My name is Davia Downey and I am the MPA Program Coordinator and an Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University in the Department of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration. Formerly, I was a doctoral student at Michigan State University in the department of Political Science. Before graduating in 2011, I  worked in the department as a teaching assistant and also worked in the Global Urban Studies Program as a research assistant to Dr. Laura A. Reese. My research and teaching interests are in American Politics with a focus on the urban subfield, public policy, and public administration. In particular, my interests lie in understanding local government institutions, racial politics, local policy creation and analysis, economic development, and political and policy ramifications of natural disasters on communities.

My research and teaching interests focus on American politics, including urban politics,  political institutions, public policy, racial politics, local government  and non-profit management studies, and economic development. Prior to beginning my graduate studies at MSU, I worked in various positions, most notably WUOM in Ann Arbor, Michigan and as the director of Community Relations for the Sphinx Organization. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Human Services at Albion College in 1999 and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Eastern Michigan University in 2004. Upon the completion of my Masters, I worked with the City of Ypsilanti, Michigan under the direction of the Assistant City Managers office.  

My research has focused on the impact of disaster relief on local economic development, the use of faith-based organizations to provide public services, and how civic culture of elites and citizens affect governing structures. I've presented this work in these areas at several conferences, including the annual meetings of the APSA, MPSA, UAA, SPSA, and ASPA. I have been published in Canadian Public Administration and the American Review of Public Administration and have a forthcoming publication in the DuBois Review. My work can also be seen in the Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity and, most recently in, Comparative Civic Culture: The Role of Local Government in Urban Policymaking.

My teaching experience includes teaching courses in Public Policy Analysis, Race and Ethnicity, Public Bureaucracy,  Urban/Local Politics, Community Analysis, Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Management, and a graduate seminar in Public Administration.
Ph.D, Michigan State University, 2011
MPA, Eastern Michigan University, 2004
B.A., Albion College, 1999
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Urban studies, economic development, emergency management, racial politics, public policy
Personal Interests
Running, travel, wine tasting, dancing, singing, and college sports.