Meet Our New Faculty

GPS welcomed five new faculty members this fall who arrived with energy, enthusiasm and a diverse range of teaching experiences. Learn a little about each of them below as we asked three questions about their academic focus, research and teaching.

Renee Bowen

Renee Bowen

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: I am a theoretical economist working at the intersection of microeconomics, political economy and international trade.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: My works asks how institutions can be designed to affect policy and result in efficient economic outcomes. Applications include mandatory spending programs, such as medicare and social security, and international organizations, such as the WTO.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: Game theory is a powerful tool that can be used to understand and anticipate strategic interactions. I hope students learn to apply these tools to understand the dynamics of international trade policymaking.

Rafael Fernández de Castro

Rafael Fernández de Castro

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: The U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship, Mexican foreign policy and citizen security in Mexico.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: Given today’s political backdrop, I seek to enlighten others, particularly students of public policy and international relations about the intricacies woven in the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relations. Moreover, I was a pioneering scholar in assessing the dangers of Central American immigrants transiting through Mexico. I believe, that my writing and presentations helped the topic to gain traction both in academic and journalistic circles. I cannot say the abuses to migrants in transit have been resolved.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: I am an academic with policy experience. I was in the cockpit of Mexican foreign policy in the Felipe Calderon administration. So, I will challenge my students to understand the constraints of policymakers when making decisions, especially in times of crisis. In addition, during my academic and policy career I have constructed a relevant network of friends and peers. I never hesitate to use this network for the benefit of my students. I can either get them an internship in different countries of Latin America or get an interview or advice from an expert.

Uma R. Karmarkar

Uma R. Karmarkar

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: I look at how people integrate the information around them to make economic decisions, particularly in uncertain situations.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: By understanding the mechanisms underlying marketplace decision-making, we can help people make confident and informed decisions. We can also develop better ways for companies and other institutions to offer more useful information to their customers.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: There are very few “right” answers in business policy, and even fewer that generalize across communities and markets. I hope students will leave my class having mastered flexible tools and frameworks to dynamically build the best strategies for the specific markets in question. I also hope they will have developed understanding of how to evaluate a situation from the perspective of both institutions and individuals.

Gaurav Khanna

Gaurav Khanna

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: Education policy and infrastructure in developing countries, U.S. immigration policy and conflict.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: My aim is to engage with policymakers on the consequences of building schools and upgrading infrastructure in developing countries, on the impacts of migration to the U.S. and the determinants of conflict in fragile areas.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: The ability to ask important, policy-relevant questions and then answer them in a watertight manner.

Munseob Lee

Munseob Lee

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: I focus on firm dynamics and its implication to economic growth.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: My aim is to understand sources of economic growth. I exploit big data to investigate heterogeneity behind aggregated macro variables. By finding regularity from complex data, I hope to inform scholars and the policy community.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: I believe the job of a teacher is to provide long-lasting toolkits and engage students in creative and critical thinking. My goal is to make students think like an economist in daily life issues and real world problems.