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Dr. Dawn Jourdan

Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation University of Maryland

Dr. Dawn Jourdan is a land use attorney, city planner, and academic. Operating between these disciplines, Dawn has capitalized on the opportunity to influence the planning practice through the dissemination of scholarship and technical assistance to future planners, developers, and lawyers. Dr. Jourdan began her career as an associate in the State and Local Divisions of the Chicago offices of Holland & Knight LLP. Understanding the importance of creating an active and meaningful dialogue between the legal and planning professions, Dawn left private practice to pursue a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning. She joined the faculty of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University in 2004. During her time at TAMU, Dawn cultivated an interdisciplinary research agenda that focuses on issues where the law and planning practice intersect with a special emphasis on constitutionally protected property rights and issues related to exclusion of people and land uses.

In 2008, Dr. Jourdan was recruited by the University of Florida to fill a joint appointment between the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Levin College of Law. There, she also served as the Director of the Center for Building Better Communities. Dawn served as Director of the Regional and City Planning program at the University of Oklahoma from 2012-2016. She was appointed Professor and Executive Associate Dean of the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University in August 2016. In 2019, she was appointed the Harold Adams Interdisciplinary Professor of Planning. In 2021, Dawn was appointed Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland.

In the past decade, Dr. Jourdan has been widely published in a variety of academic journals and law reviews, including: Journal of the Community Development Society and International Journal of Public Participation, Journal of Real Estate Research, International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, the Appraisal Journal, Journal of Law and Public Policy, Sustainable Development Law and Policy, Journal of Preservation Education and Research, Journal of Housing and Community Development Law, and the Urban Lawyers, among others. Dawn’s research has been funded by a number of entities, including federal, State, and local agencies and non-profit groups, like the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative, Florida Sea Grant, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Brazos Valley Affordable Housing Corporation, the Beaumont Public Housing Authority, and the International Sign Association. Dawn, along with her co-author Eric Strauss, published “Planning for Wicked Problems: A Planner’s Guide to Land Use Law” with Taylor and Francis in 2015. She served as Chair of the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education from December 2015 to October 2017. Dawn was the founding editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal for Signage Research and Education.

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