Mark Tranel
Mark Tranel ,
Director, Public Policy Research Center
Research Associate Professor in Public Policy Administration
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
B.J. (UM-Columbia), Ph.D. (St. Louis University)

In January, 2003, Mark Tranel was named as Public Policy Research Center's Director. Dr. Tranel joined the PPRC in 1990 as Senior Research Analyst. In 2000 he became the Director of the PPRC's Division of Research. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Tranel has been the principal investigator or research project manager on over 50 applied research projects in the metropolitan St. Louis area.

Dr. Tranel received his doctorate in public policy analysis and administration from St. Louis University. He has taught public administration in the UM-St. Louis Department of Political Science, and economic development at the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Department of Public Administration and Policy Analysis.

He is an active participant in a number of housing and community development organizations including service as a member of the Board of Directors of North County, Inc and the Missouri Budget Project. In 1999, the exhibited his photographic work, "Street Banners, Urban Identity and Information" and "Metromorphosis" in 2001.

Prior to joining the staff at UM-St. Louis his experience included Director of Real Estate Development, Economic Council of St. Louis County where he was responsible for industrial development sites and the small business incubator program, and Manager of Neighborhood Preservation and Community Planner, Normandy Municipal Council. In this capacity he was responsible for housing, community and economic development programs for 20 municipalities.

His recently published work includes two chapters in St. Louis Metromorphosis: Past Trends, Future Directions -- "The Transforming Economy" (chapter 3) and "The St. Louis Transportation Transformation" (chapter 7). He also recently published ""The Role of County Governments in Metropolitan Administration: A Study of the St. Louis MSA" (Chapter 4) in Revitalizing the City: Strategies to Contain Sprawl and Revive the Core . He has also contributed a chapter, entitled "Riverian Revolution", to Hidden Assets: A Connecting the Past to the Future of St. Louis. In 2006, he co-authored "Metromorphosis: Documenting Change" in the Journal of Urban Affairs, Vol. 28, Issue 2.

Dr. Tranel recently presented papers at the annual conference of the Urban Affairs Association and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

He was elected as President of North County Inc. for 2007. He has been chairman of NCI's economic development committee for five years and an officer of the executive board for three.


Todd Swanstrom,
Des Lee Endowed Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration
MA (Washington University), Ph.D. (Princeton)

In August 2008, Dr. Todd Swanstrom joined the University of Missouri-St. Louis as the Des Lee Endowed Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration. This is a joint appointment with PPRC, the Department of Political Science, and Public Policy Administration.

Prior to joining UMSL, Swanstrom was Professor of Public Policy Studies at Saint. Louis University. From 1982 - 2001, he was Professor of Political Science at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, State University of New York at Albany. He has also worked as a neighborhood planner for the City of Cleveland and as Director of Strategic Planning for the City of Albany.

Dr. Swanstrom is the author of six books, including Place Matters: Metropolitics for the Twenty-first Century, 2nd ed. (co-authored with Peter Dreier and John Mollenkopf). This text, published in 2001, examines the relationship between suburban sprawl and the decline of central cities and inner-ring suburbs. He also co-authored City Politics, 5th ed., which is a comprehensive examination of urban politics.

As Des Lee Endowed Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration, Dr. Swanstrom will work with the PPRC to achieve its mission of producing and disseminating applied analysis and evaluation of public policies and programs. In particular he will enhance PPRC's capacity to fulfill its mission of conducting theoretical research on public policy issues.

Dr. Swanstrom is a member of the MacArthur Foundation's Building Resilient Regions Research Network.


Creating Whole Communities


Karl Guenther

Karl Guenther
M.S.W. (Washington University)

Karl Guenther joined the Public Policy Research Center in June 2011 as a Community Development Specialist to facilitate and staff a network of community development organizations in the St. Louis region. Before joining PPRC, Mr. Guenther worked at the Incarnate Word Foundation on their strategic initiatives in North St. Louis. While at the Foundation, he managed an innovative grant giving program, represented the Foundation in key initiatives, and organized events on topics of interest to St. Louis area non-profits. Mr. Guenther received a Master of Social Work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, where he concentrated on social and economic development and research. He also holds a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Truman State University.

