Professor Phillip L. Clay, widely known for his work in U.S. housing policy and community-based development, is the recently appointed Chancellor of MIT. He served as Associate Provost in the Office of the Provost from 1994 to 2001. Prior to that he was formerly Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Dr. Clay was Associate Department Head in 1990-92 and before that he served as Director of the Masters in City Planning Program at MIT. From 1980 to 1984, Professor Clay was Assistant Director of the Joint Center for Urban Studies of MIT and Harvard.
Dr. Clay has been involved in several studies that have received national attention. For example, in a 1987 study commissioned by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., he identified the market and institutional conditions contributing to the erosion of low-income rental housing and documented the need for a national preservation policy. He later served on the national commission that recommended the policy that became part of the Housing Act of 1990. His research and writing continues to explore U.S. housing and urban policy.
His most current research, which is sponsored by several national foundations, evaluates the effectiveness of various initiatives to build organizational and developmental capacity in community-based development organizations. It connects social goals, such as youth development, to these efforts.
Professor Clay is a founding member of the National Housing Trust that continues to address the issue of housing preservation. He is also vice president of the board of The Community Builders, one of the country's largest nonprofit producers of affordable housing. Presently, Professor Clay is senior advisor on projects in several areas including public housing, community capacity-building and urban job initiatives.
Professor Clay served as a member of the Policy and Research Advisory Councils of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae). In addition, he has been a consultant to numerous federal and state agencies and foundations. Dr. Clay also maintains an extensive involvement in community and professional activities including memberships on several local and national boards and committees.
Among other works, his publications include two books, Neighborhood Renewal: Middleclass Resettlement and Incumbent Upgrading in American Neighborhoods, and Neighborhood Politics and Planning with (Rob Hollister).
Professor Clay received the AB degree with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968 and his Ph.D. in City Planning in 1975 from MIT. He joined the MIT faculty in 1975 as an Assistant Professor.