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Academic team - Professors

Anne Green

Professor of Regional Economic Development and Co-Director

Find out more about Anne

Anne Green joined the University of Birmingham as Professor of Regional Economic Development in June 2017 and currently shares the job of Co-Director with Rebecca Riley. Her research interests span employment, non-employment, regional and local labour market issues, skills strategies, urban and rural development, migration and commuting, associated policy issues and evaluation.

She has published in high profile journals and has written numerous reports for UK Government Departments and agencies. Anne is experienced in disseminating the results of her research to academic, policy and practitioner audiences.

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Anne Green

Rebecca Riley

Associate Professor for Enterprise, Engagement and Impact and Co-Director

Find out more about Rebecca

Rebecca joined City-REDI as Administrative Director in September 2015, leading on the strategic direction of the Institute especially in relation to consultancy work and partnership development.

She is currently an Associate Professor for Enterprise, Engagement and Impact at the University of Birmingham and shares the job of Co-Director with Anne Green.

She brings with her experience in the private consultancy sector providing the Idox Information Service to clients across the higher education, local government and national policy sectors. Prior to this she was Head of Research at the Northwest Regional Development Agency and led a regional economic observatory, providing the evidence base for regional, local and policy specific strategies and programmes.

She has managed over 200 projects across all local government policy areas, designing, advising, commissioning, collaborating and delivering research services. Her focus has been on regional and local economic intelligence and analysis services, forecasting and skills. 

She recently completed a secondment at the West Midlands Combined Authority as the Head of Research and Office for Data Analytics. 

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Rebecca Riley

John Goddard OBE

Professor of Universities and Cities

Find out more about John 

John Goddard is Professor of Universities and Cities at City-Region Economic Development Institute (City-REDI) and the West Midlands Regional Economic Development Institute (WMREDI) at the University of Birmingham. John is also the Emeritus Professor of Regional Development Studies at Newcastle University where he was founding director of the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) and subsequently Deputy Vice Chancellor responsible for civic engagement.

John is an international expert on the role of universities in city and regional development and co-author of two major publication on The University and the City and The Civic University. He has acted as an advisor to the OECD, the European Commission, city and regional governments and individual universities across the UK and overseas. Most recently he has been Vice Chair of the UK Civic University Commission.

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john burgess

Donald Houston

Professor of Regional Economic Development

Find out more about Donald

Donald Houston specialises in local labour markets, in particular unemployment, economic inactivity, health, migration and commuting.  Other research interests include housing, transport and flooding.  He has held a number of research grants and projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), charities and local and central government.  He was seconded to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2023 and continues an association with ONS.

Donald jointed City-REDI in 2023 from the University of Portsmouth, where he was Head of the Department of Geography (2016-19) and Deputy Director of the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (2019-22).  Before that, he was Director of the Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre (2013-16) and Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow.  Donald has served on the ESRC’s Grant Assessment Panel, ESRC’s UK In a Changing Europe Advisory Board and as a reviewer for the Research Council of Norway.

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Donald Houston Staff Photo

Fumi Kitagawa

Chair of Regional Economic Development

Find out more about Fumi

Fumi Kitagawa joined City-REDI in April 2023, as Professor/Chair in Regional Economic Development.

She has conducted research related to regional innovation and entrepreneurship policies; higher education policy and regional development. She has expertise on the role of universities in innovation and entrepreneurial processes, knowledge exchange and third mission, and governance of local and regional development in different national contexts (e.g. UK, Japan, Sweden).

Current/recent research projects include: future visioning of place-based inclusive economic growth; entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems – policy scenarios and options; evolution of university entrepreneurial ecosystems; forms of PhD students’ entrepreneurship; evaluation of cluster policy and geography of R&D collaboration. Fumi has published in peer-reviewed journals including: Regional Studies, Studies in Higher Education, Technovation, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society.

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Fumi Kitagawa

Darja Reuschke

Associate Professor of Regional Economic Development

Find out more about Darja

Darja Reuschke’s research concerns changes in local labour markets and new forms and locations of work and businesses that are emerging through new technologies, economic restructuring, crisis and social change. One focus of her research has been on self-employment and home-based work and how these forms of working are connected with social context, city regions, housing and neighbourhoods. Her recent research investigated changing homeworking patterns and preferences and how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted self-employment and people’s ability to work due to Long Covid.

Darja specialises in longitudinal data and secondary data analysis. She was appointed as member of the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel for the Secondary Data Analysis Initiative 2018-2022. Before joining the University of Birmingham in 2023, she was Associate Professor in Geography at the University of Southampton and Lecturer in the School of Geography and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews

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Darja Reuschke

Academic team - Researchers

Dr Chloe Billing

 Research Fellow

Find out more about Chloe

Chloe joined the City-REDI team in November 2016 as a Research Fellow, working on the Urban Living Birmingham Project. She is responsible for undertaking a detailed review of end-user and open innovation to explore its application to urban services. This is based on the understanding that service reform in many fast growth and highly innovative private sector firms is driven by the application of new approaches to innovation.

Chloe has recently completed her PhD in Economic Geography at the University of Birmingham, which explored the competitiveness, organisation and governance of the UK satellite industry. She also has experience with teaching within the Geography department and Birmingham Business School. 

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Chloe Billing

Dr Magda Cepeda Zorrilla

Research Fellow

Find out more about Magda

Magda joined the City-REDI team as a Researcher in February 2019. She has a background in Sustainability and Transport and holds a PhD in Transport from the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. Her main lines of research are related to the study of the factors that influence individuals’ travel choices and particularly focusing on the strategies to make travel choices more sustainable. In particular, she has experience using qualitative and quantitative methods such as questionnaire surveys, interviews and focus groups and multivariate statistical analysis techniques. She has previously worked as Research Assistant for the University of Leeds contributing to the analysis of the role of positive incentives to change travel behaviour and encourage the use of more active travel choices. Some of the topics she has recently studied are the psychosocial aspects of modal choice and the use of social marketing techniques to segment the population and tailor transport interventions. Her current line of research is related to the economic impact of transport infrastructure and skills profile and public transport access.

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Magda Cepeda Zorrilla

Dr James Davies

Research Fellow

Find out more about James

James Davies joined City-REDI in November 2021 as a Research Fellow. His work is focused on the regional impacts of creative clusters, with particular interest given to the interactions between the clusters themselves, and higher education institutions both in and around them. The project aims to use the creative clusters in the West Midlands and Cardiff City Region as a basis for comparison. His research interests centre around the Creative and Cultural Industries, including creative industry employment and recruitment, organisational change and fragmentation, negotiation of industrial boundaries and processes of recruitment.

James completed his PhD in labour market entry in the UK TV industry at Cardiff University in 2021. His research, funded by an ESRC scholarship, explores the patterns of recruitment and labour market entry through the accounts of young and recent freelance workers in UK TV. James has an MSc, also from Cardiff University, in which he explored the viability of crowdfunding business models for artists in the music industry, from the perspective of those who contributed. Additionally, James taught undergraduate tutorials in Cardiff Business School on the institution’s Business and Management course.

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Dr Sara Hassan

Research Fellow

Find out more about Sara

Sara Hassan is a Research Fellow at City-REDI with a strong multidisciplinary background: a Doctorate in Urban Transport Planning, a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Landscape and a Bachelor in Architectural Engineering. Her research and teaching interests include a focus on urban and transport planning by developing innovative policy evaluation models and policy reform issues, policy analysis and how it impacts poor and marginalised communities, community development and urban planning. She also researches in the area of local economic development, migration and commuting. Her recent projects include £3.45 million ERDF funded project USE-IT! Unlocking Social and Economic Innovation Together looking at Urban Poverty in Birmingham. She has broad experience in teaching, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including courses on urban and regional planning, urban regeneration, urban design and transport planning. 



Dr Charlotte Hoole

Research Fellow

Find out more about Charlotte

Charlotte is a Research Fellow at City-REDI. Charlotte’s research interests lie broadly in the geography and political economy of local and regional development, governance and policy. Previously, Charlotte worked as a Post-doctoral ESRC Fellow in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield. She has eight years of experience in academic and consultancy posts, during which she has carried out research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Research England, local government in England, BEIS, Innovate UK, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Bank of England, the European Union and the Swiss National Science Foundation. Charlotte completed her PhD in 2018 at the University of Sheffield, focused on place leadership and governance in a city-regional context.


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Charlotte Hoole

Dr Konstantinos Kollydas

Research Fellow

Find out more about Kostas

Kostas is a Research Fellow who joined City-REDI in May 2021. He is an applied economist, and his research fields lie broadly in labour economics and economics of education. He is currently involved in the “Skills and labour market” WMREDI research theme.

Kostas has completed his PhD in Economics at the University of Bath. His thesis explored discrepancies in performance and progression in the UK universities between students from different ethnic backgrounds and investigated ethnic pay inequalities amongst graduates in the British labour market. During his PhD years, he was also engaged in a Local Skills Analysis research project to inform the development of an economic policy strategy in regional labour markets. He also has experience in teaching Econometrics at the undergraduate level. Kostas has previously held positions in the private sector, working for eight years in market research and management consultancy firms in Greece. 


Huanjia Ma

Research Fellow

Find out more about Huanjia

Huanjia joined the City-REDI team in February 2022 as a Research Fellow. He is currently involved in Socio-Economic Impact Model for the UK (SEIM-UK model). He also contributes to projects on regional economic development and inclusive growth.

Huanjia has recently completed PhD in Economics from the University of Birmingham. He is an applied economist specialising in panel data and causal inference. His PhD thesis studies household and firm behaviours in China by applying various quantitative tools. His broad research interest lies in the field of financial economics, regional economics and political economics.

View Huanjia's LinkedIn Profile 


Huanjia Ma

Dr Matt Lyons

Research Fellow

Find out more about Matt

Matt Lyons joined the City-REDI team in May 2021 as a Research Fellow. He is responsible for developing the team’s regional economic modelling capabilities whilst supporting projects across WMREDI. Additionally, he will contribute to research in the creative industries. 

He is an economic geographer with a specialism in regional economic development. Matt’s PhD describes the extent to which the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal can address the economic development problems of South East Wales through a focus on the creative economy. Matt is due to complete his PhD at Cardiff University in 2021. He holds an MSc in Social Science Research Methods from Cardiff University and a BSc in Economics from the University of Plymouth. He has consulted on research projects across various areas, from healthcare inequalities to monetary systems reform.

Annum Rafique

Research Fellow

  • Email: a.rafique@bham.ac.uk

Find out more about Annum

Annum joined City-REDI in March 2022 as a Research Fellow. She is currently contributing to Theme 3. Annum identifies herself as an environmental economist, and her research interests lie in regional economics, environmental efficiency and sustainability. Her recent work focuses on energy efficiency in residential households, where she is working towards reducing the environmental impact due to energy consumption in residential households. She is also working towards assessing energy demand and introducing policy scenarios to increase the uptake of low-carbon technologies to reduce household energy emissions, consumption, and costs. Annum completed her PhD in Economics from Cardiff University, which Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE) funded. Her research focused on dairy farms’ technical and environmental efficiency, and she used benchmarking techniques to identify best practices to improve productivity.

Previously, she worked as a Research Officer at Bangor University, Wales. As part of her previous roles, Annum has had experience in graduate teaching, conducting webinars, workshops and audits.

