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Brian Dabson

Research Fellow

Brian Dabson joined the School of Government in July 2016 from the University of Missouri’s Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, where he served as Associate Dean, Research Professor, and Director of the Institute of Public Policy. Previously, he served as President of the Rural Policy Research Institute and President of CFED (now Prosperity Now), a Washington, DC-based national nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity through asset-building, entrepreneurship, and economic development.

He was a member of the National Steering Committee of the National Rural Assembly (2007–2011), a member of the Community Development Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (2007–2012), and President of the Consortium of University Public Service Organizations (CUPSO) (2014-2015).

His current work focuses on rural and regional development and resilience with an emphasis on regional strategies that bridge rural and urban places. He serves as Senior Fellow at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte’s Urban Institute and as Advisor to LOCUS Impact Investing.

Prior to coming to the United States in 1992, he was director of the Center for Employment Initiatives (CEI) a UK-based research and technical assistance nonprofit that worked across Europe on community and economic development programs, and before that, served in a number of local government planning and economic development positions in Liverpool and Glasgow. He also held the position of President of the Social Innovations Forum at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (2000–2003).

Dabson has a master’s degree in social science from University of Birmingham Institute of Local Government Studies (Birmingham, England, UK) and an undergraduate degree in town planning from Oxford Brookes University (Oxford, England, UK). He was a chartered town planner and member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

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