Professor Michael D. Goodman, Executive Director

Dr. Michael Goodman is Executive Director of the PPC and Professor of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  Professor Goodman joined the faculty at UMass Dartmouth in 2009 after serving for eight years as the Director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the UMass Donahue Institute.

An economic sociologist, Professor Goodman is a  past president of the New England Economic Partnership, a nonprofit organization made up of leading regional analysts that produces semi-annual economic forecasts of the economic outlook for each of the six New England states.

He has authored or co-authored over fifty professional publications on a wide range of public policy issues including regional economic development and housing policy as well as demographic and other applied social science research topics. He has supported this research by generating over $5 million in external grant and contract funding from a diverse array of public and private sources.

A leading expert on the Massachusetts economy, Professor Goodman currently serves as Co-Editor of MassBenchmarks, the journal of the Massachusetts economy published by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute in cooperation with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.  Professor Goodman earned his MA and Ph.D. at Boston University.

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David R. Borges, Director of Research and Administration

David Borges is Director of Research and Administration at the Public Policy Center. David’s focus is applied policy research in the areas of program evaluation, economic impact analysis, workforce development, polling, and market analysis. David has worked with a wide variety of public and private organizations, including departments and agencies of state and municipal government, non-profit organizations, housing authorities, schools, media outlets, and trade associations. David is involved in nearly all of the Center’s operation, including project management and coordination, report writing, data analysis, grant and proposal development, and staff supervision. David holds a B.A. from UMass Dartmouth in Political Science and an M.P.A. from the University of Central Florida.

Elise (Korejwa) Rapoza, Senior Research Associate
Project Manager of the Offshore Wind Energy Project

Elise Rapoza is the Senior Research Associate at the Public Policy Center. Elise specializes in statistical analysis and other applied social science research methods. An experienced policy analyst who has worked with state and local government and non-profit agencies, Elise plays an integral role in the PPC’s economic impact and industry cluster studies, program evaluations, and other empirical research involving primary and secondary data analysis. A native of the Southcoast, Elise earned a B.S. in Quantitative Public Policy Analysis at UMass Dartmouth, and an M.S. in Statistics and M.P.P. at Oregon State University.

Michael P. McCarthy, Research Associate

Michael McCarthy is a Research Associate at the Public Policy Center. Prior to joining the PPC full time, Michael worked as a Research Assistant at the UMass Dartmouth Urban Initiative and the PPC while completing his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. This experience allowed him to work with state and municipal governments and agencies, non-profit organizations, housing authorities, and school districts on a variety of projects including economic impact analyses, program evaluations, and needs assessments. Michael recently received an M.P.P. from UMass Dartmouth, where he also earned a B.A. in English.


The Public Policy Center prioritizes engaging UMass Dartmouth students in our work. In addition to graduate assistantships offered to Master of Public Policy candidates, the PPC employs students as paid research assistants and unpaid interns throughout the course of the year. Our current student staff includes:

Joy Smith, Graduate Research Assistant

Joy joined the PPC in September 2016 when she began the Master of Public Policy program with a concentration in Environmental Policy. Prior to entering the program, Joy received a B.S. in Marine Biology at UMass Dartmouth and interned at the Westport Land Conservation Trust and the Westport River Watershed Alliance.

Jim DeArruda, Graduate Research Assistant

Jim joined the PPC in September 2017 as part of the internship requirement of the Master of Public Policy program, which he will be completing in 2018. Previously, Jim was the editorial editor at The Standard-Times.

In addition, the PPC currently employs four undergraduate research assistants: Jawanza Foster, Nathaniel Roberts, Robert Stickles, and Kelsey Silva.


The Public Policy Center works closely with faculty members affiliated with the UMass Dartmouth Department of Public Policy and with other faculty members and subject matter experts from across the campus and the larger University of Massachusetts system.  The PPC is able to partner with UMass faculty and staff, as well as experts from outside the public university system, to assemble specialized project teams and to scale its operations to quickly meet the needs of its partners and clients.