Staff can be contacted directly from this page by clicking on their names and titles. All staff members’ email addresses are their first initial and last name at For example, if CRC’s first executive director, Lent Upson, were still with us, his email address would be

Eric W. Lupher, President

Livonia Office (Ext. 13)

Eric has been President of the Citizens Research Council since September of 2014. He has been with the CRC since 1987, the first two years as a Lent Upson-Loren Miller Fellow, and since then as a Research Associate and, later, as Director of Local Affairs. Eric has researched such issues as state taxes, state revenue sharing, highway funding, unemployment insurance, economic development incentives, and stadium funding. His recent work focused on local government matters, including intergovernmental cooperation, governance issues, and municipal finance. Eric is a past president of the Governmental Research Association and also 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.

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.

Craig ThielCraig Thiel, Senior Research Associate

Lansing Office

Craig is the Research Council’s primary researcher of education and school finance issues. Craig served as the Research Council’s Director of State Affaris from 2006 to 2012 after serving as the Research Council’s Lent Upson-Loren Miller Fellow from 1993 to 1995. Prior to his return to the Citizens Research Council, 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 the Research Council’s Lansing office.


jill-2016Jill Roof, Research Associate

West Michigan Office

Jill is returning to the Citizens Research Council in 2016 after a six-year hiatus when her family moved out of state.  She joined the Research Council in 2004 through a fellowship program and was employed full time from 2005 to 2010, during which she focused on education policy issues and analyzed ballot questions on medical marijuana, affirmative action, and stem cell research. Jill will focus her research on local government issues.

Jill earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science with a minor in History from Grand Valley State University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Wayne State University. She works out of the Research Council’s West Michigan office.

TimTimothy Michling, Research Associate

Livonia Office

Tim joined the Citizens Research Council in 2016 after working for seven years as a legislative aide in the Michigan House of Representatives, as well as lecturing at Oakland University and the University of Michigan – Flint. Tim is also an accomplished musician, serving as principal oboist of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and performing with groups throughout the Great Lakes region. Tim’s primary research focus will be health policy.

Tim earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, and a Master of Public Administration degree and Graduate Certificate in Public Health from Wayne State University. Tim also earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Michigan, as well as an Artist Diploma from the Colburn Conservatory of Music. He works out of the Research Council’s Livonia Office.

Jordon Newton, Research Associate

Lansing Office

Jordon joined the Citizens Research Council in 2017 as a recent graduate of the Master of Public Policy program at Michigan State University. Jordon also earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Gonzaga University. Jordon’s focus is on state affairs and the state budget.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreta Reade, Development Coordinator

Greta joined the Citizens Research Council in 2006. She has over 15 years of project management experience in automotive product development, software development, and environmental investigation. She has been active in the Southfield public schools for over a decade, receiving the city-wide Nancy Widman Award in 2006.

Greta earned a B.A. in Geology from Albion College and became a certified Project Management Professional in 2005. She works out of the Research Council’s Livonia office.


Sharon Martin, Administrative Assistant

Sharon joined the the Citizens Research Council staff in July of 2014. She has more than three decades of program development, marketing, and fundraising experience at the former Detroit Media Partnership Newspapers in Education Manager for the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News. During her tenure the program earned many awards for educational partnerships with the Detroit Science Center, Ford Motor Company Fund, and the Detroit Tigers Foundation on subjects as varied as African American history, Hispanic Heritage, the environment, and bullying. The program also received several overall program excellence awards from the Newspaper Association of America.

Sharon earned her B.A. in English and Psychology from Wayne State University. She works out of the Research Council’s Livonia office.