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Sonja Simpson



Page Hall

Dr. Sonja Simpson is the office manager for Michael Baker International, a global leader in engineering, planning and consulting services' Columbus, Ohio, operation.

Prior to this, she was the assistant director of field operations with the Ohio Department of Transportation. Simpson has also served ODOT in two other positions: as district deputy director of District 5, and as the deputy director of the Division of Operations in ODOT’s Central Office.

A strong believer in “Good Government,” Simpson has more than 19 years of public sector experience. She was on Columbus Business First’s “Forty Under 40” list for 2012, and was named the American Public Works Association Manager of the Year for Administrative Management in 2013. In 2017, Simpson was presented the Women’s Transportation Seminar Columbus Chapter 2017 Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award.

Simpson earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a master’s in regional planning from California University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a doctorate in business administration with a specialization in public administration from Northcentral University. She has been teaching at the college level for 15 years. Her research interests include public administration, leadership and diversity in public organizations.

Portable Innovation, Policy Wormholes, and Innovation Diffusion
Environmental Policy and Management
August 07, 2019
This article explores the effects of city managers' career paths on the diffusion of climate policy innovation among municipal governments in the United States.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Student Achievement on Ohio’s Third-Grade English Language Arts Assessment
January 27, 2021
This report draws on data from the fall administration of Ohio’s annual Third-Grade English Language Arts assessment to examine how the COVID pandemic has affected student learning in the state.
Whatever it Takes: Sexual Harassment in the Context of Resource Dependence
Social Policy
March 09, 2021
Research suggests powerful resource dependencies are present in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Glenn College Releases Review of Columbus Response to 2020 Protests
Civic Engagement, Advocacy and Volunteerism
April 26, 2021
In July 2020, Columbus City leaders commissioned an independent, outside after-action review of the City’s response to protests that took place last summer. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs were named the lead investigative team.
Resilience Decision Making in Repeated Disasters
Public Finance and Budgeting
June 07, 2021
The research, published in Environment Systems and Decisions Journal, examines resilience decision making in the context of repeated catastrophic events.
Maximizing the Efficiency of Active Case Finding for SARS-CoV-2 Using Bandit Algorithms
June 14, 2021
Using bandit algorithms, the authors of a paper in Medical Decision Making present and test an approach for finding otherwise undetected cases of COVID-19 before they lead to a widespread outbreak.
Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles
June 29, 2021
In this study, published in Economic Development Quarterly, the authors present a statistically valid typology of high-growth firms, also known as gazelles, to determine if payroll and job growth patterns differ between groups or clusters.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Student Learning in Ohio
August 27, 2021
Analysis of Spring 2021 Ohio State Tests
Informational Determinants of Large-area Hurricane Evacuations
Environmental Policy and Management
August 30, 2021
This study, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, presents an experimental design that overcomes the counterfactual problem present in all prior published experiments by relying on an actual storm with a known outcome. 


  • 3500 Public Management

  • 7557 Strategic Management