Honorary Professor in Urban Policy, United States Studies Centre

Edward BlakelyEdward Blakely is Honorary Professor of Urban Policy at the United States Studies Centre at The University of Sydney. He previously served for two years as Executive Director of the Office of Recovery and Development Administration, known as the "recovery czar" for New Orleans following the devastation of hurricane Katrina.

One of the world's leading scholars and practitioners of urban policy, Blakely has been Dean of the School of Urban Planning and Development at the University of Southern California and Dean of the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, New School University in New York City. He has also held professorial appointments at the University of California Berkeley, the University of Southern California and the University of Sydney.

Professor Blakely is author of ten books and more than one hundred scholarly articles as well as scores of essays and opinion pieces. His publications include Fortress America, Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality in U.S. Cities, Planning Local Economic Development: Theory and Practice, Rural Communities in Advanced Industrial Society, and My Storm: Managing the Recovery of New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina.

Professor Blakely's extensive record of public service includes advising the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, state and federal governments in Australia and the United States, as well as governments in Korea, Japan, Sweden, Indonesia, New Zealand and Vietnam.

The Edward Blakely Prize is awarded every two years to the planner in the world who contributed the most to social justice for people of colour or disadvantage by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Professor Blakely was recognised by UN Habitat for his contributions to social justice and sustainable planning in disaster recovery in 2012.

He is a Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts and on the board of the New York Regional Plan Association. A Fulbright Scholar, Professor Blakely earned his BA at the University of California Riverside, an MA in Latin American history at UC Berkeley, and a PhD in Education and Management at UCLA.



Robert HillRobert Hill was a member of the Australian Senate from 1981 to 2006, representing South Australia. He was educated at the University of Adelaide and the London School of Economics, where he gained a masters degree in law. Professor Hill was Leader of the Government in the Senate from March 1996 until his resignation in January 2006. He was Minister for the Environment 1996-98, Minister for the Environment and Heritage 1998-2001 and Minister for Defence from November 2001 to January 2006. In July 2005 the Coalition parties took control of the Senate and Hill became the first Government Leader in the Senate since 1981 to command a majority in the chamber. In January 2006 he announced his resignation from the Parliament. Professor Hill was Australian Ambassador to the United Nations for Australia from 2006 - 2009. In July 2009, Hill was appointed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as Chairman of the Australian Carbon Trust. In June 2012, he was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia. 

From 2009 to 2016, he was an Adjunct Professor in Sustainability at the United States Studies Centre.



President, Planning Research Centre, The University of Sydney Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning

Craig KnowlesCraig Knowles holds a number of advisory roles and directorships in the health, finance, property, planning and aged care sectors. His roles include: President, Planning Research Centre, Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Design, Sydney University; Member of the Advisory Committee, Urban Research Centre, University of Western Sydney; President, Asthma Foundation, NSW; Director, Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI); Trustee of the Hoc Mai Foundation; Director, Black Dog Institute; Advisor, Investec Bank (Australia) Ltd; Director, Tulich Family Communities Aged Care; Independent Chairman, Prospect Water Partnership; Independent Chairman, AJ Jennings Property Fund; and Member, Built Holdings Advisory Board.

Mr Knowles' achievements include State Minister for Planning and Housing (1995-99), Health (1999-2003), Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources (2003-August 2005) and Forests and Lands (2003-January 2005). He was responsible for a range of government agencies including: Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, Lands Department, Sydney Water, Hunter Water, Landcom, State Forests, and was a member of the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council.

Prior to entering Parliament, Mr Knowles had worked in property, land management, planning and valuation, in both the private sector (1978-1986) and for NSW public sector agencies, including Macarthur Development Corporation, Premier's Department, Office of State Development and Department of Business and Consumer Affairs (1986-1990).



Executive Director, Regional Plan Association, New York

Thomas WrightTom Wright is Executive Director of Regional Plan Association. He has steered many of the organization's key initiatives, including the Draft Vision Plan for the City of Newark (2006) and A Region at Risk: The Third Regional Plan for the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metropolitan Area (1996). Mr. Wright oversees the day-to-day operations of RPA and coordinates activities with the Board of Directors.

Previously, he was deputy executive director of the New Jersey Office of State Planning, where he coordinated production of the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan (2001). From 1991 to 1993, he was coordinator of the award-winning Mayors' Institute on City Design, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mr. Wright lectures widely on growth management and regional planning. He is a visiting lecturer in public policy at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; and the New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture. Mr. Wright received a Bachelor of Arts in history and a certificate in American Studies from Princeton University, and a Master of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Princeton and Places Journal, and serves on the Advisory Committee for the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the City College of New York. He resides in Princeton, N.J.


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