Alan A. Altshuler

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Alan A. Altshuler
Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation
In office
GovernorFrancis W. Sargent
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byFrederick Salvucci
Personal details
Alma materCornell University (B.A.) University of Chicago (M.A., Ph.D.)

Alan A. Altshuler is a noted American academic and government official. He was the Ruth and Frank Stanton Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government from which position he retired in 2013.[1] However he is still Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor.[2]

He became the first director of the Boston Transportation Planning Review in 1970, appointed by Governor Frank Sargent. From 1971 to 1975, Altshuler served as Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation, also under Governor Sargent.


Altshuler has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, served as Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design,[3] and Dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration at New York University. He is a graduate of Cornell University and received his doctorate from the University of Chicago.[4]

In 1988, Altshuler was named the founding Director of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard Kennedy School, a position he held from 1988 to 2004. During part of that time he also served as the school's founding Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, from 2000 to 2004.[4]

Altshuler was named Interim Dean of Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) in July 2004 and then Dean in December 2004. He remained in the position until January 1, 2008 when Mohsen Mostafavi was appointed to succeed him.[5] During his three and one-half years at the helm of GSD, he doubled the number of senior women faculty, increased financial aid for master's students, and significantly improved the GSD's finances.[4]


2004 – Best Book Award, The American Political Science Association, Urban Politics Section[6]

2003 – Roy W. Crum Distinguished Service Award, Transportation Research Board[7]

1997 - Elected to membership, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

1975 - Elected to membership, National Academy of Public Administration.


  • Mega-Projects: The Changing Politics of Urban Public Investment (Brookings Institution Press, 2003), ISBN 0815701292
  • Governance and Opportunity in Metropolitan America (National Academies Press, 1999)
  • Regulation for Revenue: The Political Economy of Land Use Exactions (Brookings Institution Press, 1993)
  • The Future of the Automobile (MIT Press, 1986)[8]
  • The Urban Transportation System: Politics and Policy Innovation (MIT Press, 1981)
  • Community Control: The Black Demand for Participation in Large American Cities (Pegasus, 1970)
  • The City Planning Process: A Political Analysis (Cornell University Press, 1966)


  1. ^
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  3. ^ Marks, Steven (June 9, 2004). "Acting Dean Appointed for Design School". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Altshuler to step down as dean of Graduate School of Design". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  5. ^ Guehenno, Claire M. (June 29, 2007). "GSD Dean To Stay on Through Fall". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Urban Politics Section Award Winners" (PDF). The American Political Science Association. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  7. ^ Houston, Russell (January 7, 2004). "Harvard Political Scientist Alan A. Altshuler Wins TRB's 2003 Roy W. Crum Distinguished Service Award" (PDF). Press Release, Transportation Research Board. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  8. ^ "The Future Of The Automobile". MIT Press. Retrieved November 1, 2012.