People

Penn IUR is affiliated with more than 200 experts in the field of urbanism. Its Faculty Fellows program identifies faculty at the University of Pennsylvania with a demonstrated interest in urban research; the Penn IUR Scholars program identifies urban scholars outside of Penn; and the Penn IUR Fellows program identifies expert urban practitioners. Together, these programs foster a community of scholars and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.

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Fellow

Angela Glover Blackwell

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President and CEO, PolicyLink

Areas of Interest

    About

    Angela Glover Blackwell, President and CEO, started PolicyLink in 1999 and continues to drive its mission of advancing economic and social equity. Under Angela’s leadership, PolicyLink has gained national prominence in the movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, and infrastructure. Prior to founding PolicyLink, Angela served as Senior VP at the Rockefeller Foundation. A lawyer by training, she gained national recognition as founder of the Oakland (CA) Urban Strategies Council. From 1977 to 1987, Angela was a partner at Public Advocates. Angela is the co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010). In 2013, Angela and PolicyLink collaborated with the Center for American Progress to write and release All In Nation: An America that Works for All.  Angela serves on numerous boards, including the Children’s Defense Fund and the W. Haywood Burns Institute. She advises the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve as one of 15 members of its Community Advisory Council. Angela earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard University, and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Selected Publications

    Blackwell, Angela Glover. 2016, forthcoming. The Curb-Cut Effect. Stanford Social Innovation Review 14.1.

    Blackwell, Angela Glover. 2015. Race, Place, and Financial Security: Building Equitable Communities of Opportunity. In What It’s Worth: Strengthening the Financial Future of Families, Communities and the Nation, 105-112. L. Choi, D. Erickson, K. Griffin, A. Levere & E. Seidman, (eds.) Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and CFED.

    Blackwell, Angela Glover. 2014. Foreword. In Worlds Apart: Poverty and Politics in Rural America, Second Edition, by Cynthia Duncan. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    Blackwell, Angela Glover and Neera Tanden. 2013. Preface. In All-In Nation: An America that Works for All. PolicyLink and the Center for American Progress.

    Blackwell, Angela Glover, Stewart Kwoh and Manuel Pastor. 2010. Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc.

    Fellow

    Paul Levy

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    President and CEO, Center City District, Philadelphia

    Areas of Interest

      About

      Paul Levy is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia's Center City District (CCD), serving in that capacity since 1991. Levy planned, received property owner and legislative approval for, and now directs the $20 million downtown management district, which provides security, hospitality, cleaning, place marketing, planning  and capital improvement services for the central business district of Philadelphia. He has overseen property owner and legislative re-approval of the District five times in the last 23 years, enabling the CCD to finance and carry out capital improvements. With the opening of Dilworth Plaza in September 2014, the CCD will have completed $130 million in streetscape, lighting, park, and façade improvements. Levy also serves as executive director of the Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (CPDC), an advocacy and planning organization supported by the downtown business community. Since 1979, Levy has taught at the University of Pennsylvania’s City Planning Department directing graduate planning studios focused on Philadelphia and an introductory course on downtown development and management. 

      Selected Publications

      Levy, Paul. Diversifying Downtown from the Ground Up. Economic Development Journal, 12(2): 7-12.

      Levy, Paul R. and Lauren Gilchrist. 2013. Downtown Rebirth: Documenting the Live-Work Dynamic in 21st Century U.S. Cities. Philadelphia, PA: Center City District.

      Levy, Paul. 2010. Business Improvements in Philadelphia: A Practitioner’s Perspective. Drexel Law Review, 3.

      Levy, Paul. 2001. Making Downtowns Competitive: A Business Improvement District Reanimates Center City in Philadelphia. Planning, April: 16-19.

      Levy, Paul R. and Roman Cybriwsky. 1980. The Hidden Dimensions of Culture and Class: Philadelphia. In Back to the City: Issues in Neighborhood Revitalization, Shirley Bradway Laska and Daphne Spain, eds. Elsevier Inc.

      Fellow

      David Thornburgh

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      Executive Director, Fels Institute of Government

      Areas of Interest

        About

        David Thornburgh is the CEO of Committee of Seventy. As CEO, Thornburgh oversees the operation of the 110-year-old non-profit, non-partisan good government group as it fights for ethical and transparent government, honest public officials, effective use of taxpayer dollars, honest elections and increased access to voting, limits on the influence of money in elections, better informed citizens and more citizen participation in public life. Thornburgh has served as Executive Director of the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania since 2008. Prior to that he was President and CEO of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship and Executive Director of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia where, under his leadership, the League became one of the nation’s best regional “think and do tanks.” From 1988 to 1994 he served as Director of the Wharton Small Business Development Center, the consulting and training arm of The Wharton School’s Entrepreneurial Center. Right after graduate school, he served as Director of Civic Affairs at the CIGNA Corporation in Philadelphia. Throughout his career, Thornburgh has received a number of awards for his professional and civic leadership. He is a frequent commentator on public policy and regional development issues, and has been quoted often in the Philadelphia newspapers and also in the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Inc., and Fortune. 

        Affiliated PhD Student

        Viviana Wu

        About

        Viviana C. Wu is a doctoral student in nonprofit management and social welfare at the Penn School of Social Policy and Practice. Her research revolves around how nonprofits and community of citizens impact local governance through advocacy, mobilization, and innovation on social media platforms and offline arena. She is currently studying community foundations’ strategic use of social media in driving community change. She also examines nonprofit innovation and rivalry advocacy on Facebook in social movements. She holds a MS in Nonprofit Leadership from Penn and a LL.B. and a BSocSc in Public Administration and Laws from the University of Hong Kong. She also serves as the Managing Editor for Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ).

        Selected Publications

        An, S., Wu, V. C., Guo, C. How Stakeholder Mobilization Saved Sweet Briar College. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership. Forthcoming.

        Wu, V. C. (2016). Innovating Nonprofits: The Case of Episcopal Community Services. Philadelphia Social Innovation Journal, Issue 26.

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