Amanda Phillips de Lucas, formerly with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, has been named director of the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance, part of The University of Baltimore's Jacob France Institute (JFI). As part of JFI—the sponsored research institute of the Merrick School of Business—the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (BNIA-JFI) has been at the forefront of the development, analysis and dissemination of Baltimore City neighborhood indicators for more than 20 years.
While at the Cary Institute, Dr. Phillips de Lucas served a postdoctoral fellowship studying perceptions and governance of urban greening projects in Baltimore and cities across the United States. For that organization, she developed Governing Green, a toolkit to enhance the equitable governance of urban green infrastructure. Through this work, she built relationships with organizations, agencies, and individuals advancing environmental justice in Baltimore.
"We are excited to have Dr. Phillips de Lucas on board as the new director of the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance," says JFI Director Richard Clinch. "Not only will she continue BNIA-JFI's cutting edge work in analyzing key economic, housing, and social conditions in Baltimore City and its diverse communities, she will be expanding the alliance's efforts into new areas related to environmental and environmental justice issues for an even more complete look at the city."
BNIA-JFI is part of an Urban Institute-led national group of 30 similar organizations. Phillips de Lucas brings to her position substantial expertise in community data informatics, with a recent focus on environmental indicators. She also has professional experience in foundation relations, grant writing, project management, and nonprofit administration.
"When I arrived in Baltimore almost six years ago, the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance was one of the first organizations I worked with in my capacity as a researcher," Phillips de Lucas says. "I soon learned that not only did BNIA-JFI house a wealth of data, but the organization was also a force for positive change in Baltimore City. My top priority as the incoming director is to advance our organizational mission of ensuring access to accurate, reliable, and actionable community-based data. I want to build on our community engagement and develop public-facing tools to enhance how neighborhoods, communities, and individuals interact with our resources."
Dr. Phillips de Lucas wrote her dissertation on the issue of transportation planning and data use in Baltimore, an issue of critical importance to the city. In 2018, she received a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech. She also has master's degrees from Virginia Tech and NYU Gallatin, and a B.A. from Bennington College. Her doctoral dissertation examined how activists and community groups in Baltimore used technical data to protest urban interstate construction in the late 1960s and '70s. This research was published as a chapter in Justice and the Interstates: The Racist Truth about Urban Highways, co-edited by Dr. Phillips de Lucas.