Roundtable participant bios:
Margaret Crawford is Professor of Urban Design and Planning Theory at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She teaches courses in the history and theory of urban development, planning, and design. Her research focuses on the evolution, uses and meanings of urban space. Her book, Building the Workingman's Paradise: The Design of American Company Towns, examines the rise and fall of professionally designed industrial environments. She edited The Car and the City: The Automobile, the Built Environment and Daily Urban Life and Everyday Urbanism, and has published numerous articles on shopping malls, public space, and other issues in the American built environment. Her recent book Nansha Coastal City: Landscape and Urbanism in the Pearl River Delta was published in early 2006 and co-edited by Alan Berger. Before coming to the GSD, Crawford was the Chair of the History, Theory and Humanities program at the Southern California Institute for Architecture. She has also taught at the University of Southern California, the University of California at San Diego, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Florence, Italy.
Lynn Fisher is an Assistant Professor of Real Estate in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) and at the MIT Center for Real Estate. She specializes in financial contracting in real estate. Her current research focuses on the optimality of sale and leaseback contracts, the impact of common law doctrines on commercial and residential mortgages, and recent changes in brokerage contracting. She teaches courses in Housing Markets, Real Estate Development and Real Estate Economics and has published in journals such as Real Estate Economics, the Journal of Real Estate Economics and Finance (forthcoming), and Housing Studies. Dr. Fisher earned her Ph.D. in Business Administration at Pennsylvania State University, where she was a research assistant to Professor Austin Jaffe, a well-known expert in property rights and real estate financial analysis. Before coming to MIT, Dr. Fisher was an Assistant Professor at Washington State University, where she taught Real Estate Finance & Investments.
Richard Healey is the founder and Co-Director of the Grassroots Policy Project. Richard became an activist in the 1960s, including starting a chapter of Students for a Democratic Society in New Orleans in 1965. In the early1970s he was an assistant professor of mathematics and of sociology. From 1975 to 1979, he was the National Director of the New American Movement, which subsequently became part of the Democratic Socialists of America. In the 1980s, Richard was of Director of the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy and Executive Director with Nuclear Times magazine. He was also a staff and board member of the Ploughshares Fund for several years. In the early 1990s, Richard was Director of the Institute for Policy Studies. In 1993 GPP was formed. Its focus has been on strategies for fundamental social change, with a particular interest in questions of ideology and power. GPP works with national, state and local organizations, including National Peoples Action and the National Training and Information Center, the Gamaliel Foundation, USAction, and many state and local organizations.
Phil Thompson is a member of MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning in the area of urban politics and community development. Thompson holds a BA in Sociology from Harvard University, an MCP from Hunger College, CUNY and a PhD in Political Science from City University of New York. Thompson was previously a Visiting Professor at Yale University, and was Associate Professor at Barnard College and Columbia University. Thompson's wide variety of related experience includes serving as Senior Policy Advisor for Policy Link, as Consultant at the Aspen Institute and Rockefeller Foundation, and as Deputy General Manager of the New York City Housing Authority. From 1990-1991, he worked as Director of the Mayor's Office of Housing Operation and Development in New York City. From 1995-1999, Dr. Thompson was the public housing research coordinator for the National Consortium for Research on Violence, National Science Foundation. As Associate Professor in the department of Political Science at Columbia, Thompson distinguished himself as a scholar of urban politics and race relations. While actively pursuing a research agenda centered on the effects and problems of African-American political incorporation in US cities, Thompson is also currently co-program chair of the urban section for the next annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. Thompson is investigating whether high-tech industries offer "color-blind" opportunities for black economic advancement.
Damon Rich is an urban designer working at the intersection of design, policy, and the public. His exhibitions use video, sculpture, graphics, and photography to investigate the political economy of the built environment. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Storefront for Art and Architecture and SculptureCenter (New York City), the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst (Liepzig), the Venice Architecture Biennale, and Netherlands Architecture Institute (Rotterdam). In 1997, he founded the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people understand and change the places they live.