Research Team

Kevin C. Desouza, PhD is the director of the Metropolitan Institute and an associate professor at the Center for Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech. Before joining Virgina Tech, he was an associate professor at the University of Washington (UW) Information School and held adjunct appointments in the UW’s College of Engineering and at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. At UW, he co-founded and directed the Institute for Innovation in Information Management (I3M); founded the Institute for National Security Education and Research, an inter-disciplinary, university-wide initiative, in August 2006 and served as its director until February 2008; and was an affiliate faculty member of the Center for American Politics and Public Policy. He holds a visiting professorship at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. He has held visiting positions at the Center for International Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, the Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier (GSCM) Business School in France, and the Accenture Institute for High Business Performance in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA). In the private sector, he founded the Engaged Enterprise and its think-tank, the Institute for Engaged Business Research. The Engaged Enterprise was a global strategy consulting firm with expertise in the areas of knowledge management, crisis management, strategic deployment of information systems, and government and competitive intelligence assignments.

Desouza has authored, co-authored, and/or edited nine books and has published more than 125 articles in prestigious practitioner and academic journals. His work has also been featured by a number of publications such as Sloan Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Businessweek, Washington Internet Daily, Computerworld, KM Review, and Government Health IT.  Desouza has advised, briefed, and/or consulted for major international corporations and government organizations on strategic management issues ranging from management of information systems, to knowledge management, competitive intelligence, government intelligence operations, and crisis management. He is frequently an invited speaker on a number of cutting-edge business and technology topics for national and international, industry, and academic audiences. He has given more than sixty invited talks in a wide assortment of venues. Desouza has received over $1.4 million in research funding from both private and government organizations.

Margaret Cowell, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech in Alexandria. She received her Doctorate in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and previously worked as an economist at the Buffalo Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Dr. Cowell is a member of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation-funded research project, “Building Resilient Regions,” a national analysis of metropolitan resilience in the face of various challenges. She is also part of a team of researchers assessing the potential of the homeland security economy for community economic development and revitalization at the St. Elizabeths Hospital site in Southeast Washington, DC. Other recent research endeavors include several publications on deindustrializing regions across the United States, regional resilience, and polycentrism. Dr. Cowell’s research has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation, National Association of Counties, and the United States Economic Development Administration.

Lauren Bulka is a DC area native returning to the area to begin Virginia Tech’s Masters in Urban and Regional Planning program. After graduating in May 2011 from the University of Virginia with a Bachelors in Urban and Environmental Planning and a minor in architecture, she began her Masters studies this summer while abroad with Tech’s “Sustainable Europe” course. With a strong undergraduate background in community development, she looks to meld this and the sustainability research with her other interests including; economic development, historic preservation, and urban land use.

Jack O’Byrne is a mid-career PhD Candidate (expected December 2012) with Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy. He is a former local government executive, a Japan Society Local Government and Public Policy Fellow, and attended the Harvard Kennedy School State and Local Government Executive Program. Jack’s research focuses on the diffusion of local government 311 citizen service centers throughout the United States from the original non-emergency number in 1996 to its integration with CRM, GIS, SMS, social media, smartphone apps, and citizen-sourcing in 2011.

Yukika Awazu is a contributing researcher to the project. She is an adjunct scholar at BentleyUniversity. Her research and professional areas include work practice andtechnology, technology implementation, strategic innovation in socialenterprises, social entrepreneurship, knowledge management, global information systems, strategic outsourcing, emerging technologies, and strategic issues with information systems. She co-authored Engaged Knowledge Management (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and her articles have appeared in more than forty global business and academic journals including Business Strategy Review, Research-Technology Management, Technovation,Singapore Management Review, European Management Journal and Journal ofKnowledge Management, among others. Yukika hasworked for organizations in the United States and Japan, and worked as a global strategic research consultant and a subject matter expert for knowledge management and organizational innovation. She has been an Earhart Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, selected as an inaugural Henry E.Rauch Doctoral Fellow at Bentley University, and is listed in Who’s Who of Emergent Leaders. She was a LEAD Research Fellow at Oxfam America. She completed her MBA (Finance concentration) and MA inEconomics. She taught Management for undergraduate students and Business IT for MBA at Bentley University.