Nancey Green Leigh sits in her office, in front of a bookshelf.

Nancey Green Leigh

Associate Dean for Research, College of Design

View Leigh's full C.V.

As Associate Dean for Research, Nancey Green Leigh is focused on strengthening the research impact of the College of Design.  She develops and administers competitive initiatives to support individual and collaborative research by college faculty and affiliated researchers.  She oversees the college’s seven major research units.  She also is engaged in building research connections within Georgia Tech between the College of Design, other colleges and Interdisciplinary Research Institutes, as well as to external funders and collaborators in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Leigh is also a Professor in the College’s School City and Regional Planning and adviser for the economic development planning, working with masters and doctoral students.  She has graduated eight doctoral students to date.

Maintaining an active research program, Leigh is currently leading a project entitled “Workers, Firms and Industries in Robotic Regions,” funded by the National Science Foundation’s Robotics Initiative.  She previously led a large scale research effort by three universities focused on sustainable industrial systems for urban regions.  Both of these efforts as well as other funded research (brownfields, urban land and manufacturing, resilient infrastructure) contribute to Leigh’s long term focus on advancing sustainable development for local and regional economies.

Leigh is the author of over 50 articles and three books, Planning Local Economic Development, 6th edition (2017 with E.J. Blakeley) adopted for courses in a wide array of universities;  Economic Revitalization:  Cases and Strategies for City and Suburb (2002 with J. Fitzgerald); and Stemming Middle Class Decline:  The Challenge to Economic Development Planning (1994).  She was co-editor of the Journal of Planning Education and Research from 2012 to 2016, and was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2008.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. (City & Regional Planning), University of California at Berkeley
  • Masters in Economics, University of California at Berkeley
  • Masters in Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A. (Urban Studies), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Economic Development Planning
  • Sustainable Development
  • Urban and Regional Theory
  • Industrial Restructuring
  • Income Inequality