Urban Institute adds staff to deepen our understanding of the Charlotte region

As the Charlotte region confronts the challenges and opportunities facing our growing region, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute is welcoming new staff members to help engage with the community, study problems and find policy solutions.

Three new staff members are joining the Charlotte Urban Institute this summer, all of whom will directly engage with research and other projects.

“With these new hires, we’re enhancing our ability to serve the community and fulfill our mission of understanding the social, economic and environmental challenges facing our region. I’m excited about our potential to use data, qualitative and quantitative research to find policy solutions for our region,” said Executive Director Lori Thomas.




The Charlotte Urban Institute’s new hires include:

Aaron Houck, Director of Regional Policy

Houck joins the Charlotte Urban Institute from Queens University of Charlotte, where he served as an associate professor of political science. Houck holds a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a B.A. from Davidson College. He previously worked at the Charlotte Urban Institute more than a decade ago, studying land use and development in the Charlotte region.

“I’m excited to be a part of the UNC Charlotte Charlotte Urban Institute and to collaborate with researchers and policymakers on projects to help the people of our region to flourish,” said Houck.

Rachel Jackson-Gordon, Research Associate

Jackson-Gordon joins the Charlotte Urban Institute from Cincinnati, where she was a member of the University of Cincinnati’s Action Research Center and worked at the Evaluation Services Center. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational and Community-Based Action Research from the University of Cincinnati, as well as an M.A. in Educational Studies with a focus on Foundations of Education and Social Change and a B.S. in Psychology.

Said Jackson-Gordon: “I look forward to opportunities to apply my methodological training to contribute to local knowledge for addressing multifaceted community challenges.”

Eric Moore, Research Associate

Moore comes to the Charlotte Urban Institute from Central Piedmont Community College, where he has served as a political science instructor and Discipline Chair for Political Science & Anthropology. Moore holds a Ph.D. in political science and an M.A. from Binghamton University, an M.S. in Criminology from Appalachian State University and a B.A. from Winthrop University.

“I am excited to work with an exceptional group of researchers to help improve our community,” said Moore.

Houck, Jackson and Moore join two more permanent staff members hired by the Charlotte Urban Institute last year: Director of Research Analytics Kailas Venkitasubramanian and Director of Community Research Services Khou Xiong.