to consider the region as a central scale of action in the global economy, and at the core of the book are case studies of two industries that rely on skilled, innovative, and flexible workers - the optics and imaging industry and the film and television industry. Combined with this is a discussion of the regions that constitute their production centers. The authors’ intensive research on photonics and entertainment media firms, both large and small, leads them to question some basic assumptions behind the new regionalism and to develop an alternative framework for understanding regional economic development policy. Finally, there is a re-examination of what the regional question means for the concept of the learning region. 
    This book draws on the rich contemporary literature on the region but also addresses theoretical questions that preceded "the new regionalism." It contributes to teaching and research in a range of social science disciplines and this new paperback edition will also make the book more accessible to students and researchers in those disciplines, those individuals who will influence the re-structuring economies of the 21st century.

  • Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning

     Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning presents quickly applied methods for analyzing and resolving planning and policy issues at state, regional, and urban levels. 
    Quantitative and qualitative methods are combined in a systematic approach to addressing policy dilemmas and urban planning problems. In addition to methods, the book presents the rationale and process of policy analysis as well as policy application cases. Many of today’s most important policy problems are resolved quickly, and time is seldom available for researched analysis. Planners and analysts must use quick, basic methods in order to generate, test, and even advocate alternatives in the time available and with the resources at hand—if they are to have an impact on public policy. 
    This book is for students and analysts who seek to learn quick, basic methods that can be applied to a range of policy problems. It should be especially useful for the beginning analyst or the person starting the study of policy analysis and planning. The book assumes no prior knowledge of advanced mathematics or economics on the part of the reader. We deliberately avoided methods that require such knowledge, but the reader who has these skills can certainly apply them to the exercises and cases. We also avoided methods that involve extensive research. 
    The book is divided into two parts: Part One: Methods presents quick, basic methods in nine chapters—organized around the steps in the policy analysis process. It also includes a review of the policy analysis and planning process and serves as a guide to recent literature on policy analysis and planning methods. Part Two: Cases presents seven policy cases, which range from brief mini-cases that can be solved in a day or two to longer, more complex cases that take substantially more time. The cases, like the methods chapters, are intended to lead the reader to integrate quantitative and qualitative approaches. Methods chapters include glossaries and exercises. All exercises and cases are taken from real experiences.

Geographic Focus

Additional Keywords

regional development, innovation systems, labor markets,industrial districts, manufacturing policy
781 Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0525