Skip to main content

Heather M. Stephens, Ph.D.



Ph.D., Agricultural, Environmental and Development (AED) Economics, The Ohio State University
M.B.A., The Ohio State University
B.A., Economics and Public Policy Studies, Duke University

Research Interests

Regional Economics and Policy Analysis

Research includes examining issues related to entrepreneurship, labor markets, health, energy, environmental quality, and regional growth.


Heather M. Stephens is the Director of the Regional Research Institute (RRI) as well as an Associate Professor of Resource Economics and Management and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Economics at West Virginia University. Her research is focused on examining issues related to regional economic development and the differences in the impact of policies across regions. Her current and past research has examined questions related to energy, environmental quality, entrepreneurship, health, and regional growth. Her prior work has been published in journals that include the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics, Growth and Change, Journal of Regional Science, Resource and Energy Economics and Small Business Economics. She serves on the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Advisory Council and as the chair of the technical advisory committee for the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD). Previously, Dr. Stephens was an Assistant Professor of Economics and the Director of Economic Research at California State University, Long Beach. She also has prior experience working for a U.S. Congressman, on strategic partnership development for a Fortune 100 company, as a local economic development director, and on regional economic development and energy-related issues at a university-based applied research institute.

Contact Information:

Regional Research Institute
West Virginia University
886 Chestnut Ridge Road, 5th floor
Room 501
P.O. Box 6825
Morgantown, WV 26506