Sam Staley is an Ohio native and co-founder of The Buckeye Institute. Prior to his appointment as President, he served as a Vice President and Secretary and a member of The Board of Trustees. From 1994 to 1998, he was the Institute's research director, leading its policy research in education reform, tax and fiscal policy, health care, urban development and growth, and urban sprawl.
Sam directed the Urban Futures Program at Reason Public Policy Institute, the research division of the Reason Foundation in Los Angeles from 1997 to 2002 where he also served as Deputy Director of RPPI.
At RPPI, Sam built the Urban Futures Program into one of the nation's most visible voices on urban policy and emerged as one of the nation's most prolific and recognized figures in the debate over Smart Growth and urban sprawl. Governing and Planning magazines identified him as one of the nation's leading critics of conventional Smart Growth and a leader in developing practical, market-oriented alternatives. His most recent book, co-edited with Florida State University economist Randall Holcombe, has been called the "most thorough challenge yet to regional land-use plans" (Planning, February 2002).
Prior to his work with The Buckeye Institute, he taught graduate and undergraduate economics full-time at Wright State University (1990 to 1995), served as an economic development consultant to local governments and university-base researchers. He has lectured in dozens of cities across the United States as well as Hong Kong, London, and Paris.
Sam is the author of more than 50 professional articles and reports, including three books, Drug Policy and the Decline of American Cities (1992), Planning Rules and Urban Economic Performance: The Case of Hong Kong (1994), and his most recent book Smarter Growth: Market-based Strategies for Land-use Planning in the 21st Century (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001), all available from amazon.com. His research and analysis has appeared in a wide variety of academic and professional publications including the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Economics of Education Review, Constitutional Political Economy, the Capital University Law Review, Planning and Markets, Planning magazine, Reason Magazine, and Urban Land. His book on drug policy won first place in the 1993 Sir Anthony Fisher International Memorial Awards given by the Atlas Economic Research Foundations of the U.S. and U.K. His commentary has been nationally syndicated and has appeared in most of Ohio's major newspapers, including the Columbus Dispatch, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Dayton Daily News, the Akron Beacon Journal, and the Lima News.
Active in his community, Sam currently chairs his local planning board in his hometown of Bellbrook, Ohio, is a former member of Bellbrook's Board of Zoning Appeals and Property Review Commission, and former chair of Bellbrook's Charter Review Commission.
Sam earned his B.A. in Economics and Public Policy from Colby College, M.S. in Social and Applied Economics from Wright State University, and Ph.D. in Public Administration, with concentrations in urban planning and public finance from Ohio State University. From 1989 to 1990, he was a Bradley Fellow in the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University.