Diversity Research at CLEAR

Cynthia Barboza-Wilkes

Cynthia Barboza-Wilkes earned her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Management at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California in 2022 and is now at the U.S. Office of Evaluation Sciences as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow through an Intergovernmental Personnel Act appointment in partnership with the CLEAR Initiative. Her work explores intersectional experiences in the workplace with a focus on organizational justice and diversity management. As an interdisciplinary scholar, she weaves together insights from organizational behavior, critical race theory, and emotional labor scholarship to look at the ways in which organizations reproduce inequity.  Her goal is to enhance our understanding of the differential interpersonal burdens experienced by diverse employees navigating social and institutional power asymmetries.

Esther González

Esther González, a PhD Candidate at USC Price's Public Policy and Management program, is at the forefront of research on diversity within the USC Price Center for Local Government Leadership and Management's (CLEAR) initiative. With a focus on organizational behavior and representative bureaucracy, Esther's research delves deep into diversity initiatives within local government agencies, aiming to unravel their purpose and effectiveness in fostering equitable workplaces. Her dissertation, titled "Three Essays on the Analysis of the Impact of Equity Efforts on Local Government Employees and DEI Leaders," employs a mixed methods approach to investigate the nuanced dynamics of diversity leadership. Specifically, Esther examines the dichotomy between superficial and substantive inclusion of diversity leaders within organizations and evaluates the repercussions on these leaders themselves. By exploring this aspect, her research sheds light on the challenges and opportunities within diversity initiatives, paving the way for more informed and effective strategies in promoting inclusivity. For this work, Esther was recently awarded a Graduate School Fellowship from the USC. Esther's scholarly contributions extend beyond her dissertation. She coauthors, with Bill Resh and John Marvel, the working paper "The Political Economy of Minority Representation in Federal Procurement Decisions." This work unravels the interplay between congressional influence and procurement decisions, particularly within the context of the SBA 8A minority-focused procurement program. Through this collaboration, Esther demonstrates her versatility in addressing multifaceted issues pertinent to diversity and governance.

Thai Le

Dr. Thai V. Le (he/him) is a Research Scientist at the Equity Research Institute where he leads research projects on immigrant inclusion and racial justice. As a mixed-methods researcher, Dr. Le utilizes statistical models, ethnographic practices, and spatial tools to study a range of issues, including naturalization outcomes, regressive and discriminatory local financing practices, the digital divide, emotional justice, and burnout among public sector workers. In uplifting social equity and intersectionality, his research also disaggregates data to elevate the narratives of marginalized and minoritized communities. His previous work examines the diverging pathways to citizenship and immigrant inclusion in the United States and extrapolates the multiplicative effects of racialized and gendered barriers within immigrant communities, earning him the Henry Reining Jr. Best Dissertation in Public Policy and Management Award.

Recent Publications

An, B., Barboza-Wilkes, CJ, & Resh, W. (2024) “Applying an Intersectional Understanding of Extra Work Behavior and Emotional Burnout in Local Public Service,” Public Administration (with Brian An and Cynthia Barboza-Wilkes), 2024

Barboza-Wilkes, CJ., Le, TV. & Resh, W. (2023). Deconstructing burnout at the intersections of race, gender, and generation in local government. JPART 33(1): 186-201

Barboza-Wilkes, C., & Le, TV. (2023). Qualitative Diary Designs as a Compassionate Research Design for Times of Disruption. Public Integrity 1-15 https://doi.org/10.1080/10999922.2023.2236413.

Le, TV., & Barboza-Wilkes, C. (2023). How Self-Determination Moderates Burnout in Public Organizations Across Gender, Race, and Generation. Public Personnel Management https://doi.org/10.1177/0091026023119127.

Barboza-Wilkes, C., & Le, TV., & Turesky, M. (2023). Emotional Socialization in Times of Disruption: A Mixed-Methods Case Study of Emotional Labor Among Nonprofit Employees During COVID-19. Journal of Research on Emotion in Organizations. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1746-979120220000018002

Barboza-Wilkes, C., Gonzalez, E.**, Resh, W.  & Wong, S.** (2022) “The Emotional Toll of the COVID-19 Crisis on Local Government Workers,” Review of Public Personnel and Administration. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734371X221108501

Le, T. & Barboza-Wilkes, C. (2022). How the Paradoxical Treatment of Asian Americans as Model Minorities and Perpetual Foreigners Shape Their Burnout Experiences in Local Government. Public Integrity, 24(6), 550–572 https://doi.org/10.1080/10999922.2022.2071516

Park, J. & Ahn, Y. (2022). Government Employees’ Experience and Expectation of COVID-19 Hardships: The Moderating Role of Gender and Race in the United States. The American Review of Public Administration, 52(1), 15–35. doi:10.1177/02750740211049280