I am an economist teaching in the Department of Management at Birkbeck, University of London. I was born in San Francisco and brought up on the edge of the Silicon Valley in the good old days when the culture thereabouts was one of engineering rather than start-up financing. My parents were both teachers. I was brought up to help with cooking, cleaning & light construction, not cross picket lines, enjoy long walks, and treat reasoned and committed argument as something to be expected in any conversation.
Before starting my academic career I worked for twelve years in consumer cooperatives in grocery retailing, wholesaling, and student housing, mostly in Berkeley, California. I served for six years as a director, two of them as President of the Board of Directors, of the Consumers Cooperative of Berkeley, at that time the largest consumer cooperative in the grocery business in the USA (now, sadly, defunct).
I did my BS in Political Economy of Natural Resources (a degree no longer offered, it had such a cumbersome name) at the University of California, Berkeley before doing a PhD in Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The list of terrific teachers I had at those two institutions is too long to go into here. Both programs taught formal economic methods but also expected one to take power, history, and a range of theoretical perspectives, all seriously. By the end of that process, you know enough to confuse yourself.
I have been living in the UK since 1995. For two years I worked at the Centre for Business Research at Cambridge University. Since 1997, I have taught in the Department of Management at Birkbeck. Birkbeck is the night school of the University of London, and there I have the privilege of teaching highly motivated students from a wide range of backgrounds and different parts of the world, doing a wide range of jobs in and around London. It was a bit of luck, landing there.
Even better bits of luck were meeting my wife, Simona, in London, and the birth of our son, Leonardo, two years later. I cycle to Birkbeck from our home in Harringay, North London.