USC Access to Opportunity Project Faculty Partners

Lisa K. Bates, Portland State University

PhD, 2006 Department of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; BA, 1999 Political Science, George Washington University

Lisa K. Bates, PhD is Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Urban Studies in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Her research focuses on housing and community development policy and planning, and is especially concerned with policy design and implementation that dismantles institutional racism. She often works in partnership with local government and community-based organizations, collaborating on research-informed policy development, implementation, and evaluation. Dr. Bates’ research and practice partnerships have included ACORN Housing Corporation in New Orleans and Chicago, the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the Multnomah Youth Commission, the Portland Housing Center, the Portland African-American Leadership Forum, and PolicyLink.

Raphael Bostic,  Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta,University of Southern California

Dr. Raphael Bostic is President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

Dr. Bostic served for 3 years in the Obama Administration as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In that Senate-confirmed position, Dr. Bostic was a principal advisor to the Secretary on policy and research, with the goal of helping the Secretary, and other principal staff, make informed decisions on HUD policies and programs, as well as budget and legislative proposal. Bostic led an interdisciplinary team of 150 which had expertise in all policy areas of importance to the department, including housing, housing finance, rental assistance, community development, economic development, sustainability, and homelessness, among others. During his tenure and with his leadership, PD&R funded more than $150M in new research, became an important advisory voice on departmental budget and prioritization decisions, and reestablished its position as a thought leader on policies associated with housing and urban development.

Dr. Bostic arrived at USC in 2001, where he served as a professor in the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning, and Development. His work spans many fields including home ownership, housing finance, neighborhood change, and the role of institutions in shaping policy effectiveness. A particular emphasis has been on how the private, public, and non-profit sectors interact to influence household access to economic and social amenities. His work has appeared in the leading economic, public policy, and planning journals. He was Director of USC’s Master of Real Estate Development degree program and was the founding director of the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast. Prior to that, he worked at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where his work on the Community Reinvestment Act earned him a Special Achievement Award.

He was named the Judith and John Bedrosian Chair in Governance and the Public Enterprise and director of the Bedrosian Center on Governance at the Price School of Public Policy in 2012. Since 2016, Dr. Bostic has served as the chair of the Governance, Management and Policy Process department.

In an earlier stint at HUD, Dr. Bostic served as a special assistant to Susan Wachter when she served as the Assistant Secretary for PD&R. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University and his BA from Harvard University.

Shawn Flanigan, San Diego State University

Shawn Flanigan is a Professor of Public Affairs. She received her Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy from the University at Albany, after receiving her Master of Public Administration and B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Flanigan’s research focuses on ways in which the health and human service needs of vulnerable populations are addressed by state and non-state actors, with a specific interest in the developing world and low-income populations in the United States. Her teaching focuses on supporting students and community stakeholders to engage in effective program design, policy development, and advocacy for more just and equitable communities. Dr. Flanigan has conducted field research in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Romania, Sri Lanka, and the United States. In addition to working for state government agencies in New Mexico and New York, Dr. Flanigan has provided technical assistance and/or policy recommendations to nonprofit organizations, local government agencies in California, the National Intelligence Council, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations, and the White House Office on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, among others.

Emily Lieb, Seattle University

PhD, History, Columbia University (2010)
AB, History, Brown University (1999)

Emily Lieb is an assistant professor in the new Peace and Justice Studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Seattle University. She is an historian of 20th-century American cities. Her research focuses on processes of racial segregation and neighborhood change—especially housing policy and school policy—from the Progressive Era to the present day. She teaches classes on the histories of American cities, schools, and social policy; the histories of civil-rights and freedom struggles in the United States; and the American labor movement.

In collaboration with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project, Dr. Lieb organizes symposia designed to help K–12 teachers in public and private schools teach about past and present struggles for justice and equality in the United States. She has also been the director of Seattle University’s Poverty Education Center since 2015.

Sheryl Whitney, Whitney Jennings

Sheryl Whitney is a Partner of Whitney Jennings, a management consulting firm dedicated to helping institutions be more effective and build stronger communities. She comes to this firm after building a record of leadership and creativity in public service.  Sheryl served for seven years as Deputy County Executive in King County. In this role she supervised and managed the Departments of Adult and Juvenile Detention, Community and Human Services, Development and Environmental Services, Executive Services, Information Technology, Natural Resources and Parks, Public Health and Transportation, a workforce totaling 13,000 employees. This position also placed Sheryl in a leadership role for numerous transformative initiatives in King County, including those focused on advancing equity and social justice, sustainable housing solutions, policies to slow the rate of climate change, alternatives to incarceration, the quality of rural area service provision and improved program performance measurement and accountability.

Sheryl has provided equitable development consultation to the Ford, Kresge and Open Society Foundations and well as New York University.  She has also worked as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and played a key role in helping rethink approaches to fair housing, so that they become more inclusive and better influence planning and development patterns in communities.

Sheryl’s passions extend beyond effective public administration, fair housing, and equitable economic development. She actively advocates for child welfare reform and an improved foster care system.  She currently serves as a Dependency Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and formerly worked on these issues as part of the Casey Family Program team.

Sheryl has a Masters degree in International Economic Development from American University in Washington, D.C., a Bachelors degree in International Studies from the Jackson School of the University of Washington, and a certificate in Executive Leadership from Seattle University.