Jennifer Clark, Ph.D.

Director of the Center for Urban Innovation; Associate Professor of Public Policy

Member Of:
  • School of Public Policy
  • Center for Urban Innovation
  • Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory
  • Technology Policy and Assessment Center
Office Phone:
Office Location:
DM Smith 218

Jennifer Clark is Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she is Director of the Center for Urban Innovation and Associate Director for Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation. Dr. Clark's books include: Working Regions: Reconnecting Innovation and Production in the Knowledge Economy (2013), Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy (2007) w/ Susan Christopherson, winner of the Best Book Award from the Regional Studies Association in 2009, and the 3rd edition of Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning (2012) w/ Carl Patton and David Sawicki, a widely adopted text in public policy and urban and regional planning courses. She is also co-editor of the Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy (2015) and Transitions in Regional Economic Development (2018). Her current research projects include a new book: Making Smart Cities: Innovation and the Production of New Urban Knowledge (Columbia University Press). In addition, she has written numerous articles and book chapters.

Dr. Clark is a Fellow of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Her academic leadership includes serving as the current Chair of the Economic Geography Specialty Group (EGSG) of the AAG as well as serving as the Chair of the AAG’s Nominating Committee.  Dr. Clark is also an editor of the journal, Regional Studies. She earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University, a Master’s degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. 

Dr. Clark teaches courses on urban and regional economic development theory, analysis, and practice and research design and methods.  She specializes in the theory and analysis of the spatial organization of economic activity and regional economic development policy. Dr. Clark has provided expert testimony before the US Congress and policy advice and consulting to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the EU, the Canadian, UK, and US governments as well as serving on nongovernmental policy commissions and committees. 

  • PhD, Cornell University
  • MPlan, University of Minnesota
  • BA, Wesleyan University
Awards and
  • AAG Fellow, American Association of Geographers
  • Editor, Regional Studies
  • Chair, Nominating Committee, American Association of Geographers
  • Chair, Economic Geography Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers
  • Regional Studies Association Best Book Award, 2009 - Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy. London: Routledge.
  • Honorary Senior Research Fellow, 2013-2016, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Keynote Speaker. Smart Cities and Social Entrepreneurship: Remaking Markets and Manufacturing Open Innovation Spaces. The 19th Uddevalla Symposium on "Geography, Open Innovation, Diversity and Entrepreneurship", London, UK June 2016
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada Faculty Research Award, 2007 - 2010, Canadian Studies Program
  • Commissioner, Bipartisan Commission on New Manufacturing, 2013-2014, Miller Center, University of Virginia
  • Engineering, Science & Technology Policy Committee (ESTeP) Member, 2012-2014, International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE)
  • Economic Adviser 2012-present, The Essential Economy Council
  • Selected Participant, Science Tour 2016: City of the Future, DAAD: The German Academic Exchange Service or Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst
Areas of
  • Industrial Districts
  • Innovation Systems
  • Labor Markets
  • Manufacturing Policy
  • Regional Development
Research Fields:
  • Economic Development and Smart Cities
  • Global Cities and Urban Society
  • Regional Economic Development
  • Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
  • Urban Economics
  • Europe
  • North America
  • United States
  • PUBP-6112: Research Dsgn-Polcy Sci
  • PUBP-6602: Econ Dev Analy& Practice
  • PUBP-6604: Urban Policy Analy& Plan
  • PUBP-6741: Geography of Innovation
  • PUBP-8550: Adv Urb&Region Econ Dev
  • PUBP-8831: Special Topics
Selected Publications


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

    July 2013

    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.

    The 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, Clark 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

    December 2007

    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.

Recent Publications

Journal Articles


Working Papers

Other Publications