Bios and Contact



Stephan Weiler is the Director of REDI. He 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.

His research, teaching and mentoring have spanned a variety of development and labor market issues in Africa, Appalachia, Europe, 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 (, begun in 2012 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 (REDI@CSU), 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.


Colorado State University hosts the CoBank Center for Agricultural Education Groundbreaking and Blue Jacket Society Breakfast at the Taylor Auditorium, Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center, October 4, 2014.

Dawn Thilmany McFadden is the Associate 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.



Nicholas Kacher is a graduate student, instructor, and researcher in the Department of Economics at Colorado State University. Originally from Waltham, Massachusetts, Nick earned a BA in Economics at Wheaton College (MA) in 2007. He has worked for nonprofit economic development organizations in Tanzania and in Massachusetts, giving him an appreciation for the crucial roles of culture, history, and institutions in regional economic growth.

Since joining Colorado State University's economics department, Nick has worked as a teaching assistant and instructor for micro- and macro-economics as well as the history of economic thought. Nick's research centers on entrepreneurship and self-employment, and working hours.



Luke Petach is a graduate student and research assistant in the Department of Economics at Colorado State University. Among Luke's research interest are public economics, political economy, and urban/regional economics. His work in the field of regional economics focuses on issues of land use and public and consumer finance.



Jacob Moore is an undergraduate student in the Department of Economics at Colorado State University. He will be graduating in May of 2018 with a BA in Economics and History with a minor in Mathematics. Before coming to REDI, Jacob work for Dr. Lori Peek at the Center for Disaster and Risk analysis, performing research concerning youth disaster recovery along the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina and the British Petroleum Oil Spill in 2010. Since joining REDI, Jacob's research has centered around exploring the economic condition and role of non-employer firms in Colorado.


Colorado State University Research Associates

Visiting Scholar - Spring 2018

External Partners

  • City-Region Economic Development Institute (City-REDI), Birmingham Business School (UK)
  • Regional Economies and Policies Association (South Korea)

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
  • Jeff Romine, Chief Economist – Denver Mayor’s Office

External Research Associates

  • Tessa Conroy, UWisconsin/Madison
  • Sarah Low, USDA/Economic Research Service
  • Eric Thompson, UNebraska/Lincoln


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