View Annum's LinkedIn Profile


Annum Rafique

Dr Juliane Schwarz

Research Fellow

Find out more about Juliane

Juliane is a Research Fellow who joined City-REDI in October 2018. Her expertise lies in evaluation and impact studies. She predominantly supports a Leverhulme funded project to evaluate the causal impact of Tech Accelerators on Startups. Trained as a social scientist, her contribution covers the qualitative aspect of the research project. She is responsible for the data collections (in-depth interviews), coding and analysis (NVivo) and contributes to the dissemination of the results.

Juliane holds a PhD in Linguistics from Lancaster University and has more than 15 years experiences in managing and conducting research projects. She has contributed to and organised impact evaluation studies for the ESRC, the NHS and NHS Scotland and several private sector organisations. In her previous positions at Aston University and UCAS, she was engaged in research on good practice in education and evaluating the impact of different education policies. She managed a research project on knowledge sharing and management at WBS and several research projects on quality assurance at BCU.

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Dr Abigail Taylor

Research Fellow

Find out more about Abigail

Abigail is a Research Fellow at City-REDI with significant policy experience including secondments to the Industrial Strategy Council and the Smart Specialisation Hub.

She is passionate about leading and contributing to research and evaluation policy analysis that informs and influences regional and national growth policies, being qualified to practitioner level in Better Business Cases. She is skilled in writing for policy audiences including reports on skills investment in the UK, identifying international best practices, in developing Local Industrial Strategies and effective place-based interventions. The key outputs from the reports were discussed in webinar launches with Andy Haldane and Dame Kate Barker. She has also written a range of academic journal articles, book chapters blogs and articles examining current policy issues, including contributing to a report by the Centre for Inequality & Levelling Up (CEILUP).

Abigail’s primary research interests are place-based approaches to regional and local labour markets, skills (including future skills mismatches, lifelong learning and skills ecosystems), funding, institutions and governance structures, employment support policy.

View Abigail’s full profile


Abigail Taylor

Dr Pei-Yu Yuan

Research Fellow

Find out more about Pei-Yu

Pei-Yu joined City-REDI in May 2021 as a Research Fellow. Pei-Yu completed her PhD at the University of Southampton supervised by the Southampton Business School. Her thesis explores the persistence in innovation behaviour of firms among product, process, organisational and marketing innovation and the complementarity and the substitutability among the four types of innovation. Prior to joining the University of Birmingham, Pei-Yu worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield.

Pei-Yu currently works on two projects at City-REDI. The first project is to conduct a systematic literature review to assess the impact of STEM assets in the West Midlands on the ‘innovation capability’ of local firms and to provide a better explanation of ‘how’ and ‘in what way’ STEM assets generate impact. The second project aims to understand the interactions between government, industry and university by analysing the funded projects of Innovate UK. 


Professional Services team

Reen Blake-Carr

Data and Policy Analyst

Find out more about Reen

Reen joined City-REDI in July 2022, as an intern Data and Policy Analyst, after a successful and enjoyable internship, Reen was offered a permanent role as a Data and Policy Analyst within City-REDI. Reen completed his undergraduate degree in BSc Psychology and Criminology at the University of Salford in 2019. He then went on to complete a post-graduate Masters in MSc Computing.

Reen previously worked within the DataLab whilst on his internship. Where he has been building City-REDI’s database, as well as constructing interactive data visualisation dashboards based on economic performance indicators.

View Reen's LinkedIn Profile


Reen Blake-Carr

George Bramley

Senior Analyst

Find out more about George

George joined City-REDI as a Senior Analyst in March 2018. George has significant experience in designing, managing and conducting research, evaluations and systematic reviews within government, the private sector and academia. His interests include public service redesign, skills, enterprise and innovation, school improvement and health technology assessment. George’s previous roles include Head of Evaluation at the Small Business Service where he was closely involved in business support simplification, the UK Enterprise Strategy and was the UK Delegate to the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship; Research Director at National Foundation for Educational Research undertaking studies on skills, school improvement, enterprise education and citizenship. Since joining the University of Birmingham, George has been involved in health service redesign and the appraisal of new health technologies including the development of the Medtech Early Technical Assessment tool for NICE Scientific Advice. He has been a member of UK Evaluation Society Council since 2010.

