Teresa Córdova, PhD
Teresa Córdova is Director of UIC’s Great Cities Institute (GCI). GCI sponsors research, service, and educational programs aimed at improving the quality of life of people living in Chicago, its metropolitan region, and other great cities of the world. In carrying out its work the Institute engages closely with government institutions, businesses and their membership organizations, foundations and grant-making agencies, and organizations devoted to the social, cultural, and economic vitality of cities, local communities and neighborhoods. It serves as a research laboratory and meeting place for scholars, policymakers, and citizens who share an interest in finding answers to the question, “What can cities and regions do to make themselves into great places?
She is also Professor of Urban Planning and Policy in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA). Professor Córdova received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Before her appointment as the third permanent Great Cities Director, she was department Chair and Professor of Community and Regional Planning at the University of New Mexico.
Dr. Córdova is a former elected official on the Bernalillo County (New Mexico) Board of Commissioners. While a County Commissioner, she served on the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority; The Metropolitan Transportation Board; and was Chair of The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Government Commission. While Commissioner, she brought needed infrastructure projects and improvements, economic development, amenities such as open space and parks, a medical clinic, youth facilities and various services to her district. She also initiated several long range planning projects.
She is founder and former Director of the Resource Center for Raza Planning in the College of Architecture and Planning at UNM. While director, the Center engaged students in research, policy writing and analysis, public participation, design, strategic and sector planning, and curriculum related to issues of economic development, infrastructure (water, sewer, drainage and road improvement), land use, neighborhood stabilization, agricultural preservation and youth development.
She was a National Research Council Fellow and has received multiple leadership awards and recognitions for her role in community economic development and infrastructure planning. She has sat on numerous national and local boards and steering committees of community development corporations, planning organizations, policy groups, and campus committees.
Professor Córdova is currently President of the Board of Directors of The Praxis Project, a national, nonprofit organization that provides research, technical assistance and financial support to tackle issues impacting the well-being of communities. She is currently the elected Secretary of the Governing Board of the Association for Collegiate Schools of Planning, a consortium of university –based programs offering credentials in urban and regional planning.