John Accordino named dean of VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

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John Accordino, Ph.D.

After a rigorous national search, Virginia Commonwealth University has named John Accordino, Ph.D., as dean of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, effective March 1. Accordino has served as interim dean of the Wilder School since last July.

“John Accordino has a well-earned reputation for excellence in research, teaching and community engagement,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. “His leadership, vision and enthusiasm will advance the Wilder School’s commitment to preparing the next generation of leaders to solve complex societal problems, advance research to inform public policy and decision-making, and collaborate with communities to enhance the quality of life.”

Accordino began his VCU career in 1986 as an assistant professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. He later served as chair of the department. More recently, he was director of the VCU Center for Urban and Regional Analysis and professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Accordino directs VCU’s partnerships with the University of Messina, Italy; the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany; and Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany.

“For the past 30 years, John Accordino has been a leader in the university and the community, as well as an accomplished scholar and teacher,” said Gail Hackett, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “His deep commitment to VCU, our faculty and our students provides a firm foundation on which to launch new and dynamic opportunities within the Wilder School.”

Accordino’s research interests include commercial and neighborhood revitalization methods, impacts of community revitalization policies, and comparative (U.S. and European) urban revitalization policies.

His scholarship includes books, journal articles, applied research and other publications on community and economic development policy and planning. His work with CURA@VCU has been transformative for numerous economic and community development organizations, state and local government and historic preservation and cultural organizations.

“Being named dean of the Wilder School is a? great honor,” Acccordino said. “I look forward to continuing our tremendous work and developing our reputation as ?a? premier resource for public policy expertise. We have outstanding faculty, staff and students, and we are poised and ready to elevate the Wilder School to the next level of academic distinction.”

Accordino received a B.A. in European history from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit and