Karen Beck Pooley

Professor of Practice, Director of Community Fellows graduate program, Director of Environmental Policy program
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2007

Karen Beck Pooley is Professor of Practice in the Department of Political Science at Lehigh University, teaching courses on city planning, neighborhood, and housing issues. She also serves as a Senior Associate at czb LLC, an urban planning and neighborhood development consulting firm. She was the Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Allentown from 2007 to 2011 and, prior to that, a Deputy Director within New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and a Research Associate at the Institute for Children & Poverty.  Dr. Beck Pooley has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Wellesley College, a Master of Urban Planning & Policy from New School University’s Milano Graduate School, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of City and Regional Planning. 

Both her research and professional work focus on neighborhood revitalization strategies and the evolution of federal, state and local housing policy. She has written and presented on the impact of Community Development Block Grant spending on neighborhood conditions in Philadelphia, Baltimore’s approach to vacant property, growing poverty in suburban areas, and patterns of suburbanization and segregation in Greater Atlanta. She is currently researching the interplay between the “geography of affordability” (where housing is relatively affordable) and the “geography of opportunity” (where there is access to jobs and high quality schools).


Karen Beck Pooley from Lehigh IMRC on Vimeo.