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J. Phillip Thompson

J. Phillip Thompson is an Associate Professor of Urban Politics at MIT. An urban planner and political scientist, he has a PhD. in Political Science from the City University of New York Graduate Center. Thompson served as Deputy General Manager of the New York City Housing Authority, and as Director of the Mayor's Office of Housing Coordination under New York Mayor, David Dinkins. He advises municipalities, labor unions, anchor institutions, foundations and the private sector on issues such as housing and community development, labor-community partnerships, healthcare reform, energy efficiency, workforce development, and disaster recovery. Thompson’s academic work includes "To Denigrate, Ignore, or Disrupt: The Health Impact of Policy-induced Breakdown of Urban African American Communities of Support," a review of public health interventions in poor black communities (with Arline Geronimus); published in the Du Bois Review; and "Seeking Effective Power: Why Mayors Need Community Organizations," in Perspectives on Politics. His book, Double Trouble: Black Mayors, Black Communities and the Struggle for Deep Democracy, was published by Oxford University Press. Following Hurricane Katrina, Thompson coordinated MIT's technical assistance efforts in the Gulf. Contact Phil at


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