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MIT’s Chancellor, Phillip L. Clay, Joins The Kresge Foundation Board of Trustees

General Foundation News

Clay brings an extensive background in education, housing and urban development.

Troy, Michigan – The Kresge Foundation is pleased to announce Phillip L. Clay, a prominent leader in higher education, a noted researcher and author, and an influential advisor on U.S. housing policy and community-based development, has joined its board of trustees.

Clay is the chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a professor of city planning. He also co-chairs MIT’s Council on the Environment and Council on Faculty Diversity. “We are delighted to welcome Phillip Clay to the Kresge Foundation,” says Elaine D. Rosen, chair of the board. ”Our work in community development, education and health, among other fields of interest, will benefit significantly from his involvement.”

In his role as chancellor, Clay oversees graduate and undergraduate education, student life and services, international initiatives and the management of certain large-scale institutional partnerships. He also advises MIT’s president on strategic planning, faculty appointments and resource development. Clay previously served as MIT’s associate provost and head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. In addition, he was assistant director of the Joint Center for Urban Studies of MIT and Harvard University.

In the national arena, Clay has conducted extensive studies exploring the key issues related to housing for underserved communities, including policy recommendations that were incorporated into the Housing Act of 1990. “Kresge’s Board of Trustees is a highly engaged body that, as a group, provides valuable thought leadership for our work,” says Rip Rapson, president of the foundation. “With the addition of Phillip Clay to our board, we gain a multi-faceted expert who cares passionately about the mission of this foundation.”

In his most recent research, which was funded by several national foundations, Clay evaluated the effectiveness of various initiatives to build organizational and developmental capacity in community-based development organizations. He has acted as a consultant to numerous federal and state agencies and foundations, and has been a senior advisor on projects related to public housing and urban-job initiatives.

Clay is a founding member of the National Housing Trust, which addresses housing-preservation issues, and president of the board of The Community Builders, Inc., the nation’s largest nonprofit developer of affordable housing. He is engaged in a wide variety of community and professional organizations, including the MasterCard Foundation, where he serves as vice chair of the board, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was recently appointed to the board of trustees.

Clay is a widely published author. He has written two books, Neighborhood Renewal: Middleclass Resettlement and Incumbent Upgrading in American Neighborhoods and Neighborhood Politics and Planning, as well as numerous journal articles, book chapters and research papers. He has received distinguished alumnus awards from MIT and the University of North Carolina and several fellowships.

A native of Wilmington, North Carolina, Clay graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968 and received his doctoral degree in city planning from MIT in 1975. He and his wife reside in Boston.