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Maxine Griffith

Maxine Griffith currently holds the title of Senior Advisor to Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. For the twelve-year period prior to this appointment, Ms. Griffith served as an Executive Vice President at Columbia and was a key member of the leadership team planning for the University’s 17-acre Manhattanville campus. She worked closely with consulting architects and planners and led the effort to take the project through the complex City and State land use and planning review processes.

Griffith was also responsible for Columbia’s relationships with government and civic organizations and negotiated the historic Manhattanville Community Benefits Agreement, associated with the new campus development.

From 2000 to 2005, Griffith served as Executive Director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and Secretary (Deputy Mayor) for Strategic Planning. During this period, the agency received two national awards from the American Planning Association.

Prior to her appointment in Philadelphia, Griffith served in the Clinton administration at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), first as the Regional Director for New York and New Jersey, and then in Washington as HUD’s Assistant Deputy Secretary. From 1988 to 1996, she was Principal of Griffith Planning & Design, a firm providing planning, urban design and development services to a diverse list of clients including government, private and community-based organizations.

Ms. Griffith was an appointee to the New York City Planning Commission, a post that she held for six years. She has served on the National Planning Accreditation Board, the Board of Directors of the American Planning Association, and the Lincoln Land Institute /Lincoln Foundation. Ms. Griffith has served as resource faculty for the Mayor’s Institute on City Design and the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs. She is presently a director on the boards of the Architectural League of New York, the Regional Plan Association and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and the Central Park Conservancy.

Maxine Griffith was born in Harlem and holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught city planning and urban design at New York University and the University of Pennsylvania and is currently Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning at Columbia University. Griffith maintains a small private practice that includes planning and design management and was recently elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners.


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
PLA6643‑1 Fall 2019
Community Outreach & Engagement: A Harlem Practicum
Maxine Griffith, Victoria Mason-Ailey, Flores A. Forbes
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
3 Points