Michael Hooper is Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at Harvard University. His research interests focus on the politics of land use and urbanization, participatory planning and governance, and civil society mobilization. He joined Harvard after completed his Ph.D. at Stanford University, where he researched the dynamics of slum dweller mobilization around urban evictions in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Hooper started his Ph.D. after working for five years with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in East Africa and New York. During three years spent at UN Headquarters, he led the research program of a major partnership on environment and poverty issues in the developing world. Prior to his time in New York, he worked with UNDP in Nairobi, spending a year on secondment to the Kenya Ministry of Planning and National Development. He remains affiliated with UNDP, serving as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the UNs Equator Prize. He also worked in London with a regulatory agency of the U.K. government and with a management research project jointly led by McKinsey and Company and the London School of Economics.
Hooper began university at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei on a Pacific Rim Scholarship, and then attended McGill University in Montreal, where he earned B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Biology. He returned to graduate school following his time in Kenya, earning the M.C.P. in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT, where his master’s thesis examined the political economy of urban water provision in Durban, South Africa. He received his Ph.D. from the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford, where he was concurrently a graduate student in the Department of Political Science, a Fellow in the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation and a Research Fellow in international development at Oxford University. Professionally, he is a chartered town planner in the United Kingdom and a certified planner in the United States and Canada.