Todd A. Watkins, PhD, is a Professor of Economics and has served as Executive Director of the Martindale Center for the Study of Private Enterprise at Lehigh University since 2015. Author of more than 75 related publications, his research and teaching focus on the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship, public policy, and financial tools for sustainable development. He has published in the journal Science, and well as Research Policy, Issues in Science and Technology, Technology Review, Small Business Economics, Industrial Relations, Environmental Science and Technology, and other journals and books.
Author of a recently published book, Introduction to Microfinance, on the international microfinance industry and inclusive financial services for the poor (2018, World Scientific), Watkins is also co-editor of the books Moving Beyond Storytelling: Emerging Research in Microfinance (Emerald) and The Future of Microfinance (forthcoming, Brookings). He directs Lehigh’s Microfinance Program, and was a founding member of the advisory Faculty Council for ACCION International’s Center for Financial Inclusion, which seeks to promote innovation and growth of commercial microfinance worldwide. He was a long time Board Member and past President of the Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, which targets the business development credit needs of low-to-moderate income communities regionally. He’s also on the board of directors of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, the Cultural Coalition of Allentown, the non-profit Humanitarian Social Innovations, and of the Africa Network, promoting the study of Africa in the nation’s colleges.
Winner of multiple teaching awards and over $15 million in external research, contract, and training grant funding, Watkins led Lehigh’s efforts in developing entrepreneurship curricula and a support infrastructure for student technology startups. He was founding Executive Director of Lehigh's Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation and co-founded Lehigh’s national-award-winning Integrated Product Development Program. Under Watkins’ leadership the undergraduate entrepreneurship program was regularly ranked among the nation’s top 20 by Princeton Reviewand Entrepreneurship Magazine, and was ranked #12 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. He’s served as principal advisor for dozens of entrepreneurial startup companies and international development-oriented social entrepreneurial organizations started by students. He’s been a consultant to the U.S. Department of Commerce's NIST Advanced Technology Program, the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and a member of The National Academies’ Committee on Innovation Models for Aerospace Technologies, to advise NASA on improving their innovation processes.
Prior to his graduate studies, he worked in Optical Design and Optical Manufacturing Engineering for Eastman Kodak. Watkins earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Optics from the University of Rochester and his Ph.D. and Masters degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.
- Book: The Future of Microfinance, co-editor, with Ira W. Lieberman, Paul DiLeo and Anna Kanze, Brookings, forthcoming 2019.
- “Microfinance Industry Concentration and the Role of Large Scale and Profitable MFIs,” in The Future of Microfinance, Brookings, forthcoming 2019.
- "Evidence of Economically Sustainable Village-scale Microenterprises for Arsenic Remediation in Developing Countries." Environmental Science & Technology 53(3), 2019.
- Book: Introduction to Microfinance. World Scientific. 2018.
- “Breakthrough Technology or Breakthrough Solution: What Are We Really After?” with Arup K. SenGupta, Michael German, Prasun Chatterjee, Anil Shaw, Sudipta Sarkar, Mizan Rahman, and Minhaj Chowdhury, Environmental Science & Technology 51(5), 2017.
- “Microfinance: Revolution or Footnote? The Future of Microfinance Over the Next Ten Years.” White paper. With Ira Lieberman, Paul DiLeo and Anna Kanze. San Jose, Costa Rica: Calmeadow. September 2017.
- “From Lab and SocEnt Startup to Impact on 200,000 Lives: A Sustainable Microenterprise Model for Village Scale Arsenic Removal from Drinking Water.” With Michael German and Arup K. SenGupta, Hadley, MA: Open 2016 Conference Proceedings: VentureWell, Portland, March 2016 [Refereed].
- "Why are Labor Quit Rates Lower among Defense Contractors?" with Thomas Hyclak, Industrial Relations 50(4), 2011.
- Book: Moving Beyond Storytelling: Emerging Research in Microfinance, co-editor, with Karen Hicks, Emerald, 2009.