Applied Research

Jeanne Ortega
Jeanne Ortega
M.A. (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)

Jeanne Ortega joined the research staff at the Public Policy Research Center in April 2001 as Senior Research Analyst. Ms. Ortega received her MA at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1985. From 1986 to 2001 she worked with Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation's Program Review Department. Her responsibilities included new evaluation strategies, data analysis, management information systems and risk assessment. From 1991 to 2001 she provided primary staff support to Neighborhood Reinvestment's Risk Analysis Committee and served as custodian of the corporate risk analysis information system. This system tracked data on over 200 non-profit organizations. During 1998 and 1999 she participated in one of the regional working groups for the Success Measures Project. Sponsored by the Development Leadership Network, this was a national effort to develop outcome indicators for use by community development organizations in assessing the benefits resulting from their initiatives. Ms. Ortega is a member of the American Evaluation Association, ARNOVA (the Association for Research on Non-profit and Voluntary Organizations) and the Development Leadership Network.

Will Winter
Will Winter
M.A. (University of Missouri - St. Louis), Ph.D. (University of Missouri - St. Louis)

Will Winter joined the PPRC as a Research Specialist in August 2003. In 2006 he received his Ph.D. in Political Science, and in 2007 he was named as a Research Assistant Professor in Public Policy Administration. Prior to joining PPRC, Mr. Winter served as Director of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, and in this capacity he gained a variety of assessment and analysis tools. He brings to the PPRC a strong background in social science research methodology and neighborhood revitalization. Previous projects have included GIS coverage detailing census units, political boundaries, street networks, and parcel level geographies. Mr. Winter received his M.A. in Political Science from UMSL.

PPRC Communications

Rebecca Pastor
Rebecca Pastor
B.S (Webster University), MFA (UM-St. Louis), M.Ed (UM-St. Louis)

Becky Pastor joined PPRC in October 2001 as the Communications Coordinator. She completed a bachelor's degree in Psychology at Webster University in 1992,  an MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction, from the University of Missouri - St. Louis in 2007, and an M.Ed. with an emphasis in Community Mental Health Counseling from UMSL in 2014.  She is currently working toward licensure as a psychotherapist at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute, and she is also a full-time Psychoanalytic Candidate. Becky teaches writing at Webster University, and she is also a freelance writer and has been published in Sauce Magazine.

Ms. Pastor brings to the Center a strong background in community development, public policy and public relations. Prior to joining PPRC, Ms. Pastor directed the recycling programs for the City of St. Louis. She is accomplished in grantsmanship, public relations writing, and community collaboration. Previous writing projects have included work with Barnes-Jewish Hospital's Diabetes Education; the Clayton Farmer's Market; Abundant Life Seed Foundation and Seeds For Tomorrow. Ms. Pastor has been instrumental to the composition and dissemination of public information and the Center's communications plan. She is currently working toward an M.Ed. with an emphasis in Community Counseling at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Administrative Staff

Telesa Nolan
Telesa Nolan 
BS (Saint Louis University), M.B.A. (Lindenwood University)

Telesa Nolan currently serves as the Business Manager for the PPRC. She has been with PPRC since 2002, and has played an instrumental role in developing and maintaining an accounting and office system that is accessible to the entire department. She brings more than 20 years of accounting experience, as well as considerable research and data analysis skills. In 2003, The Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life selected Ms. Nolan to participate in the 21st Century Leadership Academy, the premier leadership program for Missouri college women. Telesa's selection gives her the status of Shear Fellow. In May 2004, Ms. Nolan received her MBA from Lindenwood University.  Ms. Nolan also has 10 years public service experience assisting the Saint Louis Board of Elections and since Fall 2013 works as Site administrator for the Lambert Airport, Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Project. 

Telesa Nolan
Deanna Monroe
BS (University of Missouri-St. Louis)

DeAnna Monroe has been the Office Manager for PPRC since 2015. Originally from Belleville, Illinois, she attended the University of Missouri – St. Louis where she received her Bachelors in Media Studies, minored in Theatre and Dance and graduated Cum Laude in 2015. During her time as a student at UMSL, she enjoyed hosting her radio show for “The U” and being involved in television production with “The U News.” Before attending UMSL, DeAnna graduated from Southwestern Illinois College where she received her Associates in Fine Arts. Some of her passions include learning, helping others & making a difference, being a voice for the voiceless, being a radio personality, creating poetry & art, interior design and photography. Along with working for PPRC, she is an entrepreneur who operates & maintains her successful hairstyling business, Queen’s Protective Styling.