Academic profile


Brandon Staats is an MPhil candidate at the Centre of Development Studies (CDS) – University of Cambridge and an Engineer Officer with the United States Army Reserve in Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. At the Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD), he works as a research assistant focusing on projects within sustainable finance. Currently, he focuses on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the scaling of the Centre's newly created Political Economic Resilience Index (PERI), both of which aim to help small or vulnerable states attract sustainable finance.


As an undergraduate, Brandon studied at Wake Forest University in the United States, where he received a BA in Economics and a second BA in Politics and International Affairs. His research focused on the creation of sustainable investment frameworks. While at Wake Forest University, Brandon worked with their Office of Sustainability to develop a REDD+ carbon offsetting policy. He has also worked on a joint project between the Wake Forest University Economics Department and Michigan State University, researching the relationship between Peru's university infrastructure and income inequality.


In his capacity as a master’s student with CDS, his research focuses on methods through which communities can best de-risk, allocate, and attract investment for small-medium enterprises (SMEs) and community-scale projects. Upon starting his tenure as a PhD candidate, Brandon will continue his focus on sustainable finance as he works to design and test a framework through which SIDS can better attract and disseminate FDI and ODA.


Research interests


Brandon is particularly interested in collective action, foreign direct investment (FDI), and how the drivers of successful collective action can be leveraged to attract sustainable FDI into small-medium enterprises (SMEs) and individual communities. His current research with SIDS intends to integrate the above interests with the ‘systems thinking’ approach of CRSD to pioneer sustainable finance solutions for small island developing states (SIDS).




Environmental Economy & Policy