Tom Wright: Executive Director, Regional Plan Association

Guru BanavarTom Wright is the Executive Director of Regional Plan Association, a non-profit think-tank that compiles long range plans for the NY-NJ-CT metropolitan region. Mr. Wright oversees the day-to-day operations of RPA and coordinates activities with the Board of Directors. He has managed many of the organization’s key initiatives and products, including the Transit Leadership Summit (2012 & 2013), the Draft Vision Plan for the City of Newark (2006) and A Region at Risk: The Third Regional Plan for the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metropolitan Area (1996).

Since 1929, Regional Plan Association (RPA) has provided long-term strategic planning for the tri-state metropolitan region centered around New York City. With the publication of landmark regional plans in 1929, 1968 and 1996, RPA provides independent research, planning and advocacy for region-shaping initiatives including mass transit and transportation infrastructure; open space preservation, sustainability and watershed planning; and community and economic development. RPA’s reports and policies have shaped all the major infrastructure investments in the region for almost a century. RPA also leads several civic coalitions pushing for infrastructure and environmental initiatives, including America 2050, the Business Alliance for Northeast Mobility, Friends of Moynihan Station, the Empire State Transportation Alliance, and the Governors Island Alliance.

Previously, Mr. Wright 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). From 1991 to 1993, he was coordinator of the award-winning Mayors’ Institute on City Design, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mr. Wright teaches graduate courses in urban planning and lectures widely on growth management and regional planning. He currently teaches graduate courses and policy studios at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Previously he has taught at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture.

Mr. Wright received a Bachelor of Arts in history and a certificate in American Studies from Princeton University and a Master of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Places Journal Foundation and the Arts Council of Princeton. He is an Associate of the CitiStates Group and serves on the Advisory Committee for the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the City College of New York. He resides in Princeton, NJ with his wife, Cameron Manning, and three daughters.