An institute of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Elsie Harper-Anderson, PhD

Dr. Elsie Harper-Anderson, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Director of the Ph.D. program at Virginia Commonwealth University, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. Her research examines the impact of macroeconomic transformation on regional economies and urban labor markets with a focus on social equity and sustainability. Her current research focuses on building equity within entrepreneurial ecosystems and their impact on creating inclusive economies. Other research interests include understanding and enhancing the connection between workforce development and economic development. Dr. Harper-Anderson serves as Chair of the Governing Board of the Urban Affairs Association and on the Committee on Diversity for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Her most recent publication is a book co-edited with Susan Gooden and Jay Albanese entitled Racial Equity, COVID-19 and Public Policy: The Triple Pandemic. Prior to academia, her work included experience evaluating economic development, workforce development, and housing programs for local, state, and federal agencies. She has also worked as a practitioner administering federal housing and economic development programs. Dr. Harper-Anderson earned her Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. in Public Management and Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.S. in Political Science from Lincoln University of Pennsylvania.