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Professor & Director, Center for Science, Technology & Environmental Policy Studies, Arizona State University

Eric W. Welch is a professor in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University where he teaches decision-making, organization and network theory, institutional design, and science and innovation policy. He received his doctorate from the Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs where he specialized in science and environmental policy. Professor Welch currently directs the Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies (C-STEPS) at ASU. He is an affiliated faculty member in the ASU School for the Future of Innovation and Society and in the Center for Organization Research and Design, as well as Senior Sustainability Scientist in the ASU School of Sustainability and Senior Fellow in the ASU Sweete Center for Sustainable Food Systems.

His primary research interests include genetic resource policy for food and agriculture, organizational adaptation to climate change, women and underrepresented minorities in science, and use of digital technology in government. Welch has 15 years of experience evaluating large multi-institution, interdisciplinary research projects in which he provides formative and summative assessments for research design and institutionalization, distributed network collaboration structures, integration of diversity, workforce development and knowledge production. His primary focus on these projects has been to assist research programs to enhance capacity development for competitive research at the jurisdiction level, primarily for the NSF EPSCoR program.

He is currently leading or co-leading several National Science Founcation-funded multi-institutional projects including 1) Globalization of the scientific workforce (PI); 2) Framing and assessing academic research excellence and competitiveness (AREC Framework) for teams, institutions and jurisdictions; 3) Contested resource Inputs to science: How institutional provisions on the access and use of materials and data affect research collaboration structures and outcomes (PI); and 4) Evaluation of Kansas EPSCoR, microbiomes of aquatic habitats, plants, and soils (PI). Welch is the ASU lead on the EU Horizon 2020 project on global governance of genetic based R&D for coffee agroforestry systems (BREEDcafs) under the EU’s Sustainable Food Security Resilient and Resource Efficient Value Chains program. He is also the coPI on an interdisciplinary project on adaptive management of extreme weather using ASU’s Decision Theater approach to visualize big data to facilitate multi-stakeholder public sector decision making to reduce vulnerability. Welch has received funding for previous research projects from USAID BFS, USDA NIFA, UN FAO, Global Crop Diversity Trust, Bioversity International, and CCAFS, among others.

Professor Welch has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, refereed proceedings and book chapters. He is currently editing two books: one on evaluating broadband technology and one on the state of the art in digital government and governance. His most recent academic work is visible at google scholar and research gate. He has published in journals such as Social Networks, Global Food Security, Research Policy, Science and Public Policy, OMICS, New Phytologist, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Biobanking and Biopreservation, Business Strategy and the Environment, Environmental Management, Journal of Technology Transfer and Technovation. He has also recently published outside of academia including for the CCAFS program on farmer networks and climate smart technologies and the UN FAO on the implications of digital sequence information on the International Plant Treaty.


  • –present
    Professor & Director, Center for Science, Technology & Environmental Policy Studies, Arizona State University