Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) announced today James Woodward, PhD., as its new Research Analyst, effective Monday, January 4. Woodward’s hire follows the departure of Chelsie Wollett, who accomplished a great deal for the organization and the OhioSE region during her tenure.
Woodward is an experienced economic research analyst with a demonstrated history of researching and writing about a range of policy areas. Prior to joining the OhioSE team, Woodward earned his Master of Public Policy and a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Kentucky. During his time there, Woodward worked for the commonwealth’s Hazard Mitigation Grant program, helping to verify the quality of regional emergency preparedness plans. He also performed policy-related research for the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, contributing to a paper on possible, new treatment options for those with disabilities.
Most recently, Woodward served as an Economic Research Analyst with the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute where he collected economic data, performed research, and wrote about economic policy issues. Woodward has also spent time researching public economics, health economics, and occupational licensing. His dissertation, American Obesity: Rooted in Uncertainty, Institutions, and Public Policy, looked at the role bad public policy in recent decades (as opposed to consumers and/or market forces) may have played in the rapid increase in obesity rates.
A native of Athens, Ohio, Woodward looks forward to bringing his experience in research and analysis to advance economic development in Southeast Ohio. “OhioSE is well-positioned to understand and advance the economic interests of the regional economy,” said Woodward. “As someone born and raised in the area, I am excited to return to the region to support OhioSE’s efforts to increase economic opportunities for the people who live and work here. I know this region has a lot to offer and look forward to sharing my research with the OhioSE team and area partners.”
At OhioSE, Woodward will work closely with leaders and staff and support economic development efforts through research and data analysis.
“We feel very fortunate to have James join the OhioSE Team,” said OhioSE President Mike Jacoby. “James is from our region with fantastic educational and experience credentials. Most importantly, he has a passion for putting his research skills to work in order to make our region a better place.”