Director of Communications and Assistant Research Scientist
Mara Ostfeld is the faculty director of communications and an assistant research scientist at Poverty Solutions. In that role, she oversees the initiative’s communications efforts; continues her research on the relationship between race, media and political attitudes; and contributes to the Detroit Metro Area Communities Study, which is supported by Poverty Solutions.
Ostfeld also is a research associate with the Center for Political Studies at U-M, and she has a courtesy appointment as an assistant professor of public policy at U-M’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Previously, she served as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at U-M. Ostfeld is working on projects exploring media coverage of protest activity; the implications of different methodological approaches to studying Latino public opinion; and the attitudinal consequences of descriptive representation. Her work has been published in journals that include Social Forces, Political Psychology and Political Communication and been funded by places including the National Science Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation. She has a forthcoming book project that explores the political, social, and psychological factors that shape how we identify our skin color. During national elections, Ostfeld works as an analyst at NBC and Telemundo.
PhD in political science, University of Pennsylvania; MA in political science, University of Pennsylvania; MPP, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; BA in social work, Rutgers University