Rhonda Phillips, Ph.D.
Dean, Honors College, Purdue University
As a community and economic development specialist, community investment and well-being comprise the focus of Rhonda's research and outreach activities. The former Associate Dean for Barrett, The Honors College, at Arizona State University, she helped foster an excellent learning environment in one of the top honors programs in the U.S. As a Professor in the School of Community Resources & Development, Rhonda worked with faculty, staff, students and organizations to expand the reach of community-based education and research initiatives for enhancing quality of life. Her focus is community planning and development, as well as community indicator and evaluation systems for monitoring progress towards community wellbeing, development and economic development revitalization goals. Rhonda also served as Senior Sustainability Scientist at the Global Institute of Sustainability, and Affiliate Professor in the Schools of Public Affairs, and Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. She holds a doctorate in city and regional planning and a M.S. in economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She previously served as Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Building Better Communities at the University of Florida.
Rhonda is a two-time Fulbright recipient, serving as a 2012 Fulbright Specialist to Panama, where she developed a social indicators planning project. She also served as the 2006 Fulbright UK Ulster Policy Fellow in Northern Ireland at the University of Ulster, focusing on heritage and cultural based community and economic development strategies via The Township Heritage Initiative. She has been awarded the 2012 International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies' Distinguished Research Fellow for her work in community wellbeing and quality of life. She is author or editor of fifteen books, including Sustainable Communities: Creating a Durable Local Economy (Routledge), Introduction to Community Development (Routledge) and Community Development Indicators Measuring Systems (Ashgate). She is editor of the Community Quality-of-Life Indicators: Best Cases series published through ISQOLS and Springer. Rhonda recently completed a 5-year term as Editor of Community Development, the journal of the Community Development Society, transitioning it to a major academic publisher, Taylor & Francis, http://tandf.co.uk/journals/rcod. She is the founding editor of two book series, Introduction to Community Development Research and Practice and CDS Current Issues, both published by Routledge.
Phillips' work prior to joining academe was in community and economic planning and development at the state, local and regional levels; she holds dual professional certifications in urban and regional planning (AICP - American Institute of Certified Planners) and economic and community development (CEcD - Certified Economic and Community Developer with the International Economic Development Council). She is a past President of the Economic Development Division of the American Planning Association and current President Elect for the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, www.isqols.org - both elected positions. She serves on the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) site visitor team, the national accrediting body for graduate and undergraduate urban and regional planning programs in North America.