- Director of Research Coordination, Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector (IRIS) at the University of Maryland, College Park
Prof. Zinnes is director of research coordination of the Economic Policy Team at the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector (IRIS) at the University of Maryland, College Park.
His most recent work has been focused on trying to consolidate and expand the research agenda of IRIS and to develop an IRIS-supported, international development degree program at the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs, where he is also affiliate faculty. As an economic policy advisor specializing in the environmental sustainability of economic reform, he has worked in over twenty countries on five continents, currently focusing on transition economies.
Formerly a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, during the 1990s he was also an Institute Associate at the Harvard Institute for International Development, where he spent five years in Romania as a senior policy advisor to the ministers of Reform, Privatization, European Integration, and Environment. Over this period he co-authored many of the country's laws on privatization, environmental protection, and water, as well as restructuring its water utilities and environmental protection regulatory agencies.
An underlying theme in his work is the importance of institutions in the development process, authoring several papers on the role of institutions to generate macroeconomic gains to privatization, to improve international competitiveness, and on the development of the shadow economy. In addition to consulting with most of the major, multi-lateral, technical assistance agencies, he has held positions in the US government and the United Nations and has set up an international environmental think-tank.