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David E. Thacher

David E. Thacher

Associate Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; Associate Professor of Urban Planning, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Phone: (734) 615-4074
Office: 735 S. State St. #4122
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091
E-mail: dthacher@umich.edu

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Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Public Management
  • _Ethics

Educational Background:

PhD in Public Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1999)


David Thacher is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Planning. His research aims to develop and apply humanistic approaches to policy research. He is particularly interested in the use of case study and narrative analysis to clarify the ethical foundations of public policy. He has carried out this research primarily in criminal justice policy, where he has undertaken studies of order maintenance policing, the local police role in homeland security, community policing reform, the distribution of safety and security, and prisoner re-entry. Outside of criminal justice, he has also conducted research on urban planning and on adoption policy. He is currently writing a book about humanistic policy research.