Best-Performing Cities 2014 — Contributors
Best-Performing Cities


Jessica Jackson

Jessica Jackson is a senior associate in regional economics at the Milken Institute. She conducts research related to human capital and regional development. Jackson's current work includes examining the skills gaps in the creative sector of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Prior to joining the Institute, Jackson was a teaching fellow at the University of North Texas teaching courses in Macroeconomics. She holds a master's degree in economics focusing on applied econometrics from the University of North Texas, where she also earned BA degrees in economics and history.

Joe Lee

Joe Lee is a research analyst with the Milken Institute on the regional economics team. He specializes in labor economics with a focus in human capital and economic development.

Before joining the institute he was a lab instructor at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) for their Department of Economics and was a part of Amazon's supply chain execution team in Seattle, WA.

Joe received his MA in economics from CSULB and graduated from The Evergreen State College with a dual major in economics and finance, minoring in mathematics.

Michael Cheng-Yi Lin

Michael Cheng-Yi Lin is a senior associate at the Milken Institute. His current research focuses on human capital as well as community, urban, and regional planning and development.

Prior to joining the Institute, Michael was a teaching associate at the University of Southern California (USC) in the areas of urban and regional economics, informal housing, policy and program evaluation, and quantitative methods and analysis.

Michael’s articles have been published in such academic outlets as the Annals of Regional Science, and he has published two book chapters about community planning and shrinking cities. He was also involved in writing several policy reports on green buildings, sustainable community development, and informal housing. His current working papers explore the relationship between talented individuals and urban development.

Michael received a Ph.D. in policy, planning, and development with a specialization in urban economics from USC. He earned a master's degree in urban design and a bachelor's degree in architecture, both from the National Taipei University of Technology in Taiwan.

Minoli Ratnatunga

Minoli Ratnatunga is director of regional economics research at the Milken Institute's Center for Regional Economics, where she focuses on regional economic development and regional competitiveness.

Before joining the Institute, she worked for eight years at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, a regional economic development organization focused on improving the competitiveness and quality of life in the Pittsburgh region. At the Allegheny Conference, Ratnatunga focused her research on energy policy, transportation and infrastructure funding, and state tax competitiveness, working with civic and business leaders to help key decision-makers make better policy choices. She also led the economic impact study practice, managing the production of research reports that captured the importance of strategic industries and projects to the Pennsylvania economy.

Minoli has a master's degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University, and a bachelor's degree in philosophy and economics from the London School of Economics.

Download the 2018 Best-Performing Cities Full Report
Download the 2018 Best-Performing Cities Full Report (PDF)

Top 10 Best-Performing Large Cities in America
Top 10 Best-Performing Large Cities in America

Top 5 Best-Performing Small Cities in America
Top 5 Best-Performing Small Cities in America

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