Susan Moffat, Executive Director

As Executive Director, Susan Moffat provides intellectual and administrative leadership for the UC Berkeley Global Urban Humanities Initiative.  She is also Creative Director of Future Histories Lab, a project of GUH devoted to revealing hidden histories in public space. She coordinates curriculum development, builds teaching teams, organizes symposia, supports the development of publications, and conducts outreach across disciplines to faculty, graduate students, and the off-campus community. On behalf of the grant's principal investigators, Dean Jennifer Wolch and Dean Anthony J. Cascardi, she is responsible for grant management, budgeting, fundraising, student advising, curriculum, and communications.

Susan also teaches courses in the Initiative, including Ghosts and Visions: Using art installations and augmented reality to tell history and envision futures, listed as Art 160/City Planning 190 in Spring 2021.  She has also taught a course on Cities and Bodies, an interdisciplinary colloquium and a course on mapping and storytelling.  In Spring 2018 she co-taught an interdisciplinary undergraduate course that is listed in both the Landscape Architecture and Theater departments--Siteworks:  Understanding Place through Design and Performance.  Along with her collaborators, choreographer Erika Chong Shuch and urban designer Ghigo DiTommaso, she helped students develop a site-inspired performance that explores environmental and human issues at a landfill. 

Susan's research focuses on issues including perceptions of nature and culture in public space, parks, homelessness, and methods of spatial narratives.  She has also has taught planning and leadership development at San Jose State University and UC Berkeley’s Center for Cities and Schools.

Susan is founder of Love the Bulb, a community organization dedicated to protecting the creative spirit and wild landscape of the shoreline construction debris landfill and informal art space known as the Albany Bulb.  As artistic director of Bulbfest, she has brought dozens of outdoor performances of site-specific dance and theater as well many visual art installations to the Bulb. Susan has has also mounted exhibitions on cartography and on the San Francisco Bay shoreline.  Her oral history and mapping project, Atlas of the Albany Bulb, collects place-based stories from users of wild space at the urban edge, including unhoused people and artists, and was part of the SOMArts Cultural Center exhibition Refuge in Refuse:  Homesteading Art and Culture Project. She also served as a consultant on the Detour audio tour of the Albany Bulb.  She organized symposia including Mapping and Its Discontents and Art, Politics, and the City in Mexico and China; and, in collaboration with the Arts Research Center, Reimagining the Urban and Public Art/Housing Publics: Conversations on Art and Social Justice.

Susan has worked in the fields of affordable housing, environmental planning, land conservation and regional planning advocacy, and journalism.  Her writing on Asian cities, ethnicity and place, and environmental issues has been published in The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, BOOM: CaliforniaPlanning, and the edited collection The Misread City:  New Literary Los Angeles. Her work at the Albany Bulb has been covered in the New York Times' California Today newsletter, the San Francisco Chronicle, Curbed SF, and Bay Nature.

Susan has an A.B. in History and Literature from Harvard College, a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a Master of City Planning with a concentration in Urban Design from UC Berkeley.