Brad Hunt is the Vice President for Research and Academic Programs at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He oversees a highly-competitive fellowship program that brings over 50 scholars to the Library each year; guides four research centers in areas of Newberry collection strengths; coordinates two research-intensive undergraduate seminars; and supports a range of public programming, adult seminars, and programs for teachers.
He is the co-author, with Jon B. DeVries, of Planning Chicago (American Planning Association Planners Press, 2013; Taylor & Francis, 2017) which tells the post-war history of city planning in Chicago and argues that the city needs to re-embrace comprehensive planning to address its many current and future needs.
His history of the Chicago Housing Authority, entitled Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing (University of Chicago Press, 2009), tells the story of the rise and fall of the city’s public housing developments, with an emphasis on the planning and policy choices that undermined the program. The book won the Lewis Mumford Prize from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH) for the best book in North American Planning History in 2008-09 and received an honorable mention for the Kenneth T. Jackson Prize for best book in American urban history from the Urban History Association.
Other publications include Out of the Loop, for the Vernacular Architecture Forum, co-edited with Virginia B. Price and David Spatz. With Jim Fuerst, he compiled interviews of former residents and staff of the Chicago Housing Authority into the oral history collection titled When Public Housing Was Paradise: Building Community in Chicago (University of Illinois Press, 2005).
He currently serves as President of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH), with his term ending in November 2019.
Prior to the Newberry, Brad was a dean and vice provost at Roosevelt University in Chicago, guiding the university’s adult degree-completion program, among others. Prior to his administrative appointment, Brad was professor of social science and history, teaching a variety of interdisciplinary seminars for returning adults as well as courses in the Sustainability Studies program and the History department.
He is on the board of the National Public Housing Museum, served as the Membership Secretary of the Urban History Association from 2006-14, and co-chaired the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2012 American Historical Association Annual Meeting in Chicago. He also serves on the board of the Chapin-May Foundation.