Penn IUR is affiliated with more than 200 experts in the field of urbanism. Its Faculty Fellows program identifies faculty at the University of Pennsylvania with a demonstrated interest in urban research; the Penn IUR Scholars program identifies urban scholars outside of Penn; and the Penn IUR Fellows program identifies expert urban practitioners. Together, these programs foster a community of scholars and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.

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Faculty Fellow

Ram Cnaan


Professor; Program Director, Program for Religion and Social Policy Research

Faculty Director, Goldring Reentry Initiative


Ram Cnaan is Professor of Social Welfare, Director of the Program for Religion and Social Policy Research, and Faculty Director of the Goldring Reentry Initiative in the School of Social Policy & Practice. He is a world-renowned expert in studying faith-based social services and volunteerism. He carried out the first national study on the role of local religious congregations in the provision of social services as well as the first one-city census of congregations in one city (Philadelphia). Cnaan is now working on fiscally valuing the contribution of urban congregations as well as working on an edited volume on innovative nonprofit organizations and leading the Goldring Reentry Initiative to reduce ex-prisoners’ recidivism in Philadelphia. In addition, he serves on the editorial board of eleven academic journals. 

Selected Publications

Luria, G., R.A. Cnaan, and A. Boehm. In Press. “Religious attendance and volunteering: Testing national culture as a boundary condition.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Cnaan, Ram A. And Toorjo Ghose. 2017. “Doctoral Social Work Education.” Research on Social Work Practice. 

Heist, D. H., and R.A. Cnaan. 2016. “Faith-based international development work: A review.” Religions 7(3): 1-17.

Cnaan, R. A., and S. An. 2016. “Harnessing faith for improved quality of life: Government and faithbased nonprofit organizations in partnership.” Human Service Organizations Management, Leadership and Governance 40(3): 208-219.

Cnaan, R. A., and D. Kaplan Vinokur. 2014. Cases in innovative nonprofits: Organizations that make a difference. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

Faculty Fellow

Ira Harkavy


Associate Vice President and Founding Director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships 

Areas of Interest


    Ira Harkavy is Associate Vice President and Founding Director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships. Harkavy teaches in the departments of history, urban studies, and Africana studies, and in the Graduate School of Education. As Director of the Netter Center since 1992, Harkavy has helped to develop academically based community service courses, as well as participatory action research projects, that involve creating university-community partnerships and university-assisted community schools in Penn’s local community of West Philadelphia. Harkavy is Chair of the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE); US Chair of the International Consortium on Higher Education, Civic Responsibility, and Democracy; and Chair of the Anchor Institutions Task Force. He has co-edited and co-authored seven books, and has written and lectured widely on the history and current practice of urban university-community-school partnerships and strategies for integrating the university missions of research, teaching, learning, and service. Among other honors, Harkavy is the recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s Alumni Award of Merit, Campus Compact’s Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service Learning, a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant, and two honorary degrees.

    Selected Publications

    Benson, Lee, Ira Harkavy, John Puckett, Matthew Hartley, Rita A. Hodges, Francis E. Johnston, and Joann Weeks. 2017. Knowledge for Social Change: Bacon, Dewey, and the Revolutionary Transformation of Research Universities in the Twenty-First Century. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

    Bergan, Sjur, Tony Gallagher, and Ira Harkavy, eds. 2016. Higher Education for Democratic Innovation. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.

    Harkavy, Ira. 2016. “Engaging Urban Universities as Anchor Institutions for Health Equity” editorial in American Journal of Public Health. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association Publications. 106(12): 2155–2157.

    Harkavy, Ira, Nancy Cantor, and Myra Burnett, “Realizing STEM Equity and Diversity through Higher Education-Community Engagement,” white paper based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant no. 1219996, January 2015, available at

    Harkavy, Ira, Matthew Hartley, Rita Hodges and Joann Weeks. 2013. “The Promise of University-Assisted Community Schools to Transform American Schooling: A Report from the Field, 1985-2012.” Peabody Journal of Education 88:5 (2013): 525-540. 


    Jeremy Nowak


    President, J Nowak and Associates, LLC

    Areas of Interest


      Jeremy is President of J Nowak Associates, a consulting firm that provides counsel to businesses, social sector institutions, and governments. His current clients include The Kauffman Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Lenfest Foundation, the Berwind Family Trust, and Lourdes Hospital. Prior to starting the firm, he was the President of the William Penn Foundation (2011-2012). During his tenure at William Penn, he designed and led a planning process that serves as the blueprint for their grant making. Prior to William Penn, Nowak was the founding CEO of The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), one of the nation’s leading community development financial institutions (CDFI).  Under his leadership TRF provided more than $1 billion in support of housing, small businesses, and community facilities. He is currently a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. In 2012 and 2013, Nowak was appointed to chair the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia by the Board of Governors in Washington D.C.; his tenure at the Fed ended December 2013. 


      Selected Publications

      Nowak, Jeremy and Bruce Katz. 2018. “The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism.” Brookings Institution Press.  

      Nowak, Jeremy. 2013. “Afterword.” In Revitalizing American Cities, 256-260, Susan Wachter and Kimberly Zeuli, eds. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

      Nowak, Jeremy. 2008. “Community Development Finance and the Green City.” In Growing Greener Cities: Urban Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century, 244-258, Eugénie Birch and Susan Wachter, eds. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

      Nowak, Jeremy and Edward Hill. 2002. Policies to Uncover the Competitive Advantages of America’s Distressed Cities. Urban Publications, Paper 567.

      Nowak, Jeremy. 2001. How CDFIs Can Apply Market Realities to Poverty Alleviation. Capital Xchange Journal. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.

      Nowak, Jeremy and Edward W. Hill. 2000. Nothing Left to Lose: Radical Policy Changes Are Required to Uncover the Competitive Advantages of America’s Distressed Cities. The Brookings Review, 18(3): 22-26.


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