Scott Davis

Scott Davis serves on the faculty of the Urban & Regional Planning program and is principal of SGD Urban Solutions, an independent consulting practice focused on risk-informed planning and design.

Scott Davis

He has worked for a university, a nonprofit community development organization, and multiple federal agencies—experiences from which he brings a multi-faceted perspective to creative problem solving.  He specializes in climate adaptation, urban resilience, and disaster recovery with an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and participatory planning and design.


Current work includes providing disaster recovery technical assistance to local communities in Puerto Rico and nonprofit organizations in Eastern Kentucky. He also provides urban resilience and climate adaptation technical assistance to local jurisdictions throughout the U.S. participating in HUD’s Climate Communities Program.  Following Hurricane Maria, Scott spent more than a year in Puerto Rico serving as an advisor to FEMA on recovery planning, capacity building, and coordination efforts. Climate adaptation planning projects include assisting in the development of the Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement Master Plan in coastal Louisiana as well as the Comprehensive Infrastructure Master Plan for the Caño Martín Peña district in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Prior to 2017, Scott served as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  While with the Department, his roles included serving as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Community Planning and Development, the Office of the Secretary, and the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.  He also served as Director of the Disaster Recovery Division, responsible for the national portfolio of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding.


Building on his research and policy expertise, Scott’s responsibilities on the Sandy Task Force included playing a leadership role in the administration of Rebuild by Design: A Planning and Design Competition to Increase Resilience in the Sandy-Affected Region.  From this experience, he was selected by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the General Services Administration as a mentor for the federal prize and challenge community. While with HUD, Scott spent over a year on detail assignment as a Visiting Fellow at the RAND Corporation working on disaster recovery reform and resilient infrastructure finance.


Since 2016, Scott has served as a member of the faculty for Georgetown University’s Graduate Urban and Regional Planning Program where he developed and teaches a course titled Resilient Urban Systems.  He has taught at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and the University of Notre Dame, and has lectured at Tulane University, the University of Illinois, and the University of North Carolina.


Before joining HUD, Scott served as Director of Policy and Research for the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding housed within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Prior to beginning his federal service in 2005, he served as Director of Programs for the Economic and Community Development Institute in Columbus, Ohio and as Director of the Office of Economic Development at The University of Arizona.  He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and holds degrees in Regional Development and Environmental Planning.