City and Regional Planning

Mark Alan Hughes

Professor of Practice


BA 1981 Swarthmore 
PhD 1986 Penn (Regional Science)

Mark Alan Hughes is a Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, Faculty Director of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and a Lead Investigator at the DOE's Energy Efficient Buildings Hub at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. He is a Faculty Fellow of the Penn Institute for Urban Research, a Senior Fellow of the Wharton School's Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership, and a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Penn's Fox Leadership Program. He has been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, the Urban Institute, and a senior adviser at the Ford Foundation.

He was the Chief Policy Adviser to Mayor Michael Nutter and the founding Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia, where he led the creation of the Greenworks plan. He drafted the Policy Markets Behavior component of the winning $159 million EEB Hub proposal to DOE and seven other federal agencies, and he directed PMB research for the Hub's first two years.

Also, while a member of the Nutter Administration, Hughes organized and led the City of Philadelphia’s Recovery Strategy to maximize the value and impact of federal funding under the ARRA of 2009 and represented the City in negotiations with utilities and governments on Energy Policy. In 2005, he led the Revenue Acquisition Project to enhance non-local public funding by $100 million in potential sources for Philadelphia, which led to the creation of the Mayor’s Office of Grants in 2010. In 2001-02, he created and led the Campaign for Working Families, which expanded EITC participation by $15 million annually in Philadelphia. In 1997-99, he designed the Transitional Work Corporation and led its creation into a $35 million annual welfare-to-work program in Philadelphia, which is now employed in the 30 states. In 1992-96, he designed and led the $15 million National Bridges-to-Work Demonstration in five cities, which led to the creation of the $750 million Jobs Access and Reverse Commute title of the Federal Transportation Act.

Hughes holds a B.A. from Swarthmore and a Ph.D. from Penn, joined the Princeton faculty in 1986 at the age of 25, has taught at Penn since 1999, and is widely published in the leading academic journals of several disciplines, including Economic GeographyUrban EconomicsPolitical Science QuarterlyPolicy Analysis and Management, and the Journal of the American Planning Association, for which he won the National Planning Award in 1992.