Associate Director, Institute of Social Science Research, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Henry Renski joined the faculty of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning in the fall of 2007. He teaches courses in quantitative methods, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial analysis, and state and local economic development policy.

Renski’s research focuses on understanding the technological and social forces driving regional economic competitiveness and transformation, and building upon this knowledge to improve the effectiveness of economic development policy. His current work examines regional influences on entrepreneurship, changing patterns of commercial development in the internet age, industrial cluster analysis and cluster-based development strategies, and the application of spatial-analytical techniques to local economic policy decision making. His work has been published in a variety of planning, economic development, and regional science journals, including the Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Research and Education, Regional Studies, Journal of Regional Science, Papers in Regional Science, and Economic Development Quarterly.

In addition to his teaching and research, Renski serves as the Director for the Center for Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, which provides technical assistance and conducts applied research on behalf of states, communities, regional planning and development agencies, and other public/non-profit entities interested in promoting economic development. He is also Graduate Program Director of the PhD program in Regional Planning, and prior to his tenure as Associate Director served as the resident Methodologist for the ISSR.

Prior to joining LARP, Renski worked as a Special Assistant to the Governor of the State of Maine as both the Deputy Program Manager of Maine’s WIRED (Workforce Innovations in Economic Development) initiative and as a Research Economist with the Maine State Planning Office.


  • –present
    Associate Director, Institute of Social Science Research, University of Massachusetts Amherst