Alison Shott

Alison Shott, Ph.D.


Director, Public Policy and Economic Development, ESI ThoughtLab

Background & Experience

Dr. Alison Shott is a director at ESI. She works in the areas of public policy, land use, community and economic development, and transportation.

Dr. Shott continually researches, writes and publishes articles covering areas of inter-municipal cooperation and local government electoral reform. This is in expansion of her studies to complete her doctoral dissertation in which she evaluated how population distributions and rural-urban tensions impact the behavior of municipal associations.

Prior to joining ESI, Dr. Shott worked as a research analyst for a number of university institutes and nonprofit organizations, including the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, the Social Economy and Sustainability Research Network, and the Institute of Island Studies. Alison also has a strong background in stakeholder relations and strategic planning. As the spokesperson for the Society of Graduate Students (SOGS), she represented graduate student interests in local, provincial, and national postsecondary education policy discussions and formulations. As the SOGS representative to the City of London, Ontario, Alison worked closely with city councilors and staff on public transit and housing issues. At the Social Economy and Sustainability Research Network, she worked with nonprofits to develop strategic plans, and conducted research and analysis for community-led policy initiatives.

Alison relocated back to Pennsylvania in 2015 after receiving her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. She earned a M.A. in Political Science from Acadia University, and her B.A. (Honors) in Political Science from American University. In 2009-2010 she was a Fulbright Fellow to the University of Prince Edward Island.