American Planning Associationâ€™s executive director comes from the world of practice. Paul Farmer spent 20 years in senior management positions as deputy planning director in Pittsburgh, director of city planning in Minneapolis, and executive director of planning and development in Eugene, Oregon. During his years of practice, he served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Tech and the University of Oregon.
Farmer grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, attended Rice University in Houston (B.A. and B. Arch., 1967), and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he was a Richard King Mellon Fellow and received a masterâ€™s degree in city and regional planning in 1971. In 1968, he helped to found the National Association of Student Planners.
Farmer started out in academe, as a founding faculty member of the graduate program in planning at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he taught for eight years, while also serving as president of the Wisconsin APA chapter. He chaired the chapter presidents council and served on the APA board from 1979 to 1981. He is a former head of the city planning and management division and a former member of the development plan and budget committee.
He has received professional awards from Progressive Architecture and the National Endowment for the Arts, has consulted in Asia, Europe and North America, and has written and lectured extensively.