- "A Framework for Innovation Roadmappingin Microfinance Information Systems," in Moving Beyond Storytelling: Emerging Research in Microfinance, Emerald, 2009.
- "Absorptive Capacity and R&D Tax Policy: Are In-house and External Contract R&D Substitutes or Complements?"with Lolita Paff. Small Business Economics 33(2), 2009.
- "What is the After-Tax Price of R&D? An Inter-State Comparison," with Lolita Paff, Fiscal Studies, 30 (1), 2009.
- "Can Students in Technology Entrepreneurship Courses Help Foster Start-ups by the Unemployed?" with M. Jean Russo and John B. Ochs. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. 15(2) 2008.
- "Do Workforce and Organizational Practices Explain the Manufacturing Technology Implementation Advantage of Small Defense Contractors over Non-Defense Firms?" Defence and Peace Economics, 18(4), 2007.
- "Glide Path to Irrelevance: Federal Funding for Aeronautics," with Alan Schriesheim and Stephen Merrill, Issues in Science and Technology 23(1) 69-78, Fall 2006.
- "Innovation Facilitators and Accelerators for Aeronautics," principal author (unattributed), in Aeronautics Innovation: NASA's Challenges and Opportunities, Stephen A. Merrill, ed., Committee on Innovation Models for Aerospace Technologies, Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, National Research Council of The National Academies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2006.
- Direct and Spillover Effects of ATP-Funded Photonics Technologies, with Theodore W. Schlie, NIST GCR06-893, Economic Assessment Office, Advanced Technology Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington DC, December 2006.
- "A Comprehensive Model for Integrating Entrepreneurship Education and Capstone Projects while Meeting ABET Requirements," with John B. Ochs, Gerard P Lennon and Graham Mitchell, Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, June 2006.
- "Leveraging What Freshmen Don't Know: Product Development in an Integrated Business and Engineering Freshman Workshop," with John B. Ochs and Drew M. Snyder, Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, 2003.
- "Manufacturing Scale, Lot Sizes and Product Complexity in Defense and Commercial Manufacturing," with Maryellen R. Kelley, Defence and Peace Economics 12(3), 2001.
- "Creating a Truly Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurial Educational Environment," with John B. Ochs & Berrisford W. Boothe, Journal of Engineering Education 90(4), 2001.
- "The Effects of Commercial Offsets on Aerospace Subcontractors," in Status Report of the Presidential Commission on Offsets in International Trade, Executive Office of the President, Washington, DC, January 2001.
- "Extending Case Study Methodologies for Technology Policy Evaluation," The Advanced Technology Program: Assessing Outcomes, Charles Wessner, ed., National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, Washington D.C, 2001.
- "Dual-Use Supplier Management and Strategic International Sourcing in Aircraft Manufacturing," in Trends and Challenges in Aerospace Offsets, Charles Wessner, ed., National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, Washington D.C., 1999.
- "Are Defense and Non-Defense Manufacturing Industries Really all That Different?", with Maryellen R. Kelley, in Gerald I. Susman & Sean O'Keefe, eds., The Defense Industry in the Post-Cold War Era: Corporate Strategies and Public Policy Perspectives, Pergamon, 1998.
- "Learning Across Functional Silos: Lehigh University's Integrated Product Development Program," with John B. Ochs, Berrisford W. Boothe & Heather Beam, in Richard G. Milter, John E. Stinson & Wim H. Gijselaers, eds., Educational Innovation in Economics and Business III: Innovative Practices in Business Education, Kluwar Academic Publishers, 1998.
- "The Myth of the Specialized Military Contractor," with Maryellen R. Kelley, Technology Review 98(3), April, 1995.
- "In From the Cold: Prospects for Conversion of the Defense Industrial Base," with Maryellen R. Kelley, Science 268, No. 5210, 28 April, 1995.
- The Defense Industrial Network, with Maryellen R. Kelley, Office of Technology Assessment, US Congress, August, 1992.
- "A Technological Communications Costs Model of R&D Consortia as Public Policy," Research Policy 20, April 1991.