Dr. Howard Frank, Director joined the FIU Public Policy and Administration Department in 1988. His research interests are state and local public finance and organizational improvement. During his 30 years at FIU, Professor Frank has held a number of administrative positions, including Director of the Institute of Government. He has written or edited three books, and numerous journal article and research monographs. From 2004 to 2018, Professor Frank served as Academic Director of the Washington Mandela Fellows Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. He has been Director of the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center since 2010 and Chair of the Public Policy and Administration Department since 2014.
Professor Frank views the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center as an anchor for informed policymaking throughout Southeast Florida. He has been active in the Center’s Training Institute. Dr. Frank has taught and mentored many of the area’s leaders, and has provided policy guidance to a number of area agencies, including South Florida Workforce, the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, the Ann Storck Center, and the Miami-Dade Housing Finance Agency.
Professor Frank earned his Ph.D. from the Florida State University and has lived in Florida since 1982.
Dr. Maria Ilcheva, Assistant Director of Planning and Operations has experience and responsibility in a number of areas critical to the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center operations, including serving as Principal Investigator and/or Project Manager on a number of contracts and grants, with many of them including a public involvement element.
Dr. Ilcheva has over ten years of experience in working on various economic development, social and behavioral projects. She serves as Subject Matter Expert in data analytics and behavioral research.
Phone: (954) 438-8352
Dr. Ned Murray, AICP, Associate Director is a leading expert on economic and housing market issues in South Florida. He has authored many of the landmark affordable housing needs studies including the leading studies for Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward and Monroe Counties. He was also the Principal Investigator on the Broward County Housing Linkage Fee Nexus Study and Rental Housing Study for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Dr. Murray has recently completed and presented Housing Market Update and Municipal Scorecard studies for Palm Beach and Broward Counties and the South Florida Workforce Housing Needs Assessment. Dr. Murray developed the “Municipal Scorecard for Affordable Housing Delivery©” model which was used to evaluate affordable housing performance in Palm Beach and Broward Counties.
Dr. Murray also has over twenty years of professional urban planning experience, including 12 years as a former Director of Planning and Development in Massachusetts. He holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Murray has authored and presented numerous papers on economic development, affordable housing and urban planning, including articles published in Economic Development Quarterly (EDQ), the Economic Development Journal, the Journal of Public Affairs Education and the Council for Urban Economic Development’s Commentary.
Phone: (954) 438-8603
Fola Orindare, Office Manager has been with FIU for over three years. She is the Office Manager for the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center where she provides day-to-day administrative and operations support for the center. She has held office support positions at the FIU Small Business Development Center team as well as the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus library. Prior to joining FIU, she worked in the call center industry for several years with extensive background in customer service, operations management, human resource management as well as budget and finance administration.
She was born, raised and educated in Nigeria. Fola has a Bachelor’s degree in English and professional certification in project management and human resources.
Nika Langevin, Research Specialist has a strong background in city planning, economic development, and designing and implementing responses for community development opportunities. Nika has served as Planner/Zoning Technician at the City of Pembroke Pines and Research Associate at Carras Community Investment, Inc., gaining experience in both, public and private sectors. She is a GIS certified planner who earned a bachelor's degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University.
She has provided community development and planning advisory services to many jurisdictions – counties and local governments, involving application of planning skills, preparation of affordable housing reports, comprehensive plans, city ordinances, and regulations, collection and interpretation of technical land use, environmental, zoning and other city planning data, and assurance of compliance with cities’ development standards.
Helen Sofía Roldán, M.P.A, Research and Outreach Coordinator has experience in community engagement and outreach. She has assisted with reports like Miami Dade County's Status of Women report and the City of Miami's Affordable Housing Study. She received her master's degree in FIU’s Public Administration program with a focus in community development.
Helen received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida. At Florida, she was part of the English Language Institute and taught English to students from all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Venezuela. She was also active in immigrant and migrant farm-worker organizations where she developed a strong passion for human rights.
Her previous roles in local government include: Deputy Town Clerk, Assistant to the Council, and Community Engagement Specialist.
Her research interests include transportation, sea-level rise solutions, and gender equity. She is focused on public policy and community development.
Camila Masson, M.P.A. Research Coordinator has been at the Center since 2019. She received her Bachelors of Science in Social Work from Florida International University in 2017, and most recently graduated with her Master’s in Public Administration in 2019, also from FIU. Ms. Masson has most recently done work on the Status of Women in Miami-Dade County report for 2020, the Miami-Dade County Community Needs Assessment, and the 2020 Small Business Big Impact report which gives a detailed look into the small business economy in Miami-Dade. She has also participated in and helped facilitate numerous focus groups for the Miami-Dade County Community Needs Assessment, and other projects such as the Census 2020: Perspectives from Hard-to-Count Communities in Miami-Dade County. She has also assisted in outreach efforts at the Metropolitan Center when needed and has developed GIS technology capabilities, allowing her to further expand her research and analytic skills.
Prior to joining the Metropolitan Center, Ms. Masson worked closely with under-served populations such as homeless individuals and families, and South Florida residents in need of assistance due to a natural disaster or economic hardship. Her main research interests are in gender equity, community development and sustainability, and assessing the needs of vulnerable communities. Email: email@example.com
Alex Anacki is an undergraduate student at Florida International University’s Honors College currently pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations with a minor in Public Administration and certificates in Public Policy and Leadership Studies.
At FIU, he trained the #1-ranked Model United Nations program as Head Delegate and regularly garnered top recognition in policy committees against students from universities around the world. Before joining the Metropolitan Center's team, he served as a legislative intern in Congress and worked in political advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels.
Alex's primary research interests are education policy, urbanism, economic development, and electoral patterns. He is especially interested in educational equity, and the role of public policy in bridging socioeconomic boundaries and garnering equal access.