Victoria A. Beard is the Director of Research for the Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.Victoria leads the research agenda and ensures the quality as well as the impact of the Center's knowledge products. Presently, Victoria is leading the effort to produce the World Resources report on Sustainable Cities to be released in 2017.
Victoria’s career has been defined by a synergy between urban planning research and practice. She has experience conceptualizing, designing, and leading research projects related to the most pressing problems facing cities in the global South. She began her career at RAND and most recently she was an Associate Professor at Cornell University.
Her own research focuses on the relationship between community level collective action and poverty alleviation. This work ranges from how citizens organize to meet their basic human needs to how they plan for broader social and political transformation. In this work she has used diverse research strategies and methods, ranging from comparative case studies to statistical analyses of large data sets.
Over the past 20 years, Victoria has been actively engaged in planning practice for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Research Triangle Institute, AusAID and Mercy Corp. Working with governments, community-based organizations and non-governmental organizations, she has helped develop and implement projects and programs that focus on poverty reduction, community-based planning and access to basic services.
Victoria holds a B.A. degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego; a masters degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles; and a Ph.D. degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.