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Cornell Brooks School welcomes four new faculty

October 3, 2023

The Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy welcomed four new faculty members this fall, aligning with the School’s commitment to advance knowledge in a broad range of policy areas, including health care, contemporary security, the economics of education, social policy and inequality, demography, criminology, and development economics. Their research translates into real-world impact for individuals and communities.

New faculty joining the Brooks School include Economist Divya Deepthi, empirical health economist Michael Richards, war historian James Patton Rogers, and demographer Bryan L. Sykes.


Divya Deepthi, Senior LecturerDivya Deepthi

Divya Deepthi is an economist with research interests in the economics of education, labor economics, development economics, policy evaluation, and applied microeconometrics. She is particularly interested in evaluating education and health reforms in developing countries, focusing on identifying policies that improve school participation, student learning, health, and labor market outcomes. This fall, Deepthi is teaching “Statistics for Public Policy” and “Research Design, Practice, and Policy”, a course examining systematic approaches for addressing questions about poverty, family life, racial inequality, and a range of other issues central to public policy. Additionally, she is teaching the “Brooks Honors Seminar”, where she helps students formulate relevant research questions and conduct independent research for their thesis project.


Man smiling at camera wearing a white button-up shirt.

Michael Richards, Professor and Incoming Director of the Sloan Program in Health Administration

Michael Richards is an empirical health economist. His primary research area involves health care provider responses to public policies and evolving market environments. He also has considerable interest in the structure and delivery of public insurance programs such as  Medicare and Medicaid and health care workforce issues. Richards will serve as the incoming director of the Sloan Program in Health Administration, overseeing the Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Executive Master of Health Administration (EMHA) degree programs. He also has a secondary appointment at Weill Cornell Medical College in the Division of Health Policy & Economics.


Man smiling at camera wearing a blue button up shirt

James Patton Rogers, Resident Senior Fellow and Incoming Executive Director of the Cornell Brooks School Tech Policy Institute

James Patton Rogers is an expert on drone warfare, disruptive and emerging technologies, and the history of weaponry and war. He provides overall strategic and operational leadership of the Cornell Brooks School Tech Policy Institute. Currently, he is the NATO Country Director of the Full Spectrum Drone Warfare project supported by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme. As an experienced policy adviser, Rogers has addressed the United Nations Security Council and is an expert adviser for the UN’s Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (UNCTC).


Bryan L. Sykes, Assistant ProfessorBryan Sykes in plaid scarf and navy blazer

Bryan Sykes’s research broadly focuses on demography and criminology, applying and developing demographic, statistical, and mixed methodologies to understand changing patterns of inequality.  He has particular interests in population processes (e.g., fertility or mortality), mass incarceration, global population health, social inequality, law and society, and research methodology. Sykes is currently working on multiple collaborative projects – including a $1.61M research study exploring the effects of economic, socioeconomic, and informational inequality on court-order compliance in rehabilitation program completion, as a study of monetary sanctions and hidden financial punishments in the criminal legal system in six California counties.