SPA Research Faculty
Dr. Kelly O'Donnell
Kelly O’Donnell, an economist by training, conducts interdisciplinary applied research and policy analysis focusing on local and regional economic development and improving outcomes for disadvantaged populations through public policy and investments in education, workforce development, and healthcare. Her specialties include program evaluation, economic impact analyses, and fiscal policy. She also consults nationally on the economics of early childhood education. Prior to academia, Dr. O’Donnell held a series of leadership roles in New Mexico state government including Director of State Tax Policy, Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development, and Superintendent of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department. Kelly also served as research director for New Mexico Voices for Children and director of New Mexico Kids Count. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of New Mexico.