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Glasmeier named DUSP's 12th department head

Will take over for Vale in January
Incoming Department of Urban Studies and Planning head Amy Glasmeier.
Incoming Department of Urban Studies and Planning head Amy Glasmeier.
Photo / Judith M. Daniels

Amy Glasmeier, who most recently was the E. Willard Miller Professor of Economic Geography at Penn State, will take over in January as the new head of MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the first woman to do so since its inception in 1933.

Glasmeier will replace Larry Vale, who has headed the department for the last seven years -- a period in which the department was twice named the No. 1 planning program in North America. Glasmeier will be DUSP's 12th department head.

An expert in economic geography, regional planning and spatial statistics, Glasmeier was previously on the faculty at Penn State and the University of Texas at Austin, and was the John Whisman Scholar of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

She holds a BS in Environmental Studies and Planning from Sonoma State University and an MA and PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked and traveled all over the world, including Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America, and is currently engaged in a retrospective examination of poverty and poverty policy in the U.S., work that is leading to new perspectives on the nature and extent of persistent poverty here.

In addition to her role as professor of economic geography, Glasmeier has served as director of Penn State's environmental inquiry minor; as an editor of the journal Economic Geography and the Cambridge Journal on Regions, Economy, Society; and as director of the Center for Policy Research on Energy, Environment and Community. She has also served as head of the university's Department of Geography.

Her publications consist of more than 50 scholarly articles and several books, including "Manufacturing Time: Global Competition in the World Watch Industry, 1795-2000" (Guilford Press, 2000); and "From Combines to Computers: Rural Services and Development in the Age of Information Technology," with Marie Howland (SUNY Press, 1995).

Her most recent book -- "An Atlas of Poverty in America: One Nation, Pulling Apart 1960-2003" (Routledge Press, 2005) -- examines the experience of people and places in poverty since the 1960s, looks across the last four decades at poverty in America and recounts the history of poverty policy since the 1940s.

See a question and answer session with the new DUSP head on the SA+P web site at

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 14, 2009 (download PDF).

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