Ali Modarres. Photo by Jeff Hobson.

The University of Washington Tacoma’s School of Urban Studies has recently named Dr. Ali Modarres as its first dean. He began his tenure as professor and director of Urban Studies in 2013. This program officially became a school last fall of 2019.

Before UWT, Modarres served as professor and chair of geosciences and environment, and as associate director at the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. As of 2017, Modarres has been a member of the editorial board and served as a manuscript editor of Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning. In addition, he is the founding editor of the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and the City.

Modarres also currently serves as assistant chancellor for Community Partnerships at UWT, and played a major role in the university earning Carnegie Community Engagement Classification this year, an elective nomination that demonstrates institutional commitment to community engagement.

Under his guidance, the School of Urban Studies has already grown to include three undergraduate degrees, two minors, and a certificate program.

As dean, Modarres will continue to help provide students with a degree that helps students to engage with urban planning and development from multiple perspectives, with a focus on social justice and sustainability. His vision for the School of Urban Studies is focused on intellectual excellence, quality student-centered education, and boundless learning through community engagement.