J. Phillip Thompson is an urban planner and political scientist. His research interests are urban planning, public policy, housing, community and economic development.
He received a B.A. in Sociology from Harvard University in 1977, a M.U.P. from Hunter College in 1986, and a PhD. in Political Science from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 1990.
Prof. Thompson worked as Deputy General Manager of the New York Housing Authority, and as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Coordination. He is a frequent advisor to trade unions in their efforts to work with immigrant and community groups across the United States.
His most recent academic work includes a 2004 review of public health interventions in poor black communities (written with Arline Geronimus) published in the Du Bois Review, entitled “To Denigrate, Ignore, or Disrupt: The Health Impact of Policy-induced Breakdown of Urban African American Communities of Support,” an article entitled “Judging Mayors” in the June 2005 issue of Perspectives on Politics, and a recent book called Double Trouble: Black Mayors, Black Communities and the Struggle for Deep Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Prof. Thompson has taught at Columbia, Barnard, Yale University and CUNY, and is a senior policy advisor to PolicyLink, a think tank that links research and policy development with a network of 150 community organizations.
At MIT, Prof. Thompson was hosted by the Department of Urban Planning (DUSP). He stayed on at the Institute, joining the faculty DUSP in 2002 as associate professor of urban politics and community development.
Prof. Thompson's important intellectual contributions on the themes of social capital, health and racial ideology was recognized with a 2004 MLK Leadership Award.
Prof. Lawrence Vale, head of DUSP, and Carolyn Makinson, executive director of the Center for International Studies, wrote in their nomination letter: "He addressed the issues of race, class and power in ways that have energized and galvanized the diverse student body in DUSP."