Francis Owusu

Chair, Community and Regional Planning
Professor, Community and Regional Planning
Community & Regional Planning, Design Administration

Contact Information

Phone: (515) 294-7769
Office: 146 Design

Mailing Address

Community and Regional Planning Department
158 College of Design
Ames, IA, 50011


  • BA, Geography with Archaeology, University of Ghana, 1987
  • MA, Population Studies, United Nations Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana, 1990
  • MA, Geography, Carleton University, Canada, 1992
  • PhD, Geography, University of Minnesota, 2000

On the Web

Research Interests

Dr. Owusu's research straddles the bridges between development and planning. One aspect of his research focuses on planning in Africa and the developing world. This research has followed three related paths: examining the relationship between neo-liberal economic reforms and the nature of African urban economies; exploring the relationship between organizational cultures and public sector reforms; and engaging debates over the theoretical and conceptual issues surrounding development policy in Africa. Taken together, this research pushes for an alternative to neo-liberal economic policies by exploring ways of creating effective public institutions and improving the capacity of African states.   Another aspect of Dr. Owusu’s research focuses on the U.S. and is directed more towards policy. Under this genre of research, he has worked on developing sustainable development indicators, explored the relationship between urban development and smart growth, and analysed the location of ethanol plant in the Midwest. His work has been published in journal such as Journal of Planning Education and Research, Public Administration and Development, World Development, The Canadian Geographer, Canadian Journal of African Studies. Africa Today, Political Geography, African Development Review, Development Policy Review as well as in several edited volumes.

Current Projects

  • Neoliberalism, Globalization and Development Policy in Africa
  • Neoliberalism, Urbanization and Change in Africa
  • Capacity development for research leadership in Africa
  • Capacity development for natural resource management in Africa.
  • Capacity Building and Public Sector Performance in Africa
  • Globalization and Changing consumption patterns

Supporting Files

Current Scholarship

  • , 01/15/2014