Alec Ian Gershberg is a born and raised New Yorker. He is a graduate of The Bank Street School for Children and Horace Mann High School. He received his BA from Brown University, double-majoring in American Civilization and Literature & Society. After college, he worked in the Roxbury section of Boston for the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and then taught English in South Korea.
Gershberg received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania's Regional Science Department. He wrote his dissertation on education finance, decentralization, and intergovernmental fiscal relations in Mexico. He is a specialist on social policy, public finance, and economic analysis in both developing and OECD countries, with particular expertise in policy reform processes, institutional analysis, education finance, accountability, school governance, decentralization, and healthcare capital finance agencies and their impact on the cost of capital. He has done both quantitative and qualitative research and applied policy analysis in Latin America — particularly Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Ecuador. He has also worked in Egypt, Jordan, Romania, Georgia, and Tanzania and done cross-regional analysis on Latin America, East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has been a frequent consultant to the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, USAID (and its contractors) and The Urban Institute. Gershberg has been a visiting fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California; visiting professor at the Stanford University School of Education, the Open University of Catalunya (UOC), and El Colegio de Mexico; senior education economist at the World Bank; and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He publishes in a range of journals — including World Development, Comparative Education, Economics of Education Review, the National Tax Journal, Public Budgeting and Finance, and the International Journal of Educational Development — and is the author of the book Beyond "Bilingual" Education: New Immigrants and Public School Policies in California (Urban Institute Press, 2004). Gershberg spent the 2010-2011 academic year in Barcelona co-directing three research projects at the UOC’s Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), where he is currently a research associate in e-learning: 1) on student outcomes and career trajectories in online universities; 2) on business models and the use of data and information in online universities; and 3) on the use of the Internet and ICT in Spanish primary and secondary schools. He also took the opportunity to forget about the New York Mets and follow the best fútbol team in the world, FC Barcelona.
At The New School, Gershberg has been active in several areas. He teaches the Public and Urban Policy program's core course Public Finance and Fiscal Management and electives including Public Education Policy, Education and International Development, and Comparative Education. He has taught the Laboratory in Issue Analysis Capital Markets and Development Finance; Doctoral Research Workshop; Making a Difference: Global, Organizational, and Individual Perspectives on Change; and Government-NGO Relations in Mexico (with an international field trip). He has directed the community development finance lab, chaired the Middle States accreditation sub-committee on Budget and Finance, and served as special advisor to the Provost for Faculty and Curricular Affairs. For eight years, he organized Milano’s Wednesday Faculty Seminar Series. In 2006, he was chosen to deliver The New School's Aims of Education Address at Convocation, and in 1999 he received the University Distinguished Teaching Award.
PhD, Regional Science, University of Pennsylvania