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George Bramley

Elizabeth Goodyear

Programme Manager

Find out more about Elizabeth

Liz has worked at the University of Birmingham for 14 years, joining WMREDI as Programme Manager in May 2021. Liz joined the team from the University of Birmingham ESRC IAA account, where she was a project manager. Liz has also held several other roles at the University, including being a central member of the team responsible for the Research Excellence Framework Assessment in both 2014 and 2021 submissions and as Executive Assistant to various members of the Strategic Planning Office Senior Management Team.

In her current role within WMREDI and City-REDI, Liz woks across 30+ projects within the research centre, providing milestone tracking, stakeholder management, risk management and the review and audit of projects to improve effectiveness and efficiency of key performance indicators. Alongside her role of managing current projects, Liz also supports all bids across the team and recently led on a programme to integrate of Asana Project Management Software to support the Centre.

Liz is a PRINCE 2 Practitioner and recently obtained her Masters Degree in Project Management and Organisational Communications.

View Elizabeth's LinkedIn profile


Elizabeth Goodyear

Kelvin Humphreys

Principal Analyst

Find out more about Kelvin

Kelvin joined City-REDI as a Policy and Data Analyst in February 2021.

Before joining City-REDI, Kelvin worked in the planning team of a leading real estate consultancy following the completion of an MSc in Spatial Planning at University College London in 2019.  Kelvin also has over a decade of experience working as an Associate Chartered Management Accountant within the UK and USA manufacturing sectors, where he was responsible for data analysis, financial modelling and performance reporting.

Kelvin interests include strategic planning and development, the regional economy, place-based innovation, and housing.

View Kelvin's LinkedIn profile


Sarah Jeffery

Centre Manager

Find out more about Sarah

Sarah joined the City-REDI team in June 2016 as Centre Manager. Upon graduating from the University of Birmingham (BA Hons French Studies) she worked in Retail Management and HR with Boots before returning to the University as a PA in the Department of Economics. She has since moved onto various roles within the University developing a firm knowledge and understanding of the University and the Higher Education sector.

Her role as City-REDI Centre Manager (Projects and Administration) sees her work alongside Stuart to manage the day-to-day activities of the Centre, including staff co-ordination, project and event management, budget management and supporting knowledge exchange activities. 


Sarah Jeffery

Ellie MacDonald

Digital Marketing and Communications Assistant

Email: e.macdonald@bham.ac.uk

Find out more about Ellie

Ellie joined the City-REDI team in January 2022 as a digital marketing apprentice and has gone on to become a Digital Marketing and Communications Assistant. She also has an undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Salford.

To the role, she brings enthusiasm, experience in video making, tv production, and radio production. Whilst gaining her degree, she learned how to put out a TV news programme from a mobile phone, this is something she is most proud of. For her dissertation, she created a two-part radio piece about domestic violence, sourcing, editing, and scripting it from scratch by myself.

Her role will accompany Stuart in the day-to-day running of social media, marketing, content producing and communications.

Ellie is currently on secondment.

 View Ellie's LinkedIn Profile here.


Stuart Mitchell

Centre Manager

Email: s.mitchell@bham.ac.uk

For any enquiries about the Centre, please contact Stuart. 

Find out more about Stuart

Stuart joined the City-REDI team in March 2017 as Centre Manager. After graduating from SOAS with an MA in African History, Stuart worked for Unltd, a charity that provides support for social entrepreneurs. He then went travelling around the world for a year before returning to the UK and working for Linking London, a partnership organisation of colleges and higher education institutions in London working in collaboration to maximise its contribution to targeted widening participation, student engagement and success, social mobility and improvements in social justice through education. In 2011, Stuart became the Linking London Office Manager, a wide role encompassing all aspects of Linking London’s work, and helped to grow the partnership to 41 members.

