Faculty affiliates

Mara Ostfeld

Associate Faculty Director, Poverty Solutions; Research Director, Center for Racial Justice; Assistant Research Scientist, Ford School; Faculty Associate, Center for Political Studies; Faculty Associate, Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy

Dr. Mara Cecilia Ostfeld is the associate faculty director of Poverty Solutions, the research director at the Center for Racial Justice, and an assistant research scientist in the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. In addition, Mara is a faculty lead at the Detroit Metro Area Communities Study—an ongoing representative survey of Detroit households that asks residents about their expectations, perceptions, priorities and aspirations. She is an expert in survey research and the analysis of public opinion, with a particular focus on the relationship between race, gender, media and political attitudes. Her work has been published in journals that include Social Forces, Political Behavior, Political Psychology and Political Communication, and been funded by places including the National Science Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation. Mara is the primary investigator of the Puerto Rico Public Opinion Lab (with colleagues Mayra Vélez Serrano and Luis Cámara Fuertes at the University of Puerto Rico) in which the research team is implementing the first representative study of political attitudes in Puerto Rico. During national elections, Mara also works as an analyst at NBC and Telemundo.

Educational background

  • 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

Professional affiliations

  • American Political Science Association
  • Midwest Political Science Association

Recent publications

"Revisiting the effects of case studies in the news," with Diana Mutz. (forthcoming). Political Communications.