Thomas VicinoThomas Vicino, Chair
Northeastern University

Dr. Thomas J. Vicino is Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs and Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Northeastern University. In his various roles as an administrator in higher education, researcher and teacher, and strategic planner, Dr. Vicino brings a passion for student success, experiential learning, and community engagement. As an interdisciplinary scholar trained in Public Policy, his work is motivated by a dedication to shape and improve the public good. As a long-time committed member of UAA, he previously served as Chair, Vice Chair, and Treasurer as well as various committees.

Elsie HarperElsie Harper-Anderson, Vice Chair
Virginia Commonwealth University 

Dr. Elsie Harper-Anderson is an Associate Professor and Director of the Ph.D. program, Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research examines the impact of macroeconomic transformation on regional economies and urban labor markets with a focus on social equity. Her current research focuses on understanding entrepreneurial ecosystems and their impact on building inclusive economies.  She is also currently examining the impact of COVID-19 and the C.A.R.E.S. Act on African American workers, businesses, and communities in Virginia. Dr. Harper-Anderson earned her Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

Kimberley JohnsonKimberley Johnson, Treasurer

New York University

Kimberley Johnson is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, and Affiliate Faculty Member of the Wilf Family Department of Politics and the Wagner School of New York University. Johnson’s research focuses on American and urban political development, urban and local politics, and race and ethnic politics. Johnson is the author of two books, Reforming Jim Crow (Oxford University Press, 2010) and Governing the American State (Princeton University Press, 2007) and numerous articles on American political development and its intersection with racial and ethnic politics including the “The Color Line and the State: Race and American Political Development.” Current research projects focus on African American urban and suburban politics and black urban geographies of the Jim Crow era. Johnson is completing a book manuscript, tentatively titled, Dark Concrete: Newark, Oakland and the Black Power Metropolis, exploring the development of black power urbanism in Newark and East Orange, New Jersey and Oakland and East Palo Alto, California. 

Akira Drake RodriguezAkira Drake Rodriguez, Secretary
University of Pennsylvania

Akira Drake Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design. Her research examines the ways that disenfranchised groups re-appropriate their marginalized spaces in the city to gain access to and sustain urban political power. She is the author of Diverging Space for Deviants: The Politics of Atlanta’s Public Housing, which explores how the politics of public housing planning and race in Atlanta created a politics of resistance within its public housing developments. Dr. Rodriguez was recently awarded a Spencer Foundation grant to study how educational advocates mobilize around school facility planning processes.