Biography

Justin D. Stern is a fifth-year PhD Candidate whose research focuses on the interplay of economic growth and city planning in rapidly urbanizing regions in East and Southeast Asia. His dissertation proejct looks at how the growth of the BPO (Business Process Outsouricng) industry and "call centers" is driving new patterns of urban development in key regions in which the industry is concentrated, with particular emphasis on India and the Philippines. 

Questions addressed in Justin’s research include: In what ways do the contemporary urban forms of cities in Asia, and their dominant building typologies, reflect the economic and political restructuring of the previous half century? What role do large-scale, diversified corporate conglomerates, such as Samsung Group in Korea and Ayala Corporation in the Philippines, play in urban development? And how can the experience of Seoul and other cities in East Asia, as inductive role models, better inform rapidly developing regions in Southeast Asia and beyond?

Justin holds a Master of Urban Planning (MUP) from Harvard University and completed his bachelor’s degree at Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Oxford. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Justin served as a Fulbright Fellow in Seoul, South Korea and was the recipient of a Harvard-Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship to support comparative fieldwork. He has presented his work at numerous venues including The East Asia Regional Organization for Planning and Human Settlements World Congress; TedxTaipei; Hong Kong University; Leiden University; the Cosmopolitan China Conference at the University of Manchester (UK); the University of Seoul; and the Pakistan Urban Forum in Karachi.

In addition to working on his dissertation, Justin currently serves as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Design. He is also a Graduate Student Associate at the Harvard Asia Center and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Justin is a four-time recipient of the Derek-Bok Center Certificate in Teaching Excellence. Prior to enrolling at Harvard, Justin worked in the international development arena and in affordable housing development in New York City.