UNLV Hosts 2023 Brookings Mountain West Visiting Scholars – UNLV NewsCenter

Editor’s Note:

Faculty and staff can request classroom presentations, one-on-one meetings, workshops, or department-specific gatherings with any of the visiting scholars, through the Visiting Scholars Request Form.

Brookings Mountain West, a collaboration between UNLV and the Brookings Institution, a Washington, DC-based public policy think tank, announces its roster of visiting scholars for the fall 2023 semester. The scholars will focus on timely policy issues surrounding environmental and energy policy, developing countries and educational access, illicit economies and national security, and the state of our workforce especially for low-wage workers, women, and workers of color. 

Visiting scholars from Brookings engage with UNLV students and faculty in the classroom and in research projects, offer public lectures, and provide public policy expertise to local community, business, and political leaders. 

Oct 2-5: Emily Markovich Morris


Emily Markovich Morris is a scholar and educator of comparative education and international development whose research explores how to build collaborations between learning institutions, families, and communities to support marginalized youth in reaching their educational, work, and life aspirations. As a fellow in the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, Morris coordinates family engagement in education efforts and leads research on leveraging family-school-community partnerships to transform educational systems. For the past two decades, Morris has worked with nongovernmental and community-based organizations, government agencies, as well as international education institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia on promoting educational access, equity, and inclusion. She has served as a senior leader and international advisor on distance learning, community and family engagement, gender and inclusion, policy implementation, teacher training and curriculum design, and livelihoods development.

Oct. 30-Nov. 2: Samantha Gross


Samantha Gross is the director of the Energy Security and Climate Initiative at Brookings and a fellow in Foreign Policy. Her work focuses on the intersection of energy, environment, and policy, including climate policy and international cooperation, the transition to net-zero emissions energy system, energy geopolitics, and global energy markets. Gross has more than 25 years of experience in energy and environmental affairs. She was director of the Office of International Climate and Clean Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. In that role she directed U.S. activities under the Clean Energy Ministerial, including the secretariat and initiatives focusing on clean energy implementation and access and energy efficiency. Gross appears frequently in the media in the United States and abroad on topics of energy markets, energy security, and the green energy transition.

Nov. 6-9: Molly Kinder


Molly Kinder is a fellow at Brookings Metro, examining the present and future of work, especially for low-wage workers, women, and workers of color. Kinder’s current research brings the voices and perspectives of workers at the frontline of COVID-19 to inform policy recommendations to better compensate, protect, and support essential workers. Kinder’s research on essential workers has been cited in the New York Times, Washington Post, TIME Magazine, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Yahoo Finance, CNBC, NPR, and the BBC.Previously, Kinder was a nonresident Senior Fellow at New America and Director of Research for its Work, Workers & Technology initiative. She is the lead author of the report, “Worker Voices: Technology and the Future for Workers” with Amanda Lenhart, exploring the perspectives of 40 workers across the country whose jobs are at high risk of automation.

Nov. 27-30: Vanda Felbab-Brown


Vanda Felbab-Brown is a senior fellow in the Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. She is the director of the Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors. She is also the co-director of the Africa Security Initiative and the Brookings series on opioids: “The Opioid Crisis in America: Domestic and International Dimensions.” Previously, she was co-director of the Brookings project, “Improving Global Drug Policy: Comparative Perspectives Beyond UNGASS 2016,” as well as of another Brookings project, “Reconstituting Local Orders.” Felbab-Brown is an expert on international and internal conflicts and nontraditional security threats, including insurgency, organized crime, urban violence, and illicit economies. Her fieldwork and research have covered, among others, Afghanistan, South Asia, Burma, Indonesia, the Andean region, Mexico, Morocco, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Tanzania, Namibia, Niger, and Nigeria. She was a senior advisor to the congressionally-mandated Afghanistan Peace Process Study Group.


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