Bios and Contact



Stephan Weiler is the Director of REDI. Stephan holds the William E. Morgan Endowed Chair as Professor of Economics at Colorado State University.  He received his BA (Honors) in Economics and MA in Development Economics from Stanford University in 1988, and his Economics PhD from UC-Berkeley in 1994 where he studied with eventual 2001 Nobel Laureate George Akerlof. From 2004 through 2006, Stephan was appointed as Assistant Vice President and Economist at the Federal Reserve’s Center for the Study of Rural America to lead the Center’s applied research work. The Center was the focal point in the Federal Reserve System for rural and regional development issues, providing cutting-edge research perspectives to private, public, and nonprofit decision makers.  Stephan became a frequent speaker before industry, university, and public policy audiences throughout the nation, is a regular contributor to media outlets ranging from the Wall Street Journal to National Public Radio, and has published over one hundred articles, book chapters, and policy papers. He served as Research Associate Dean for CSU’s College of Liberal Arts from 2006 to 2016, and was the Morgan Endowed Chair for the College from 2016-2019.

His research, teaching and mentoring have spanned a variety of development and labor market issues in Africa, Appalachia, Europe, Asia, and the American West. His current work focuses on regional economic growth and development, particularly in rural and inner-city areas, combining theoretical, empirical, and policy analyses on topics such as information, innovation, industrial restructuring, land use, public/private partnerships, immigration, entrepreneurship, and the environment. These various elements informed his role as founding research director of the Colorado Innovation Report with a broad-based coalition of leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to understand and enhance the state’s innovative capacities. He is distilling these three decades of experience into the Regional Economic Development Institute (, partnering with the City-Region Economic Development Institute (City-REDI) at the Birmingham Business School in the UK to provide fresh, timely, and cutting-edge information to enhance economic growth and development prospects for regions across the globe. This partnership was the basis for his recent selection as a Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair to further develop the two institutes’ collaborations in 2018-19.



Dawn Thilmany McFadden is the Co-Director of REDI. She is a Professor of Agribusiness and Agribusiness Extension Economist with Colorado State University, serving in that role since 1997, and specializes in economic development related to local, organic and other value-added food market segments, as well as food market analysis and consumer behavior. She has published over 80 journal articles on consumer behavior, agricultural markets and food systems, and presented similar material to over 200 Extension audiences.

She is on the leadership team of the CSU Extension Food Systems work team and Chairs the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council.  Currently, she serves the US Dept of Agriculture by sitting on the Secretary’s Advisory Board on Research, Extension, Education and Economics. She has served on in leadership positions with the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the Western Agricultural Economics Association, the Food Distribution Research Society and several regional research committees.



Mackenzie Gill is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at CSU. Broadly, her primary area of research interest is the intersection of consumer choice and regional food system growth. Her work as a research assistant at CSU has focused on issues of food access, nutrition security, and market choices in Colorado. Going forward, she plans to delve more deeply into factors that impact regional food systems’ ability to resiliently respond to economic shocks. Prior to her time at CSU, Mackenzie earned her B.S. in Animal Science and M.S. in Agricultural Economics at the University of Tennessee. On the weekends, you can find her either enjoying the Colorado scenery or at the Farmers’ Market information booth.

Kendall Stephenson

Wisnu Nugroho is a Ph.D. candidate in economics and a PAC@REDI graduate student at CSU. His research interests are in development, public/policy, labor, and regional economics. His research relates to impact evaluation of poverty alleviation programs, poor households’ economic behavior, and household and firm behavior related to taxation. Before coming to CSU, he was a research associate with the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction, Office of Vice President, Republic of Indonesia. At the recent PAC@REDI panel at CSU’s International Symposium, Wisnu presented work on the timing of an education intervention in Indonesia and on gender differences in education expenditure in Timor-Leste.

Ashish Sedai is a Ph.D. candidate in economics and a PAC@REDI graduate student at CSU. Before coming to CSU, he completed his master’s in philosophy (Economics) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, and worked as an assistant professor of economics at the University of Delhi. He also has worked as consultant and research associate, specializing in applied economic research for the World Bank, the United Nations ESCAP and ESCWA, JPAL-MIT, 2M Research, GTAP-Purdue University, Ministry of Science and Technology, India. At the recent PAC@REDI panel at CSU’s International Symposium, Ashish presented work on benefits in terms of women’s empowerment associated with rotating savings and credit associations in India.

Gregory R. Miller, CFA is a research assistant at REDI and a prospective PhD student. Prior to working with REDI he obtained a BA in Business Administration with a finance concentration and MSc of Finance from CSU. He has also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute. In the intervening time period between earning his BA and MSc, Gregory ran a Registered Municipal Advisory consulting firm that helped local governments in Colorado figure out how to finance more than $100 million of infrastructure projects such as road, water, and wastewater systems. His research interests include public finance, spatial and regional economics, and asymmetric information

Kendall Stephenson is a PhD student-worker in the Economics department at Colorado State University. His primary research interests relate to labor market policy, collective bargaining, and public finance/social insurance. Following his MA from the New School in Social Research, he worked as an economist for the New York City Council, doing research to support City budget negotiations. He also staffed the Civil Service and Labor Committee, where he assisted in developing and debating legislation regarding workplace regulations in New York City. Prior to his move to Fort Collins, Kendall served on the Core Committee of the Association of Legislative Employees, a new union representing central and Council Member staff at the New York City Council, helping to develop the infrastructure for an active and democratic membership. Kendall is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant (macroeconomics), a Research Assistant at the Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI), and a rapscallion looking forward to enjoying the Colorado outdoors when it isn’t on fire.


Austin Landini is a 4th year PhD student at Colorado State University. He earned a BBA in Economics from the University of Iowa (2012) and an MS in Economics from Auburn University (2014). His research focuses on race, implicit bias, and public spending.


Colorado State University Research Associates


External Partners


External Advisory Board

  • Steven Deller, UWisconsin/Madison
  • Geoff Hewings, University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign
  • Dan Rickman, Oklahoma State University


Colorado Advisory Council

  • Elizabeth Garner, State Demographer
  • Alexandra Hall, Chief Economist – Dept of Labor and Employment(Former)
  • Jeff Romine, Chief Economist – Denver Mayor’s Office(Former)


External Research Associates


PAC@REDI Graduate Students