PERE Affiliate Researchers

Chris Benner


Dr. Chris Benner is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, Director of the Everett Program for Digital Tools for Social Innovation, and Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

His research examines the relationships between technological change, regional development, and structures of economic opportunity, including regional labor markets and restructuring of work and employment.

His most recent book, coauthored with Manuel Pastor, is Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Region. Other books include This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Transforming Metropolitan America, and Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley.

Benner's research focuses on the relationships between technological change, regional development, and the structure of economic opportunity, focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work and employment patterns.

His applied policy work focuses on workforce development policy, the structure, dynamics and evaluation of workforce intermediaries, and strategies for promoting regional equity. Prior to joining UC Davis, he was an Assistant Professor of Geography at Pennsylvania State University. Prior to that, he was a research associate at Working Partnerships USA, a dynamic non-profit advocacy organization in Silicon Valley working to rebuild links between economic policy and community well-being. Benner's work has also included providing technical assistance to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), analyzing regional development strategies for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), evaluating workforce development programs for the Keystone Research Center and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry and serving on technical advisory boards for the Urban Habitat Program (San Francisco), the Center for Policy Initiatives (San Diego) and the California Economic Strategy Panel. He received his doctorate in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact Information:


Phone: (530) 752-1805

  • Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)
  • 950 W. Jefferson Blvd., JEF 102
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1291