MILWAUKEE – Jenny R. Kehl has been named the Lynde B. Uihlein Endowed Chair in Water Policy and the director of the Center for Water Policy in the School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). She begins July 2.
The chair and other positions in the water center were created earlier this year with support from a $2.6 million gift from Uihlein.
Kehl comes to UWM from Rutgers, where she was an associate professor in the Graduate Department of Public Policy and Administration and Department of Political Science. She conducts research in political economy, and her specific interests include government negotiations with foreign investors in the extractive/resource sectors and conflict in transboundary river and lake systems. Kehl has recently been working in Africa and Asia on resolution of water resource allocation issues, and has received a major grant from the Social Science Research Council for work on water scarcity and food security.
“Jenny’s background provides the right fit for addressing the complex issues of making water policy in the state, nationally and internationally,” says David Garman, dean of the School of Freshwater Sciences. “Her work links with the economic and legal aspects of governance, making her a well-rounded and welcome choice to lead the new center.”
Kehl’s expertise in formulating strategies for cooperation in resource disputes, notes Garman, will be invaluable in assisting with water resource allocation issues that are emerging in Southeastern Wisconsin as well as elsewhere. The principles for resolution of the allocation issues for the water of Lake Michigan are similar to those around water resources elsewhere in the world.
Garman says he also envisions the center establishing ties with other major water policy development centers, such as those in Stockholm and Singapore, to provide an international context for policy development.
Kehl holds a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College, and master’s and doctoral degrees in comparative political economy from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has published research in International Negotiation, International Studies Review, and the African Finance Journal, and has forthcoming research from recent fieldwork in Africa and Asia.