Our Staff

Robert J. Kleine, Interim Director

Robert Kleine is the Interim Director for the MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy. He has worked for the Michigan Department of Treasury, and as a partner for the Great Lakes Economic Consulting.  Robert has a BA in Economics and History; Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College); American University, Business Administration, and his M.B.A in Finance (Michigan State University).

Robert J. Kleine CV

Mary Schulz

Mary Schulz is the associate director for the MSU Extension Center for Local Government, Finance and Policy. Prior to that she served as project director for the Michigan Local Government Benchmarking Consortium (MLGBC). Mary has been a Visiting Specialist in the Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics Department at Michigan State University since 1997.  Prior to joining the faculty at MSU, Mary was a Federal Affairs Representative for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) & Crop Insurance Research Bureau (CIRB), and was a Legislative Assistant to Congressman Nick Smith, in Washington, DC. Mary received her B.A. in Economic and M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University.

Samantha Zinnes

Samantha Zinnes is the MSU Law Fellow for the MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy. She graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2016. Samantha is an attorney and licensed to practice law in the state of Michigan. In 2009, Samantha graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies, with a focus on ancient Greco-Roman history and culture. Prior to joining the Center’s team, Samantha worked at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs as well as the Resolution Services Center as a restorative justice facilitator.

Eric Scorsone (on leave)

Eric Scorsone is on leave at Michigan Department of Treasury at Senior Deputy Treasurer.

Dr. Eric Scorsone is the founding director of the MSU Extension Center for Local Government, Finance and Policy. Dr. Scorsone is an MSU Extension specialist, and a professor of economics in the Department of Agricultural, Food, And Resource Economics. He worked as senior economist at the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency in 2010 and returned to Michigan State University in 2011. He also worked at MSU from 2005 to 2010. Prior to working at MSU in 2005, Dr. Scorsone developed award-winning Extension programs as an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky in the areas of rural health economics and economic development. He also served as an Economist for the Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budget and as a Senior Economist for the City of Aurora, Colorado.

He received his Ph.D. from Colorado State University, where his dissertation focused on economic models of growth in the Denver housing and labor markets. He received his Master’s degree from Michigan State University and a B.B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago. He has also worked on international development projects in Thailand, Macedonia and Indonesia and has taught at the taught at the University of Bologna, Italy and University of Valencia, Spain in public performance management. He has published in State and Local Government Review, Growth and Change, Journal of Appalachian Studies, Economic Development Quarterly, Journal of Federal Studies, Public Money and Management, and International Review of Administrative Sciences. Dr. Scorsone is from Saginaw, Michigan and currently resides in DeWitt, Michigan.

The Center also has several existing relationships and affiliated faculty in the MSU Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics as well as MSU Extension.