Xavier de Souza Briggs is vice president of the Ford Foundation’s Economic Opportunity and Markets program. He leads the Foundation’s work promoting economic fairness, advancing sustainable development, and building just and inclusive cities in the United States, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He also oversees the Foundation’s regional programming in China, Indonesia, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Additionally, Briggs serves as professor of sociology and urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
An award-winning author, commentator and educator, Briggs has led groundbreaking research in economic opportunity, democracy and governance, segregation, and racial and ethnic diversity in cities and metropolitan regions. His books include “The Geography of Opportunity” and “Democracy as Problem Solving: Civic Capacity in Communities across the Globe,” which examines efforts in the United States and other democracies to lead change at the local level. Briggs earned an engineering degree from Stanford University, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and a doctorate degree in sociology and education from Columbia University.