Victoria Beard PhD 1999

Current Work:  Professor, Department of City & Regional Planning, Cornell University                                                                      

I received the Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning from SCARP in 1999. Subsequently I taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000-2004) and the University of California, Irvine (2004-2013) before moving to the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University in 2013.

In addition to being an academic, over the past 18 years I have remained active as a planning practitioner, working for RAND, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, AusAID, Mercy Corps, and the Research Triangle Institute. Through this experience, I gradually learned to be an “expert” in working internationally with community-based organizations in planning and managing their own development sustainably.

In 2010, I took a leave of absence from UCI to work for the World Bank and the Indonesian Ministry of Planning (Bappenas) in Jakarta, where I focused on monitoring and evaluation. More recently, I worked with the Vice President’s office at the World Bank examining how case studies could be used to better understand aid delivery issues. Some of the planning practices I am most proud of is the work I did evaluating one of the World Bank’s largest community driven poverty alleviation programs.

Currently, I have two ongoing research projects. One examines community-based planning and poverty alleviation in Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia. The other looks at transnational community-based planning in Southern California and Oaxaca.

Attending SCARP’s Ph.D. program was one of the best decisions I ever made. I often reflect on the constructive criticism as well as the support I received from my fellow students and teachers for the type of work I wanted to do and my interest in using qualitative and ethnographic methods to approach my research. I have a deep sense of gratitude for the intellectual latitude SCARP and the broader UBC community afforded me. It allowed me to purse work I am truly passionate about.