Jerry (Zhirong) Zhao

Director, Master of Public Policy (MPP)
public financial management; public budgeting; sustainable development; economic development; local government management; infrastructure finance

A native of China, Jerry "Zhirong" Zhao is a professor in public and nonprofit management. His research focuses on public budgeting and finance, in particular how local governments generate sufficient revenue under ever-increasing constraints; how state and local fiscal structures affect the pattern and effectiveness of public service delivery; and how public and nonprofit organizations interact with each other in budgetary and service decision making.

Jerry holds a PhD in Public Administration from the University of Georgia and earned bachelor's and master's degrees in Urban Planning from Tongji University (China). In his earlier career as an urban planner, he led many projects for local governments across China, and published journal articles and book chapters on urban renewal and historical preservation.

As a public administration scholar, he has published in Public Administration Review, Public Finance Review, Public Budgeting and Finance, Municipal Finance Journal, and Chinese Public Administration Review, and has worked on funded projects supported by the Minnesota Legislature, Minnesota Department of Transportation, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Jerry was named the Humphrey School's Instructor of the Year in 2009 and 2013. He is currently the Director of Graduate Degree (DGS) for the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program. Jerry founded the Institute for Urban & Regional Infrastructure Finance (IURIF) within the Humphrey School in 2017, and serves as its director.  

In The Media

This story outlines a new report co-authored by Professor Jerry Zhao and researcher Camila Fonseca-Sarmiento, which highlights shortcomings in infrastructure cost tracking and disclosure.

Transportation Today
November 21, 2019

This story mentions an upcoming webinar featuring Professor Jerry Zhao and Camila Fonseca-Sarmiento, whose research paper with the Volcker Alliance highlights shortcomings in infrastructure cost tracking and disclosure.

Markets Insider
November 20, 2019