Tom Murphy is Senior Resident Fellow, ULI/Klingbeil Family Chair for Urban Development. Murphy, the former mayor of Pittsburgh, joins six other ULI senior resident fellows who specialize in public policy, retail/urban entertainment, transportation/infrastructure, housing, real estate finance and environmental issues.
His extensive experience in urban revitalization—what drives investment, what ensures long-lasting commitment—is a key addition to the senior resident fellows’ areas of expertise.
Since January 2006, Murphy had served as ULI’s Gulf Coast liaison, helping to coordinate with the leadership of New Orleans and the public to advance the implementation of rebuilding recommendations made by ULI’s advisory services panel last fall. In addition, he worked with the Louisiana state leadership, as well as with leadership in hurricane-impacted areas in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to identify areas appropriate for ULI involvement.
Prior to his service as the ULI Gulf Coast liaison, Murphy served three terms as the mayor of Pittsburgh, from January 1994 through December 2005. During that time, he initiated a public-private partnership strategy that leveraged more than $4.5 billion in economic development in Pittsburgh. Murphy led efforts to secure and oversee $1 billion in funding for the development of two professional sports facilities, and a new convention center that is the largest certified green building in the United States. He developed strategic partnerships to transform more than 1,000 acres of blighted, abandoned industrial properties into new commercial, residential, retail and public uses; and he oversaw the development of more than 25 miles of new riverfront trails and urban green space.
From 1979 through 1993, Murphy served eight terms in the Pennsylvania State General Assembly House of Representatives. He focused legislative activities on changing Western Pennsylvania’s economy from industrial to entrepreneurial, and authored legislation requiring the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pension fund to invest in venture capital. In addition, he authored legislation created the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership, which is dedicated to advancing Pennsylvania’s focus on technology in the economy; and he authored legislation to encourage industrial land reuse and to transform abandoned rail right-of-ways into trails and green space.
Murphy served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay from 1970 through 1972. He is a 1993 graduate of the New Mayors Program offered by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He holds a masters of science degree in urban studies from Hunter College, and a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry from John Carroll University.
He is an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects; a board member of the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities; and a board member of the National Rails to Trails Conservancy. He received the 2002 Outstanding Achievement of City Livability Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and was selected as the 2001 Pittsburgh Man of the Year Award by Vectors Pittsburgh.