Catherine Ross

Catherine Ross


Harry West Professor of City & Regional Planning
Director, Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development  



CQGRD, 760 Spring Street

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Specialization Area: Transportation

Dr. Catherine L. Ross is Harry West Professor and Director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  She is Deputy Director of Georgia Tech’s Tier 1 University Center for Transportation System Productivity and Management, a $14 million research program. Dr. Ross attended Kent State University for her undergraduate degree, completed the Masters of Regional Planning Program and Doctoral Degree at Cornell University, and conducted post-doctoral work at the University of California- Berkeley. She served as a Faculty in residence at the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board. She has held several positions at Georgia Tech including that of Vice Provost and co-director of Georgia Tech’s Transportation Research and Education Center. In July 2009, she was selected to advise the Obama Administration on the first-ever White House Office of Urban Affairs. Dr. Ross served as the first Executive Director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) from 1999-2003, an innovative regional state agency created by the Georgia Legislature. GRTA was formed to help the region, out-of-compliance with clean air standards, develop new transportation services, plans and strategies that met or exceeded federal requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAA) in order to restore the use of federal funds to the Atlanta region. 

An internationally known transportation and urban planner, Ross is one of the world’s expert on Megaregions and sustainability. Her research interests and areas of expertise include transportation planning/impact analysis; regional planning and development; land-use planning; sustainable development and quality growth. Ross is a member of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and she serves as Vice Chair of the AAA Auto Club Group. She is a former Urban Land Institute Fellow and past president of the National Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). Ross has served on numerous National Academies Committees including the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee, University Transportation Centers Program and on the board of directors of the ENO Transportation Foundation.

Dr. Ross was selected the Georgia Power Professor of Excellence in 2014. She is editor of Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness (Island Press, 2009) and the co-author of The Inner City: Urban Poverty and Economic Development in the Next Century (1997). Her latest book titled “Health Impact Assessment in the United States” was released in spring 2014 by Springer. Ross conducts research on transportation and urban and regional  planning and how to make cities, neighborhoods and regions safer, healthier places for all to live. She has authored numerous journal articles, books, and research reports and media publications including the Wall Street Journal, Urban Land Institute, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, USA Today and others. Ross is an expert on megaregion planning and has conducted research and written extensively on this topic. Her current research examines freight impact and passenger mobility options for cities and regions including examination of the increasing role of e-commerce and emerging technologies. Her work includes a multidisciplinary focus on resiliency, sustainability and inequality