Skip to content
Leonard M. Lopoo

Leonard M. Lopoo

Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs Department

Director and Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Research

Director, Maxwell X Lab

426 Eggers Hall
315.443.3114 | lmlopoo@syr.edu

Leonard Lopoo serves as director and co-founder of the Maxwell X Lab. Len is also Paul Volcker Chair in Behavioral Economics in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs and the director of the Center for Policy Research at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. Len received his Ph.D. from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago in 2001, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University from 2001-2003. His research centers on policies, programs, and behavioral interventions designed to assist low-income families, and he teaches courses in statistics, program evaluation, and   predictive analytics. Len has received funding from a number of federal agencies and foundations, including the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Aging, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, and the Allyn Family Foundation. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research and teaching, including the Birkhead-Burkhead Teaching Excellence Award twice, an Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award, a Meredith Professors Recognition Award, and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize.

Margaret M. Austin

Margaret M. Austin

Associate Director, Center for Policy Research

426 Eggers Hall
315.443.9070 | mmaustin@syr.edu

Peg directs the day to day operations of the center. She is responsible for meeting faculty research needs, non-faculty personnel, graduate assistant setup and physical space for the Center. Peg manages the financial and staff support aspects of externally funded research projects.

Willy Chen

Willy Chen

Research Associate, Center for Policy Research


315.443.9046 | wchen46@syr.edu

Willy Chen is a Research Associate working with Amy Ellen Schwartz in the Center for Policy Research at the Maxwell School. His research interests are in Public Economics, Urban Economics, and non-experimental policy analysis. Willy is specifically interested in how the equilibrium outcome of large-scale policies effect the underrepresented. He received his M.A. in economics from the University of Chicago.

Michael Dunaway

Michael Dunaway

Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Policy Research


315.443.3114 | mjdunawa@syr.edu

Michael's research focuses is on Indigenous Energy Sovereignty. His dissertation focused on creating a tool to assess the technological appropriateness of renewable energy technologies on Native American Reservations. Michael is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and as such, has committed to working with diverse communities in his future research as well as promoting diversity and inclusion in his field.

Currently, Michael is a Future Professor Postdoc in the Maxwell School. He received his Ph.D. in natural resources from Cornell University with a focus on Indigenous energy sovereignty, his Master’s in Geography from University of Kansas with a focus on Indigenous geography and a graduate certificate in environmental studies, and his Bachelor’s degree from Haskell Indian Nations University with a focus on sovereignty and decolonization theory.

Michael's current research focuses on working with a Native American tribe in New York to build a renewable energy project to validate my doctoral research. He has also been trained in high-impact, evidence-based, active learning modalities that he bring to every classroom that he teaches in.

Katrina Fiacchi

Katrina Fiacchi

Administrative Specialist, Center for Policy Research

Administrative Specialist, Maxwell X Lab

426 Eggers Hall
315.443.9040 | kfiacchi@syr.edu

Katrina provides administrative support to the director of CPR, Len Lopoo; professors Badi Baltagi, Len Lopoo, Yingyi Ma, Jerry Miner, Michah Rothbart, Amy Schwartz; and the Maxwell X Lab. She also works with Associate Director Peg Austin to provide administrative support for all Center faculty and student grant submissions. Her general duties include conference and event planning, travel coordination, website updates and day to day assistance. Katrina also acts as the Center's editor for faculty and student publications. She is the assistant to the editor of the Journal of Urban Economics, Stuart Rosenthal.

Michael Kuss

Administrative Assistant, Center for Policy Research


315.443.9929 | mjkuss@syr.edu

Michael provides administrative support to CPR's Associate Director, Peg Austin, as well as Professors Bob Bifulco, Sean Drake, Sarah Hamersma, Colleen Heflin, Jeffrey Kubik, Amy Lutz, Jan Ondrich, David Popp, Ying Shi, Perry Singleton and Peter Wilcoxen. His general duties include correspondence and research funding funding opportunities. Michael also coordinates the Annual Herbert Lourie Memorial Lecture on Healthy Policy and other special events and projects.

Emily Minnoe

Emily Minnoe

Administrative Assistant, Center for Policy Research

426 Eggers Hall
315.443.3114 | erminnoe@syr.edu

Emily serves as front desk coordinator. She provides administrative support for professors Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, Madonna Harrington Meyer, Bill Horrace, Yilin Hou, Hugo Jales, Yoonseok Lee, Shannon Monnat, Stuart Rosenthal, Alex Rothenberg, Becky Schewe, Saba Siddiki, Johnny Yinger and Maria Zhu. These duties include correspondence, scheduling of meetings and appointments, travel arrangements and manuscript preparation. Emily is the social media correspondent for the Center and maintains our Facebook and Twitter pages. She also coordinates other special events and projects.

Candi Patterson

Candi Patterson

Computer Systems Specialist, Center for Policy Research

426 Eggers Hall
315.443.9443 | cpaterso@syr.edu

Candi provides end user computer support and maintenance, covering both hardware and software applications for CPR faculty, staff and research associates. She investigates, recommends and coordinates all equipment and software purchases/upgrades for CPR and serves as the CPR webmaster, overseeing the design and maintenance of the Center's website. Candi is also the liaison for Maxwell ICT research computing.

Xiaohan Sun

Xiaohan Sun

Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Policy Research


315.443.3114 | xsun30@syr.edu

Xiaohan Sun is a Postdoctoral Scholar working with Dr. Colleen Heflin in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her research focuses on child wellbeing and health, policy analysis, economics of education, and applied microeconomics. She has also contributed to multiple studies related to food assistance programs in child care settings. Xiaohan received her Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from University of Connecticut.

Please refer to Xiaohan’s personal website for more details regarding her research and teaching experience

Samantha Trajkovski

Samantha Trajkovski

Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Policy Research


315.443.9046 | setrajko@syr.edu

Samantha Trajkovski is a Postdoctoral Scholar working with Amy Ellen Schwartz in the Center for Policy Research at the Maxwell School. Her research interests are in labor economics, focusing on parental decision making regarding work and family, and how these decisions affect parents' careers and child outcomes. Samantha is also interested in how policies and norms directly shape parental decision-making, as well as how they interact with one another to influence outcomes. Samantha received her Ph.D. in  economics from the University of Connecticut.

Center for Policy Research
426 Eggers Hall