Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

Jennifer Clark

Jennifer Clark PhD

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Office: 218 DM Smith Building
Phone: 404-395-7224

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 regional economic development, manufacturing, industrial districts and innovation.  Dr. Clark publishes research on the development and diffusion of regional policies and their effect on cities and their economic resilience.

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. Her second book, Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning (with Carl Patton and David Sawicki) was released in March 2012. 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. She is also editing the The 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, intellectual property, and manufacturing. She has collaborated on manufacturing and innovation policy projects with a broad range of governments and non-governmental organizations including the OECD, the Canadian government, the UK government, and the US government. 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. 


  • Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning
  • Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy

Recent Publications

  • 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.

Geographic Focus

Additional Keywords

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