Ralph Townsend, a Minnesota college dean with extensive background in fisheries and economics, is the new head of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research.
Townsend is set to take the helm at ISER in August, succeeding economist Gunnar Knapp, who retired at the end of July. Knapp said he would continue research there on both salmon markets and Alaska fiscal policy issues.
A native of Maine, Townsend earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Since 2010 he has been dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Winona State University in Minnesota.
Townsend is president of the International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade and a past president of the North American Association of Fisheries Economics. He has served as an advisor to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Western Pacific and New England fisheries management councils, and the US Department of State. He has also worked, during sabbaticals, in Iceland, Australia and the Philippines.
From 2007-2010, Townsend was the chief economist for the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries, a period of significant change and innovation in managing New Zealand’s fisheries.