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Rhonda Phillips

Rhonda Phillips

Professor, School of Community Resources and Development, College of Public Programs


School of Community Resources and Development
Arizona State University
PO Box 874020
Tempe, AZ 85287-4020


  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Professor, School of Community Resources and Development, College of Public Programs


Community investment and well-being comprise the focus of Rhonda's research and outreach activities. With public, private and non-profit experience, she offers both practice and academic perspectives. As a professor in the School of Community Resources & Development at Arizona State University, Rhonda works with faculty, staff, students and organizations to expand the reach of community-based education and research initiatives for enhancing quality of life. Her focus is community planning, development, and tourism planning as well as community indicator and evaluation systems for monitoring progress towards community development and economic development revitalization goals.

Rhonda's honors include serving as the 2006 Fulbright UK Ulster Policy Fellow in Northern Ireland at the University of Ulster, focusing on heritage and cultural based tourism as community and economic development strategies via The Township Heritage Initiative. Her work in tourism has included arts-based development as well as developing community indicator systems for tourist-based economies. She has produced eight books, including Introduction to Community Development (Routledge); Concept Marketing for Communities (Greenwood Press); and Community Development Indicators Measuring Systems (Ashgate). Along with Joe Sirgy and Don Rathz, she is the co-editor of the Community Quality-of-Life Indicators: Best Cases series published through ISQOLS and Springer. She is editor of Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society, published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Prior to joining ASU, she served nine years on the faculty at the University of Florida's Urban and Regional Planning Department where she was founding director of the Center for Building Better Communities.This outreach center provided community and economic development revitalization services throughout Florida. Her work before joining academe was in community and economic development at the state, local and regional levels; she holds dual professional certifications in urban and regional planning (American Institute of Certified Planners) and economic and community development (Certified Economic and Community Developer with the International Economic Development Council). She is the Immediate Past- President of the Economic Development Division of the American Planning Association.


  • PhD, City and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1996
  • MS, Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1992
  • MS, Economic Development, University of Southern Mississippi, 1986
  • BS, Geography, University of Southern Mississippi, 1983




Phillips, R. and C. Wharton eds. 2016. Growing Livelihoods: Local Food Systems and Community Development. Routledge. ISBN: 9780415727051.

Book Chapters


Phillips, R. and C. Wharton. 2016. Considerations and ideas for growing the future of local food systems and community development. Pp. 167-242 In: Phillips, R. and C. Wharton eds., Growing Livelihoods: Local Food Systems and Community Development. Routledge. ISBN: 978-0415727068.