Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, a distinguished professor of urban planning, has been named interim dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She will begin her term Jan. 1, 2023.

Loukaitou-Sideris joined the urban planning faculty in 1989, and she has served as associate dean of academic affairs since 2010. Beyond her long record of service in the dean’s office, she has held other leadership positions at UCLA, including associate provost for academic planning from 2016–19 and chair of the department of urban planning from 2002–08.

The author or editor of 13 books, Loukaitou-Sideris is a preeminent scholar known for her research integrating social and physical issues in urban planning and architecture, emphasizing the need to understand the perspectives of those who live and work in a community when designing its built environment. She is also a faculty member in the UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative.

Loukaitou-Sideris’ recent and ongoing projects — funded in part by federal and state departments as well as prominent nonprofits and research institutes – include:

  • documentation of varying patterns of use of neighborhood parks among different ethnic groups
  • proposals for the physical and economic retrofit of inner-city commercial corridors
  • examination of gentrification and displacement in transit station neighborhoods
  • sexual harassment in transit environments
  • studies of transit security and planning for parklets

In a message announcing the appointment, Darnell Hunt, UCLA’s executive vice chancellor and provost, said she’s especially qualified for the position.

“Professor Loukaitou-Sideris brings a wealth of relevant experience to her new position at the helm of UCLA Luskin,” Hunt wrote. “But beyond institutional knowledge, she also has the right temperament for the role: Colleagues across the school consider her to be a thoughtful, fair, transparent, hard-working and dedicated public servant. She will provide continuity and help advance key initiatives at the school during this period of transition.”

A national search for a new permanent dean will take place during the 2024–25 academic year. During this period of transition, Loukaitou-Sideris will provide continuity and help advance key initiatives at the school.