BLOOMINGTON and INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Sameeksha Desai has been named the new director of the Manufacturing Policy Initiative (MPI), a multifaceted effort focusing on U.S. manufacturing policy within the Indiana University Public Policy Institute and the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Desai, an associate professor in the O’Neill School, will assume her new duties on March 15. She replaces Keith Belton, who departed from the role in July.
The MPI studies challenges facing the U.S. manufacturing sector, assesses public policies that impact the industry, and identifies policy options for enhancing this vital component of the U.S. economy.
The Initiative serves as a source of objective, state-of-the-art information; offers analysis and recommendations on public policy issues affecting U.S. manufacturing; and is a resource for policy makers, manufacturers, the workforce, and other academics.
“Manufacturing policy is fundamentally about people and how our lives improve,” Desai said. “It’s about jobs, which means it’s about relationships between employees and employers, and how manufacturers engage with our communities. It’s about consumers and innovations that improve our daily life, and opportunities for manufacturers to start new businesses and grow. It’s about competitiveness and trade. And all of those things are connected. It’s humbling to be part of this initiative that matters so much to Indiana and to American economic resilience.”
Desai’s most recent position was with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she served as director of knowledge creation and research. There she led the design and implementation of a translational research strategy in entrepreneurship. Under her leadership, the foundation built out knowledge infrastructure to foster information flows and partnerships between researchers and practitioners in entrepreneurship, invested in researcher pipeline and training, and supported data infrastructures.
“We thank Samee and value her focus on translational research,” said Kauffman Foundation President and CEO Wendy Guillies. “Her work has helped inform Kauffman Foundation strategies and provided practical insights for entrepreneurs and those who support entrepreneurs.”
Desai joined the O’Neill School in 2010. Her research focuses on the policies that shape access to economic opportunity and the role of entrepreneurs in regional economic development and resilience.
About the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
The O’Neill School is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2021 "Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs" by U.S. News & World Report, the O'Neill School ranks first in the country. Four of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings, including nonprofit management, ranked first.