Photo of Ralph Townsend

Ralph Townsend

Director, Professor of Economics
Work Phone: 907-786-5420


  • Ph.D., Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ralph Townsend became ISER’s director in August 2016. He has 30 years of experience in higher education and government, including research, administration, and teaching.

Dr. Townsend was dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Winona State University in Minnesota from 2010 to 2016. Before that he was on the faculty of the economics department at the University of Maine for 20 years; for five of those years he chaired the department and for two years he was associate dean of the graduate school.

Much of his past research has been in fisheries economics, but he has also studied a range of public-policy issues, including health-care policy, anti-trust and regulatory policy, education finance, and waste management. He has broad experience in the classroom as well, teaching principles of economics, antitrust and regulation, history of thought, mathematical economics, graduate microeconomics, undergraduate and graduate econometrics, and graduate public finance.

Dr. Townsend has been an advisor to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Western Pacific and New England fishery management councils, and the U.S. Department of State. For three years, he was chief economist for the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries. He is also past president of the International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade and the North American Association of Fisheries Economists.

Download Dr. Ralph Townsend’s Resume (PDF, 203KB)