Edward J Blakely Founder and Principal of the Cities Leadership Institute Previously Honorary Professor in Urban Policy at the University of Sydney & Currently Permanent Visiting Professor Urban Planning and Policy University of Venice, Italy One of the world's leading scholars and practitioners of urban policy, Professor Edward Blakely has been Dean of the School of Urban Planning and Development at the University of Southern California and Dean of the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, New School University in New York City. He serves as an Honorary Professor in Urban Policy at The University of Sydney. He is also the Founder and Principal of The Cities Leadership Institute. Besides Professor Blakely's background in academia, the Professor has an extensive record of public service that includes advising Presidents of the United States both Democratic and Republican (Nixon& Clinton). President Clinton named Professor Blakely to serve on the Base Conversion Commission and later President Clinton appointed Blakely Vice Chair of the Presidio Trust. The Presidio is one of most challenging military instillations to transform into a functioning public use institution due to it historic assets and elegant San Francisco Bay location. Blakely was praised for his skills in working with interests in the nearby community, the City of San Francisco, and State of California in fashioning a public-private design generating income to sustain the Presidio financially and culturally.