Summary of Qualifications
Professor McNamara's research interests in regional economics and economic impact analysis include: analysis of factors influencing manufacturing growth, infrastructure investment trend analysis, impact of public development policy on local income and employment growth, economic impact analysis, land price analysis, and linkages between agriculture and the non-agricultural economy. Current research includes: farmland price analysis, agricultural sector and market analysis, regional growth analysis, food manufacturing industry growth analysis, assessment of rural manufacturers’ technical assistance needs, and growth sector analysis. Dr. McNamara works with federal, state, and local government officials, development organizations, and industry groups as well as other faculty to research rural economic growth alternatives and evaluate development policy options. He has published over 70 research articles, 9 book chapters, and numerous extension and trade articles. Dr. McNamara, as a principle investigator or co-principle investigator, has received more than $7 million to support his research and extension program.
Dr. McNamara has been engaged in Afghanistan since March 2002 when he was invited to Kabul by the then Ministry of Higher Education for the re-opening of Kabul University after the fall of the Taliban. Since the initial visit Dr. McNamara has been the principal investigator for 12 project totaling over $35 million in value related to Afghanistan development. These included two USAID funded university capacity building projects in partnership with other US and Indian universities, as well as six other projects that have involved over 100 Purdue faculty and staff in activities related to Afghanistan. Purdue currently has 4 staff on long term assignment in Afghanistan. Dr. McNamara developed Afghan/US/Indian university partnerships, developed MS and PhD programs for junior Afghan faculty, managed facility development (buildings, irrigation systems, and farms), and developed an English language program for agriculture staff and students and a number of other institutional capacity building efforts. Related Purdue Afghan efforts Dr. McNamara has been engaged in include: direct engagement with NGOs on the ground in Afghanistan, capacity building with university agriculture programs, development of curriculum for vocational agriculture schools, advisor to Minister of Higher Education, Advisor to Minister of Agriculture, USAID and USDA support, and National Guard ADT training and support. Under Dr. McNamara’s supervision, Purdue has had 22 Afghan university junior faculty on campus in West Lafayette for graduate study in agricultural economics, agronomy, English, entomology, forestry, food science and horticulture. Dr. McNamara also has worked with the Department of State to develop the Afghan Junior Faculty Development Program, a program that hosts 8-22 Afghans on the Purdue campus for 10 weeks so they can participate in a variety of capacity building programs.
Dr. McNamara worked and lived in Afghanistan in the 1970s as an American Peace Corps volunteer. He again lived in Afghanistan over 2004-2007, serving as an advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and developing/implementing a re-development program for Afghan agriculture colleges. Since 2007 he has traveled frequently to Afghanistan working on various Purdue programs.