His role as City-REDI Centre Manager (Events and Communications) sees him work alongside Sarah to manage the day-to-day activities of the Centre, including stakeholder communication and centre promotion, staff co-ordination, event organisation, project management and supporting knowledge exchange activities.


Stuart Mitchell

Matthew Patterson

Acting Centre Manager

For any enquiries about the Centre, please contact Matt. 

Find out more about Matt

Matt started at City-REDI in August 2019 as an Administration Assistant, and was appointed acting Centre Manager in February 2021.

Following his graduation in Classical Civilisation in 1997 from St Mary’s University College in London, he worked in a number of retail environments, including undertaking Management Training with the John Lewis Partnership.

Between 2004 and 2014 he worked as a Health and Safety Consultant in the Construction Industry, before leaving to take up the role of Centre Manager for the Birmingham Buddhist Centre, situated in Moseley.

Covering for Sarah Jeffery whilst she is on maternity leave, he has taken on her main duties including staff co-ordination, project and event management, budget management and supporting knowledge exchange activities. 


M Patterson 230

Alice Pugh

Policy and Data Analyst

Find out more about Alice

Alice joined City-REDI in February 2021 as a Policy and Data Analyst. She completed her undergraduate degree in BA Economics at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2019. As part of her undergraduate degree, Alice completed a sandwich year with the Department for Work and Pensions as an Economic Data Analyst, working with big data, creating dashboards and conducting evaluations.  She then went on to complete her postgraduate degree in MA Criminology at the University of Manchester. 

Alice previously worked for City-REDI as a Research Associate on the Midlands Engine Economic Observatory project. She gathered data and reviewed Local Enterprise Partnership Strategies to develop a series of LEP profiles published in March 2020. 

Alice’s areas of interest include Economics, business case strategy support, sustainable economic development, resilience, public policy, inequality, socio-economic crime, drug policy and criminalisation and data visualisation. 

View Alice's LinkedIn profile


Maryna Ramcharan

Senior Policy and Data Analyst

Find out more about Maryna

Maryna joined City REDI as a Senior Policy and Data Analyst in May 2022. She will continue working on the set of projects as in her previous role as a Data Analyst at the WMCA in a partnership with WMREDI. Additionally, she will contribute to research on the skills, employment and labour market economy.

Maryna has a PhD in Economic Sciences and a degree in Enterprise Management. After working as a university lecturer in Ukraine she moved to the UK and has worked as a data analyst in the WMCA on a wide range of projects. Her main areas of interest are statistical analysis, data visualisations and applying quantitative research techniques to analyse economics and complex systems with a focus on income inequality, gender disparities, inclusive growth and labour market participation.

View Maryna's LinkedIn Profile


Maryna Profile Picture

Hannes Read

Policy and Data Analyst

Find out more about Hannes

Hannes joined City-REDI as a Policy and Data Analyst in February 2021. He has experience working on economic development research projects in local government and with business improvement districts.

Hannes has recently worked at Lancaster City Council actively engaging with the economic recovery and resilience in the response to Covid-19. He has also worked closely on the council’s Community Wealth Building Strategy for sustainable and inclusive economic prosperity.

He has an MA in Local and Regional Development from Newcastle University, where he developed his research interests around inclusive economic development, policy, and place.

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Selina Soomal

Apprentice Project Support Officer

Find out more about Selina

Selina Soomal joined City-REDI in October 2023 as an Apprentice Project Support Officer.  Having spent years in eye care, Selina had accrued experience in public interaction. To further her professional growth, and eagerness to learn and develop, she decided to take a career change. Initiating an interest in project management through preliminary courses, she decided to take a role which would help her develop her understanding and experience of project support. 

Selina is looking forward to developing her knowledge and experience of project support within City-REDI. She is motivated to work within a team of academics and professional staff and to develop her skills, within a new environment.   

View Selina's LinkedIn Profile


Selina Staff