Research Team


Will Burns joined the Center for Regional Development as its Assistant Director in June of 2006. He has been focusing his efforts at CRD on increasing technical assistance programs and bridging the gap between the communities of our region and the University, and brings an extensive practical economic and community development experience to the CRD. He spent the last 16+ years working in community and economic development primarily in Northwestern Ohio. He most recently served the Maumee Valley Planning Organization (MVPO) as its Director of Community and Economic Development where he assisted both new and existing companies throughout the five county region with financing packages for capital expansions and funding for infrastructure improvements.

Will is a member of the Ohio Department of Development's Economic Development Advisory Committee, an affiliate board member of the Northwest Ohio Regional Economic Development agency and a member of the Northwest Ohio Development Assistance Corporation. He is a past executive board member of the Ohio Conference on Community Development (OCCD) and previously served as a member of the State Programs Committee.

Will is a graduate of Bowling Green State University with a BA in Political Science and a MA in Geography. He is also a certified development financing professional through the National Development Council.


Will M. Burns

Position: Interim Director


Dr. Russell W. Mills is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Bowling Green State University.  He teaches courses in the Master of Public Administration Program (Public Administration Theory, Public Budgeting, and Public Policy) as well as courses in American Politics.  Dr. Mills holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Kent State University, a MPA from the University of Vermont, and a B.A. in political science from Westminster College.  Prior to joining the department of political science, Dr. Mills worked as a policy analyst at the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington D.C.


Russell W. Mills, PH.D.

Position: Research Fellow, Political Science
Phone: 419-372-7329


Gail McRoberts joined the Center for Regional Development as a Budget Specialist in March 2013. Her responsibilities include processing budget documents, preparing reports and reviewing department and grant budgets to comply with University, State and Federal regulations.

Prior to joining the CRD Gail worked at BGSU for 30 years as Director of Budgets in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Dean and as the Director of Graduate Operations at BGSU.

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Gail McRoberts

Position: Budget Specialist


Shannon Ebert

Position: Graduate Research Assistant, Workforce Education and Development



Kaitlyn Trent

Position: Graduate Research Assistant, Political Science


Ellie Clark

Position: Undergraduate Research Assistant, Geography