AnnaLee (Anno) Saxenian

AnnaLee Saxenian



Regional economic development, Entrepreneurship, Silicon Valley.


AnnaLee (Anno) Saxenian is a professor in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. Her scholarship focuses on regional economies and the conditions under which people, ideas, and geographies combine and connect into hubs of economic activity. She was Dean of the School of Information from 2004-1019, and upon stepping down she received the Berkeley Citation "for distinguished achievement and notable service to the University." She has served as a member of the Apple Academic Advisory Board, and Chair of the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation Division of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (NSF-SBE). 

She is author of the internationally acclaimed Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (Harvard, 1994) which argues that Silicon Valley’s adaptive capacity derives from it decentralized industrial and social structures that support rapid information exchange and innovation.  She is also the author of The New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in a Global Economy (Harvard, 2006), Silicon Valley's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs (Public Policy Institute of California, 1999), and Local and Global Networks of Immigrant Professionals in Silicon Valley (PPIC, 2002) She has published widely in journals of economic geography, regional economic development, and industrial change. She holds a PhD from MIT, a Master's from U.C. Berkeley, and a BA from Williams College.

Something few people know about you?
I have two sons, Robbie, who starting a PhD in Rhetoric at UC Berkeley, and Jamie, who is an avid photographer and fluent in Mandarin. You can check out his photos at

Current Research

My current research explores the transformation of Silicon Valley from a region that flourished in the 1970s-90s with a decentralized mix of entrepreneurial collaboration and competition, to the post 2004 ecosystem that is dominated by a handful of giant technology platform businesses. I am exploring novel policy approaches that will preserve the region's technological dynamism while addressing the negative consequences of the new business models-- including the concentration of economic and political power, the unauthorized use of personal data, and the rise of misinformation and disinformation along with dangerous speech and political polarization.


BA, Williams College, Economics, 1976
MCP, UC Berkeley, City & Regional Planning, 1980
Ph.D., MIT, Political Science, 1989

Last updated:

June 20, 2024