Academic Director
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Rachel Burstein is Academic Director at Books@Work, a public humanities nonprofit organization.

Dr. Burstein previously served as a Research Associate at the New America Foundation’s California Civic Innovation Project. In her role at the New America Foundation, she studied perceptions of innovation among government staffers, knowledge and innovation diffusion, and civic innovation theory and practice at the local level. She authored and co-authored a number of reports, including “The Case for Strengthening Personal Networks in California Local Governments,” “The 2050 City: What Civic Innovation Looks Like Today—And Tomorrow” and “Creating Networked Cities.” Dr. Burstein also published articles on the topic of civic innovation for a number of popular publications, including Slate: that article, “Most Cities Don’t Need Innovation Offices,” provided the impetus for this report.

Dr. Burstein holds a PhD in History from the City University of New York Graduate Center. Her dissertation examines the public relations strategies of American labor unions in the postwar period. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with High Honors from Swarthmore College with a BA in History.