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John Mollenkopf


Position: CUR Director. Distinguished Professor, Political Science and Sociology
Phone: (212) 817-2046

John Mollenkopf directs the Center for Urban Research.

Dr. Mollenkopf is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate Center and coordinates its interdisciplinary concentration in public policy and urban studies and the public policy subfield within the Political Science PhD Program. With colleagues, he has authored or edited eighteen books on urban politics, urban policy, and the role of race, ethnicity, and immigration in New York City. Prior to joining the Graduate Center in 1981, he directed the Economic Development Division of the New York City Department of City Planning and taught urban studies and public management at Stanford University.

He received his PhD from Harvard and BA from Carleton College. With Philip Kasinitz, Mary Waters, and Jennifer Holdaway, Mollenkopf completed Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age (paperback edition Russell Sage Foundation Press 2009), a study of the economic, social, and political trajectories of second generation immigrant and native minority young adults in the New York metropolitan area, which received the Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Society in 2010. With Manuel Pastor, he co-edited Unsettled Americans:  Metropolitan Context and Civic Leadership for Immigrant Integration (Cornell University Press, 2016) and also co-edited Bringing Outsiders In: Transatlantic Perspectives on Immigrant Political Incorporation (Cornell University Press, 2009) with Jennifer Hochschild.

His current research focuses on the impact of the rise of new immigrant communities on New York City politics, the comparative analysis of immigrant political incorporation in urban areas, and the future of urban studies. He has also completed key studies in the political economy of urban development, including The Contested City (Princeton University Press, 1983) and A Phoenix in the Ashes (Princeton University Press, 1994). His Place Matters: A Metropolitics for the 21st Century (University Press of Kansas, 2014), co-authored with Peter Dreier and Todd Swanstrom and now in its third edition, won the Michael Harrington Prize of the American Political Science Association. The Urban Affairs Associated recognized him with its Contribution to the Field Award in 2019 and in 2017 he received the Norton Long Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban and Local Politics section of the American Political Science Association. He has been a visiting fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavior Sciences, was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, and was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Building Resilient Regions. He has also served as a consultant to many public agencies and nonprofit organizations in New York City.

John Mollenkopf's publications