Faculty Biography

Ramon Borges-Mendez

Ramon Borges-Mendez, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Community Development and Planning
Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Community Development and Planning
Department of International Development, Community, and Environment
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Phone: (508) 421-3838 phone
Email: rborgesmendez@clarku.edu



1995. PhD. Urban Studies and Regional Planning. MIT
1988. Masters in City Planning (MCP). MIT
1985. BA. University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Cum Laude. Social Thought and Political Economy.

Research Interests and Expertise

Urban and Regional Economic Development; Labor Markets and Workforce Development; Political Economy; Latin America; Latinos in the US and Immigration; Governance, Non-Profits and Institutional Development; Local and Regional Food Systems; Research Methods.

Research Gate Profile


Ramón Borges-Méndez, PhD, born in Puerto Rico, has worked in the US, Latin America, and South Asia. He is an Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Community Development at the International Development, Community, and Environment Department at Clark University (Worcester, MA), where he is coordinator of the undergraduate Urban Studies concentration, and he teaches graduate courses on food systems, inequality, labor economics, migration, and globalization. Prof. Borges-Méndez has been also coordinator of the Graduate Program in Community Development and Planning. Previously, Prof. Borges-Méndez held academic appointments at University of Chile, Johns Hopkins University-SAIS, American University, and UMASS-Boston. He holds a BA from the Social Though and Political Economy Program from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an MCP (Master in City Planning) and a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prof. Borges-Méndez is co-founder of Fundación Bucarabón in Maricao, PR (https://en.fundacionbucarabon.org/), where he serves in the Board, and he is the Director of Development. In Worcester, he currently Co-Chairs of the board of Worcester Common Ground Community Development Corporation (https://www.wcgcdc.org/). Prof. Borges-Méndez has a broad career as a consultant working for organizations such as the Ford Foundation, the World Bank, The Economic Commission on Latin American and the Caribbean of the United Nations (ECLAC), The United Nations’ Department for Social and Economic Affairs, the Inter-American Development Bank, The Brookings Institution, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, the Government of Chile, and SEIU-1199 Health Care Workers, NYC. Dr. Borges-Méndez has written on various public policy issues: workforce development; labor markets; poverty and community development in the United States; immigration; sustainability and governance in Latin America. His work has been published in the Economic Development Quarterly, The Non-Profit Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, and CENTRO-Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ramon-Borges-Mendez). He has occupied leadership positions in other organizations and non-profits such as the Massachusetts Endowment for the Humanities, Farm-to-Institution New England, the Mauricio Gaston Institute/UMASS-Boston, and ARNOVA. Prof. Borges-Méndez also received diverse fellowships, awards, and grants from: Fulbright; USDA; Marion Ewing Kauffman Foundation; and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Recent Publications

Marrero A.; Lopez-Cepero A.; Borges-Mendez, R.; Mattei, J. (2022). Narrating agricultural resilience after Hurricane María: How smallholder farmers in Puerto Rico leverage self-sufficiency and collaborative agency in a climate-vulnerable food system. Agricultural & Human Values. Agriculture and Human Values (2022) 39:555–571.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón. (2020). Community Development Corporations and Reconstruction Policy in Puerto Rico. CENTRO Journal. Volume XXXIII. Number 111. Fall 2020. pp.157-198.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón & Cynthia Caron. (2019). Decolonizing Resilience: The Case of Reconstructing the Coffee Region of Puerto Rico After Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Journal of Extreme Events, Vol 6, No.1. (19 pp.)

Weisinger, Judith; Borges-Méndez, Ramón; Milofsky, Carl. (eds.)(February 2016). Introduction. New Frontiers in Diversity Research in the Non-Profit Sector. Special Issue: Non-Profit Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ). 

Meléndez, Edwin; Borges-Méndez, Ramón; Visser, M. Ann; Rosofsky, Anna.  (2015). “The Restructured Landscape of Economic Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Regional Workforce Development Collaborations". Economic Development Quarterly. May 2015. 29: 150-166.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón. (2015). “Asset-Based Development and the Wealth Profile of Stateside Puerto Rican Households”. CENTRO Journal: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. Volume XXVII. Number 1. Spring 2015.pp.146-171.

