Exceptional new faculty join the LBJ School

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January 26, 2023

The LBJ School of Public Affairs announces 16 exceptional new faculty appointments for fall '22 – fall '23. With expertise spanning immigration, voting, public management, national security, survey design and more, these faculty conduct extraordinary research and give students the know-how to change the world.

Sergio Garcia-Rios, Assistant Professor and Associate Director for Research at the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy  

headshot of sergio garcia rios with arms crossed

(Fall '22)  

Research Areas: immigration, Latino politics and policy, voter turnout  

Teaching Areas: immigration, Latino politics and policy, social science methodology 

Sergio Garcia-Rios is a Latino policy expert with a notable body of work in immigration policy and voting rights. This last fall he published a nationwide poll on the 2022 midterms. He will continue to investigate voter turnout, political participation and public opinion, especially among Latino immigrants.  


Elizabeth Bell, Assistant Professor 

headshot of elizabeth bell against grey background

(Fall '23) 

Research Areas: public management, higher education policy, social equity  

Teaching Areas: public management  

Elizabeth Bell’s research seeks to enhance the ability of government to meet equity-enhancing policy goals. Her research examines the equity implications of citizens’ experiences of administrative burdens, bureaucrats’ uses of discretionary power, and the politics of policy design, with a focus on college access and affordability. 


UT Provost's Early Career Fellows

These two-year fellows are given the chance to teach, conduct extensive research in high-priority areas of inquiry, and receive professional mentoring.

Ana Luisa Oaxaca Carrasco, Early Career Fellow

headshot of Ana Luisa Oaxaca Carrasco arms crossed

(Summer '23)

Research Areas: race and ethnic politics, immigration politics and policy, urban politics

Ana Luisa Oaxaca Carrasco studies how American political institutions shape the representation of immigrant, racial and ethnic constituencies in U.S. municipal government. 



Faculty of Practice 

Alfonso Rojas-Alvarez

headshot of Alfonso Rojas-Alvarez against dark background

(Fall '22)

Research Areas: public health, urban and environmental economics, data science, quantitative methods

Teaching Areas: quantitative methods, statistics, programming, data science 

Alfonso Rojas-Alvarez is a senior data scientist and researcher on the intersection between environmental economics and public health outcomes. Since 2013, he has worked in housing and urban policy, public health, research design and data science at several research centers at UC Berkeley, Harvard University and The University of Texas at Austin.


Lisa Kirsch, Lecturer 

Headshot of Lisa Kirsch with arms crossed

(Spring '23)  

Research Areas: health policy 

Teaching Areas: health policy  

Lisa Kirsch is a lecturer at the LBJ School and the senior policy director at Dell Medical School. She conducts health policy research and analysis to support innovations in health care delivery and payment. 


Becca North, Lecturer 

headshot of becca north

(Spring '23)

Research Areas: happiness and well-being

Teaching Areas: psychology of public policy

Becca North is a researcher, teacher and writer in the field of psychology. Her research is in the area of happiness and well-being—and more broadly, human flourishing.


Visiting Faculty

Carlos Moreno, Fulbright Visiting Professor 

Headshot of Carlos Moreno against white background

(Spring '23) 

Research Areas: local governance, health care policy in Mexico 

Teaching Areas: public policy analysis 

Carlos Moreno-Jaimes has been a visiting researcher at the Center for US-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego and at the Public Policy and Government Institute at the Universidad de Guadalajara. He specializes in heath-care policy, public spending decentralization and local governance in Mexico, with a particular emphasis on performance evaluation. 


Adjunct Faculty

Michael Dennis, Adjunct Professor

Headshot of Michael Dennis against trees

(Fall '23)  

Research Areas: civilian support in civil wars and insurgencies

Teaching Areas: foreign policy, international security, civil wars and insurgencies

Michael Dennis served as Chief of Intelligence Operations and Chief of Strategic Futures at Army Futures Command (AFC). He has supported policymakers at the executive and congressional-level; senior decision-makers in diplomacy, intelligence, and defense; and deployed units and Special Operations Forces. 


Bill Fulton, Adjunct Professor

Headshot of BIll Fulton against bookshelf

(Fall '22)

Research Areas: sustainable development, urban policy 

Bill Fulton is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on urban planning and land use. His expertise includes transfer of development rights, the role of land use regulation in housing production, the structure and organization of local government, and equitable economic development. 


Theresa Gage, Adjunct Professor

Headshot of Theresa Gage grey background

(Spring '23) 
Teaching Areas: policy communications 

Theresa Gage has worked in the electric industry for more than two decades concentrating on communications, policy and government relations. She has worked at the Texas Legislature, the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in leadership positions. 



Amy Leff, Assistant Adjunct Professor 

Headshot of Amy Leff with grey background

(Spring '23)  

Teaching Areas: policy communications 

Amy Leff is a tri-sector leader with diverse experience across the government, nonprofit, and technology sectors. Currently, she leads policy and safety programs at Medely, a tech company connecting healthcare professionals with economic opportunities. 


Kimberly Olivares, Adjunct Assistant Professor 

headshot of kimberly olivares

(Spring '22)  

Teaching Areas: local government, public finance 

Kimberly Olivares has a nearly 20-year tenure in local government, currently serving as deputy chief financial officer for the city of Austin, Texas, where she oversees the treasury, strategic facility delivery, economic development financing, and real estate functions.  


Becky Pastner, Adjunct Assistant Professor 

headshot of becky pastner against brick wall

(Spring '23)  

Teaching Areas: philanthropy, social change, leadership  

Becky Pastner is a philanthropic and nonprofit advisor with 20+ years of diverse experience in programmatic, operational, and leadership roles across the social sector. 


Katharine Teleki, Adjunct Assistant Professor  

headshot of katharine teleki

(Spring '23) 

Teaching Areas: policy development (Texas government)  

Katharine Teleki has spent most of her professional life working to make Texas institutions more effective and responsive to the stakeholders they serve. She has 16 years of experience evaluating Texas state policy and helping a range of organizations improve their effectiveness. 


Madge Vasquez, Adjunct Assistant Professor 

headshot of madge vasquez

(Spring '23)

Teaching Areas: leadership, nonprofits, philanthropy  

Madge Vasquez has more than 25+ years of experience in community development, philanthropy, management consulting and the healthcare sector.  


Jeff Yorg, Adjunct Assistant Professor  

headshot of jeff yorg against tree background

(Spring '23)

Research Areas: public finance, economics, regulatory policy  

Teaching Areas: public finance, regulatory policy 

Jeffery Yorg has more than 10 years of experience in the public finance arena. Over his career, Mr. Yorg has worked on the credit agency, sell side and buy side of the debt markets focused almost exclusively on municipal securities. 

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