Davia Cox Downey Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Davia Cox Downey

MPA Coordinator and Assistant Professor
Grand Valley State University

Davia Downey is the MPA Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Public Administration at Grand Valley State University. She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in local politics, public policy and public administration at GVSU in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


My name is Davia Downey and I am the MPA Program Coordinator and an Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University in the Department of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration. Formerly, I was a doctoral student at Michigan State University in the department of Political Science. Before graduating in 2011, I  worked in the department as a teaching assistant and also worked in the Global Urban Studies Program as a research assistant to Dr. Laura A. Reese. My research and teaching interests are in American Politics with a focus on the urban subfield, public policy, and public administration. In particular, my interests lie in understanding local government institutions, racial politics, local policy creation and analysis, economic development, and political and policy ramifications of natural disasters on communities.

My research and teaching interests focus on American politics, including urban politics,  political institutions, public policy, racial politics, local government  and non-profit management studies, and economic development. Prior to beginning my graduate studies at MSU, I worked in various positions, most notably WUOM in Ann Arbor, Michigan and as the director of Community Relations for the Sphinx Organization. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Human Services at Albion College in 1999 and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Eastern Michigan University in 2004. Upon the completion of my Masters, I worked with the City of Ypsilanti, Michigan under the direction of the Assistant City Managers office.  

My research has focused on the impact of disaster relief on local economic development, the use of faith-based organizations to provide public services, and how civic culture of elites and citizens affect governing structures. I've presented this work in these areas at several conferences, including the annual meetings of the APSA, MPSA, UAA, SPSA, and ASPA. I have been published in Canadian Public Administration and the American Review of Public Administration and have a forthcoming publication in the DuBois Review. My work can also be seen in the Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity and, most recently in, Comparative Civic Culture: The Role of Local Government in Urban Policymaking.

My teaching experience includes teaching courses in Public Policy Analysis, Race and Ethnicity, Public Bureaucracy,  Urban/Local Politics, Community Analysis, Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Management, and a graduate seminar in Public Administration.


    Ph.D, Michigan State University, 2011
    MPA, Eastern Michigan University, 2004
    B.A., Albion College, 1999

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Urban studies, economic development, emergency management, racial politics, public policy

Personal Interests

    Running, travel, wine tasting, dancing, singing, and college sports.



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Cities and Disasters - 1st Edition book cover


Statewide Conference for Public Service Leaders to be Hosted November 13th

By: Davia Cox Downey
Subjects: Public Administration & Public Policy

The Michigan Capital Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration is hosting a statewide conference at the Eberhard Center at GVSU in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Speakers from all over the state will be discussing issues related to governance in changing times, sustainable practices, and how leaders can foster talent and retention in the state of Michigan. To register and find out more information: http://mipaforum.org/?page_id=61&action=evregister&event_id=1