Birson, Kurt; Borges-Méndez, Ramón; Ampaabeng, Kofi. (2014). “The Asset Profile of Puerto Ricans and Other Latinos after the Great Recession, 2008-10.” In Puerto Rican at the Dawn of the New Millennium. Edwin Meléndez & Carlos Vargas-Ramos, eds. Centro Press. NY: NY. pp.164-180.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón; Denhardt, Lilly; Collett, Michelle.(2013). “Global and Local Youth Unemployment: Dislocation and Pathways.” New England Journal of Public Policy. Vol.25. pp.1-8.

Rosofsky, Anna; Lucier, Cristina; London, Bruce; Scharber; Helen; Borges-Méndez, Ramón; Shandra, John. (2013). “Environmental ascription in Worcester County, MA: Toxic pollution and education outcomes.” Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability Vol.19, No.3, pp. 283-299.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón; Denhardt, Lilly; Collette, Michelle. (2012). “Global and Local Youth Unemployment: Dislocations and Pathways”. In Youth at Risk, Part 1. Family Impact Seminar. Briefing Report. Mosakowski Institute, Clark University. Worcester, MA.

Lamp, Josiah & Borges-Méndez, Ramón. (2010). “The Latino Population in Massachusetts: Selected Socioeconomic Indicators.” Chapter 4. pp. 54-66. In Securing the Dream. Prepared for the Statewide Latino Public Policy Conference 2010. Mauricio Gaston Institute. UMASS- Boston. Boston: MA.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón. (2011). “Stateside Puerto Ricans and the Public Workforce Development System: New York City, Hartford, Springfield/Holyoke.” CENTRO Journal: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. Volume XXIII, Number II, Fall 2011. pp. 64-93.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón (Principal Investigator), James Jennings, Donna Haig-Friedman, Malo Hutson, Teresa Roberts (2009). Immigrant Workers in the Massachusetts Health Care Industry. Immigrant Learning Center. Malden: MA.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón. (2008). “Sustainable Development and Participatory Practices in Community Forestry: The Case of FUNDECOR in Costa Rica.” Local Environment:  The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. Vol. 13, No.4, pp. 367-383.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón. (2008) “Competitiveness and Workforce Development: The Case of the Boston Area Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC).” Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 2008 Industry Studies. Vol. 1, No.6: August 7, 2008. Eileen Appelbaum & Rosemary Batt, (eds.) [Available at SSRN Library]

Borges-Méndez, Ramón (2007). “The Latinization of Lawrence: Migration, Settlement, and Incorporation of Latinos in a Small Town of Massachusetts.” In Latinos in a Changing Society. Marta Montero-Sieburth & Edwin Meléndez, (eds.). Praeger. Westport: Connecticut. Chapter 10: pp.228-252.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón & Edwin Meléndez. (2004). “CBOs and the One-Stop Career Center System”. In Communities and Workforce Development. (2004). Edwin Meléndez, ed. Upjohn Institute. Kalamazoo: Michigan. Chapter 3: pp.71-114.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón & Miren Uriarte. (2003). “Tales of Latinos in Three Small Cities: Latino Settlement and Incorporation in Lawrence and Holyoke, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island.” Color Lines Conference: Segregation and Integration in America’s Present and Future. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.[Compact Disk]

Borges-Méndez, Ramón & Víctor Vergara. (2000). “The Participation-Accountability Nexus and Decentralization in Latin America.” In Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Decentralization and Accountability of the Public Sector. Shahid Javed Burki & Guillermo E. Perry (eds.). The World Bank. Washington, D.C. pp.55-77.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón. (1995).“Industrial Change, Immigration and Community Development: An Overview of Europeans and Latinos.” New England Journal of Public Policy. Spring/Summer, 1995. Vol. 11, No.1. pp. 43-59.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón. (1993). “Migration, Social Networks, and the Regionalization of Puerto Rican Settlement Patterns: Barrio Formation in Lowell, Lawrence and Holyoke.” Latino Studies Journal. DePaul University. Vol. 4. No.2. May, 1993. pp.3-21.

Borges-Méndez, Ramón. (1993). “The Use of Latino Immigrant Labor in Massachusetts’ Manufacturing: Evidence from Lowell, Lawrence and Holyoke.” In Latinos and Economic Development in Massachusetts. Edwin Meléndez and Miren Uriarte (eds.) University of Massachusetts Press. Amherst. MA. 1993. pp.104-123.