Claudia Isaac

    Distinguished Professor, Community and Regional Planning

Departmental Website

Photo: Claudia Isaac

Dr. Claudia Isaac joined The University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture and Planning’s Community and Regional Planning program in 1988. She is a former director of the Latin American and Iberian Institute and is currently the coordinator of the Latin American Studies and Community and Regional Planning dual master’s program. Offering several course options for undergraduate and graduate students, she teaches courses in Planning Theory, Qualitative Research, Community Economics, Community Based Practice, Gender and Economic Development, and Latin American Development Planning. Her community engaged scholarship and practice focus on community driven practice, particularly concerning public education, local organization development and scholarly civic engagement. She conducts layperson trainings and participatory evaluations, and directs community based participatory research in the areas of affordable housing, neighborhood planning and land use, community economic development and poverty alleviation, food systems planning, and metropolitan redevelopment, and community capacity building. She works with government, nonprofit and educational organizations to help disenfranchised people to produce community driven plans, evaluations, and policies. For example, see her interview with KUNM’s All Things Considered on the topic of “Where Research Meets Community to Create Change.” In 2017, Isaac was awarded the second annual 2017 Community-Engaged Scholarship Lecture award by the UNM Office of the Vice President for Research. 


  • PhD in Urban and Regional Planning, University of California, Los Angeles (1993)
  • MPA/URP in Public and International Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning, Princeton University (1981)
  • BA in Psychology, Bryn Mawr College (1975)

Research Areas

  • Affordable Housing
  • Community Economic Development
  • Community-Engaged Scholarship and Practice
  • Gender and Economic Development
  • Neighborhood Planning and Land Use
  • Latin American Development Planning
  • Participatory Research

Country Specialization(s)

  • Mexico

Latin American Studies Courses

*Latin America-related courses offered during the past three years*

  • CRP 403/503 Community-Based Practice
  • CRP 500 Planning Theory and Process
  • CRP 435/535 Community Economics for Planners
  • CRP 413/513 Qualitative Research Methods
  • CRP 335 Community Economics