Joshua Clark is OBI's Senior Social Scientist, and a researcher and strategist for the Institute's Network for Transformative Change program. He joined the Institute in spring 2017 as Tides Senior Fellow, a position in which he carried out research and analysis on electoral trends, social and structural barriers to civic participation, and the emergent field of leaders and strategies for advancing inclusive democracy in the United States. Through this work, he was a part of a team that founded the Civic Engagement Narrative Change project in early 2018. He later joined the Institute's Blueprint for Belonging project team as well.
In these roles, Clark works collaboratively with civic and community-based partner organizations to design and carry out research on public opinion, identity, and narratives among constituencies that are underrepresented in civic life. This includes both qualitative and quantitative research, as well as experimental studies. These various methods are used both to refine existing local knowledge and to develop new insights to support programs to expand civic participation, cultivate more inclusive identities, build structures of belonging, and create narrative-change strategies. Clark has led collaborative research initiatives with civic organizations and tables across several states, and spanning a number of subject matter areas. Results from a selection of these initiatives can be found in the publications listed below.
Clark brings to his work at OBI a deeply interdisciplinary outlook and training. Prior to joining the Institute, he received his Ph.D. in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of California, Irvine. He also holds a Master's degree in Latin American studies and a B.A. in political science. His experience as a social scientist includes carrying out long-term ethnographic, archival, and policy research in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and at the United Nations in Geneva. He has also held prior professional roles at the intersection of research and social change, at the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas, School of Law; and at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity at UC Berkeley, School of Law.
Finally, Clark has extensive editorial experience, working with authors from academia, advocacy, and other sectors. This includes a four-year tenure as Managing Editor of the Journal of Cultural Economy, a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary scholarly journal. At OBI, he has served as editor of numerous commissioned papers written by external researchers and partners to disseminate new expertise across OBI's networks in support of program goals.