Described by the New York Times as “America’s uber-geographer,” Joel Kotkin is an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends. His new book, THE HUMAN CITY: Urbanism for the Rest of Us, has just been published by Agate Press.
Mr. Kotkin is the Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, California and Executive Director of the Houston-based Urban Reform Institute, formerly Center for Opportunity Urbanism (UrbanReformInstitute.org). He is Executive Editor of the widely read website www.newgeography.com and writes the weekly “New Geographer” column for Forbes.com. He is a regular contributor to the Daily Beast and Real Clear Politics.
He is the author of seven previously published books, including the widely praised THE NEW CLASS CONFLICT (Telos Press), which describes the changing dynamics of class in America.
Other past books include THE NEXT HUNDRED MILLION: America in 2050, published by The Penguin Press. The book explores how the nation will evolve in the next four decades. THE CITY: A GLOBAL HISTORY and TRIBES: How Race, Religion and Identity Are Reshaping the Global Economy, were also published in numerous languages including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German and Arabic.
Mr. Kotkin has published reports on topics ranging from the future of class in global cities to the places with the best opportunities for minorities. His 2013 report, “Post-familialism: Humanity’s Future,” an examination of the world’s future demography, was published by the Civil Service College of Singapore and Chapman University and has been widely commented on not only in the United States, but in Israel, Brazil, Canada and other countries.
Over the past decade, Mr. Kotkin has completed studies focusing on several major cities, including a worldwide study focusing on the future of London, Mumbai and Mexico City, and studies of New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, San Bernardino and St. Louis, among others. In 2010 he completed an international study on “the new world order” for the Legatum Institute in London, UK that traced trans-national ethnic networks, particularly in East Asia. He also has worked in smaller communities, including a report – working with Praxis Strategy Group – on the rise of the Great Plains for Texas Tech University.
Currently Kotkin is coordinating major studies on Texas urbanism, the future of localism and the re-industrialization of the American heartland for Urban Reform Institute. As director of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman, he was the lead author of a major study on housing, and is currently involved in a project about the future of Orange County, CA.
Originally from New Jersey, Charles attended Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studied Political Science with a concentration on American Political Studies.
He relocated to Texas to join Texans for Greg Abbott for Gov. Abbott’s first run for governor in 2014. Following that, and seeing an opportunity to make a difference in Houston, Charles joined Empower Texans, launching and managing their first Houston operation.
While focusing on Houston and Harris County government, he noticed a void left in urban policy and politics by those right-of-center. To fill that void, he launched Urban Reform in 2019, and in 2020, Urban Reform partnered with the Center for Opportunity Urbanism to create Urban Reform Institute.
Through Urban Reform and Urban Reform institute, Charles has focused on free market solutions to urban issues and creating opportunity for all in America’s metropolitian areas.
Charles has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Houston Chronicle, the Hill, Wired, and other publications. He is a Fox 26 Houston (KRIV) regular political commentator and weekly panelist on Sunday talk show, What’s Your Point. He is also a regular guest speaking about local issues on I Heart Radio’s Pursuit of Happiness, The Michael Berry Show, and Houston’s Morning News w/ Jimmy Barrett & Shara Fryer.
He lives in Houston and enjoys volunteering with Prison Entrepreneurship Program where he serves on the Houston Advisory Board.
Founding Senior Fellow
Tory Gattis is a Founding Senior Fellow with Urban Reform Institute where he co-authored the original Opportunity Urbanism studies and City Journal article with noted urbanist and Center Director Joel Kotkin about creating a city philosophy focused on upward social mobility for all citizens as an alternative to the popular smart growth, new urbanism, and creative class movements. At URI he also advocates for MaX Lanes as a next-generation mobility strategy for affordable proximity. Tory writes the popular Houston Strategies blog and its twin blog at the Houston Chronicle, Opportunity Urbanist, where he discusses strategies for making Houston – famous for its lack of zoning – a better city, and has published numerous Houston Chronicle op-eds on these topics as well. Tory is a McKinsey consulting alum, TEDx speaker, and holds both an MBA and BSEE from Rice University.
Founding Senior Fellow
Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, a St. Louis based international public policy consulting firm. He serves as a senior fellow at Urban Reform Institute.
He is author of Demographia World Urban Areas, the only regularly published resource for the population, land area and population densities of world urban areas over 500,000 population. He is co-author of the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which annually rates affordability in more than 350 cities in 9 countries. He has conducted research on demographics and urban policy. He is a frequent commentary contributor, having been published in the Daily Telegraph (London), the Wall Street Journal, the National Post (Toronto), La Stampa (Turin), the Australian Financial Review and others. He is also author of the Evolving Urban Form at newgeography.com, a series of analyses focusing on the spatial expansion of world metropolitan areas, all but a few of the world’s megacities.
Wendell Cox was appointed to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC) by Mayor Tom Bradley. He served with the leading elected city and county officials as the only private citizen member, serving on the Finance Review Committee and chairing the Service Coordination Committee. He was also appointed to the Amtrak Reform Council by Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.
He has served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers (CNAM), a national university in Paris and as vice-president of CODATU, a France based research organization dedicated to improving transportation in developing world cities.
He has a BA in government from California State University, Los Angeles and an MBA from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles.
Anne Snyder is a journalist and editor studying those people and communities that are consciously grappling with both the challenges and opportunities presented by the current demographic unfurling. She is also the Director of The Character Initiative at The Philanthropy Roundtable, a new program that seeks to help donors and foundations across the country develop a framework for advancing character formation through their giving — across social class, ethnic group and philosophical creed.
Prior to moving to Houston, Texas, Anne worked at The New York Times, where she assisted columnists David Brooks and Ross Douthat. She began her career at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and World Affairs Journal, and holds a B.A. in Philosophy and International Relations from Wheaton College (IL ) and a Masters degree in Journalism from Georgetown University.
Anne has published in National Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, City Journal, Philanthropy Magazine, Orange County Register, NewGeography.com, The Institute for Family Studies, FaithStreet, Comment Magazine, Verily, Humane Pursuits and FareForward. The majority of her published work can be found here.
Cruz R. García
URI Research Fellow
Cruz García is a research fellow at the Urban Reform Institute. He received his masters degree from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy and his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan College of Literature Sciences and Arts. His past research has focused on domestic politics and economic mobility in low-income communities.
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