Tom Wright is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia GSAPP and president and chief executive officer of Regional Plan Association (RPA), the nation’s oldest independent metropolitan research, planning and advocacy organization. A private, non-profit corporation, RPA improves the prosperity, infrastructure, sustainability, health and quality of life of the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan region by preparing long-range plans and advocating for their implementation.
As president, Tom led the production of RPA’s landmark Fourth Regional Plan, released in 2017, which proposes 61 recommendations to reform public sector institutions, modernize our transportation systems, address the challenge of climate change, and provide affordable and livable communities for all the region’s residents.
Previously, Tom was deputy executive director of the New Jersey Office of State Planning, where he coordinated production of the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan (2001). In the early 1990s, he was RPA’s New Jersey director and coordinator of the award-winning Mayors’ Institute on City Design.
Tom is a member of New York City’s Sustainability Advisory Board and the BQE Task Force. He serves on the boards of the Open Space Institute and the Urban Design Forum. Tom holds a master’s degree in urban planning from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in history and a certificate in American Studies from Princeton University.