CRC’s Research Staff

All staff members’ email addresses are their first initial and last name at Staff can be contacted directly from this page by clicking on their names and titles.


Eric W. Lupher, Research Director

Eric joined CRC in 1987 through the Lent Upson-Loren Miller Fellowship, and then hired in full-time as a Research Associate in 1989. Eric has researched such issues as state taxes, state revenue sharing, highway funding, unemployment insurance, economic development incentives, and stadium funding. Recent work has been focused on local government matters, including intergovernmental cooperation, governance issues, and municipal finance. In addition to his research responsibilities, Eric manages the CRC website. He currently serves as the Governmental Research Association president, after serving as the association’s treasurer for 15 years. He served as vice-chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC), an advisory body for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), representing the user community on behalf of the Governmental Research Association. He also is an ex-officio board member for the Michigan Local Government Benchmarking Consortium.

Eric holds a B.A. in International Relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University and a Masters in Public Administration from Wayne State University. He works out of the Livonia Office.

Robert Schneider, Director of State Affairs

Bob joined CRC in February 2013 after having most recently served as Associate Director for the non-partisan Michigan House Fiscal Agency (HFA). During his 15-year tenure at HFA, he developed extensive expertise and provided non-partisan advice and analysis to state House members on state policy and budget matters in areas including corrections, human services, and transportation. Prior to joining HFA, he was a research assistant and project manager from 1994 to 1996 for Public Policy Associates, a Lansing-based policy research and consulting firm. He also served for two years within the Michigan Department of State working on department budget and financial issues.

Bob received his B.S. in Economics from Central Michigan University and his M.A. in Economics from Michigan State University.

Craig Thiel, Director of State Affairs

Craig is back at CRC after a one year hiatus. Craig served as CRC’s Director of State Affairs from 2006 to 2012 after serving as CRC’s Lent Upson-Loren Miller Fellow from 1993 to 1995. Prior to his return to CRC, Craig worked as a fiscal analyst for the Senate Fiscal Agency for six years and for the House Fiscal Agency as a fiscal analyst for three years. Before working for the Michigan Legislature, Craig worked as a Governor’s Management Intern in the Department of State, Office of Policy and Planning from 1995 to 1997. Craig began his public service career with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago from 1991 to 1993.

Craig holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Kalamazoo College and a Masters in Public Administration from Wayne State University. He holds positions on various professional, nonprofit, and local government boards/associations. He works out of CRC’s Lansing office.

Nicole Bradshaw, Research Associate

Nicole joined CRC in 2011. Prior to joining CRC, Nicole worked as a state and local government specialist in the Public Policy work group at Michigan State University Extension where she conducted nonpartisan research on a wide variety of topics including intergovernmental cooperation, local government consolidation, state transportation funding, performance measurement and benchmarking, and taxation.

Nicole has a bachelor of science degree in managerial economics from the University of California, Davis, and a master of science degree in agriculture, food, and resource economics from Michigan State University.

Otniel Chis, Research Associate

Otniel joined CRC in 2014. He came to CRC having earned a bachelor of arts in public affairs and a Masters of Public Administration from Wayne State University.