Qingfang Wang, Ph.D.
Internal Director & Professor of Public Policyqingfang.email@example.com | (951) 827-5581
Dr. Wang joined the ICSD as our Internal Director in 2019. She received her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Georgia in 2005 and her M.S. from the Central University of Finance and Economics, China in 1997. Dr. Wang's research area lies broadly in immigration, labor market, and development. Her recent work includes research on immigrant, ethnic and female entrepreneurship, and transnational migration of the highly skilled, especially in the higher education sector.
External Director & Fmr. Executive Director of the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG)firstname.lastname@example.org| (951) 405-6701
Rick Bishop serves as co-director of the Inland Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD) which operates as one of four centers within the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside. ICSD’s objective is to be a network center, honest broker, resource and important leader in public analysis and decision-making for local and regional decision-makers as they identify and focus on critical topics and issues related to the inland region’s future growth.
Rick is also a Vice President of Acquisitions for National CORE, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit affordable housing developers. National Core has developed more than 120 properties across the U.S.
Rick recently retired as Executive Director of the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) and the Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency (RCHCA), where he served in this capacity for nearly 21 years. In this position Rick was responsible for developing and implementing a number of regional programs in diverse areas such as transportation, energy, environment, growth, and the economy.
Rick has worked in both the private and public sectors, managing entitlement projects for wireless communications, overseeing County legislative programs, negotiating public facilities development agreements, preparing fiscal impact reports for development projects and ensuring appropriate project mitigation of impacts on public infrastructure.
Deputy Director & Professor of Political Scienceronald.email@example.com | (951) 827-4548
Dr. Loveridge has taken an active role in our Center since 2013. Dr. Loveridge served the City of Riverside for 33 years, as a City Councilman from 1979 to 1994 and as its Mayor from 1994 to December 2012. As Mayor, he taught one course a year at UCR. "Local Leadership in California." He now focuses his attention on the research related to the growth of the suburbs, public policy, urban planning, transportation, air quality and the intersection of cities and natural lands. Loveridge earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from Stanford University.
Contract and Grant Analystshayna.firstname.lastname@example.org | (951) 827-7830
Shayna Conaway joined ICSD in 2004 as the Finance and Event Manager. More recently, her role has expanded to include contract and grant administration for the School of Public Policy, in addition to her work with the Centers. Before joining the Center, she worked as a Financial Analyst in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Dean's Office at UCR where she assisted with the financial management of the Center from its inception. Prior to coming to Riverside, Shayna worked in mortgage banking finance. She received her B.A. degree in Sociology from California State University, Fresno in 1992.
Wei Kang, Ph.D.
Dr. Kang joined the ICSD as Research Scientist in 2020. She received her Ph.D. in Geography from Arizona State University in 2018, her M.Sc. in Cartology & Geographical Information System (GIS) from Peking University, China in 2014, and B.Sc. in GIS from Wuhan University, China in 2011. Dr. Kang’s research interests lie in spatial statistics & econometrics, social inequality and mobility, residential mobility, and neighborhood change. She is also a core developer and maintainer of the widely used open-source python spatial analysis library – PySAL.
Yohanna White joined ICSD as a policy analyst in July of 2021. She holds a BS chemistry degree from UC San Diego and an MS chemistry degree from the University of Georgia. Yohanna combined her passions for science and public service by pursuing a career in public policy. Upon graduation, she interned with a non-profit called Science for Georgia where she encouraged the public to engage in science issues and advocated for evidence-based science policies. Yohanna is also a part of the National Science Policy Network’s (NSPN) SciPol Scholars-in-Residence program, where she is receiving intensive training in science policy. Her research interests include implementing equitable policies that address social challenges, such as housing affordability, climate resilience, immigration, and diversity in STEM careers.
Center Advisor & President and CEO of National CORE
Steve PonTell is the Chief Executive Officer and President of National CORE, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable and senior housing. National CORE owns, operates, and/or manages nearly 9,000 units serving more than 27,000 residents in California, Florida, and Texas. Under his leadership, CORE has earned wide acclaim for their proven and effective approach to building and preserving affordable housing that positively impacts communities. He has become a passionate advocate for the residents and communities we serve and today is one of the leading voices and public speakers on the topic of housing affordability and community transformation. He has led several regional and national symposiums on our nation’s housing crisis and he is a nationally recognized authority on community development and creating forward-thinking organizations to maximize evolving market environments. In addition, Steve has addressed the California Assembly on the challenges facing the affordable housing industry. During his career, Steve has pursued a variety of entrepreneurial ventures and has held several public-private leadership positions. Active in his community and industry, Steve serves on several boards of directors, including the California Endowment, National Housing Conference, BizFed Institute and Southern California Leadership Council. He also is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and the American Planning Association. Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo in City and Regional Planning and an Executive MBA from Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Business. He is married to Victoria, a Ph.D. in nursing, and two daughters, Erin and Grace.
Chris Thornberg, Ph.D.
Center Advisor & Founding Partner of Beacon Economics, LLC
Christopher Thornberg is Director of the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development and an Adjunct Professor at the School. He is also the Founding Partner of Beacon Economics LLC. An expert in economic and revenue forecasting, regional economics, economic policy, and labor and real estate markets, Dr. Thornberg has consulted for private industry, cities, counties, and public agencies in Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Area, San Diego, the Inland Empire, Seattle, Orange County, Sacramento, Nevada, and other geographies across the nation. Dr. Thornberg became nationally known for forecasting the subprime mortgage market crash that began in 2007 and was one of the few economists on record to predict the global economic recession that followed. In 2015, he was named to California State Treasurer John Chiang’s Council of Economic Advisors, the body that advises the Treasurer on emerging strengths and vulnerabilities within the state’s economy. From 2008 to 2012, he served as an economic advisor to the California State Controller’s Office, and as Chair of then State Controller John Chiang’s Council of Economic Advisors. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of both the California Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and is an Executive Member of the Central City Association (Los Angeles) and a member of the California Association for Local Economic Development. Prior to launching Beacon Economics, Dr. Thornberg was a senior economist with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast. He previously taught in the MBA program at UCLA’s Anderson School, in the Rady School of Business at UC San Diego, and at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. A well-known media commentator, Dr. Thornberg has appeared on CNN and NPR and is regularly quoted in major national dailies including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Originally from upstate New York, Dr. Thornberg holds a Ph.D in Business Economics from The Anderson School at UCLA, and a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.