AMES, Iowa — Gary Taylor has been named director for the Community and Economic Development program of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. He has been interim director since 2015. He also will serve as associate director of the Institute for Design Research and Outreach, and director of Design Extension. His appointment begins Aug. 19.

Taylor is an associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Community and Regional Planning at Iowa State. He publishes, conducts workshops, pursues projects and provides assistance to citizens and government officials related to land-use planning and land-use law.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the dedicated group of educators in the CED unit and the College of Design, cultivating existing partnerships and building new relationships with the many groups and individuals that dedicate their time and efforts to the communities where they live and work,” Taylor said.

“The close relationship between the College of Design and CED offers synergies that are unique in the country. Working together we are able to engage with Iowa communities to provide design-focused placemaking tools and strategies that positively contribute to overall quality of life, as well as local economic development.”

ISU Interim Vice President for Extension and Outreach John Lawrence said Taylor brings valuable experience to this position. ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development works with all levels of government, ranging from townships and local governments to regional and state government agencies. The program also is well aligned with numerous state and local business and nonprofit organizations and has been proactively engaging Iowa’s growing Latino population.

Taylor’s “Planning and Zoning for Local Officials” workshops reach more than 350 local decision-makers annually and his publication title “The Iowa Land Use Planning Notebook” has become an essential resource for elected and appointed officials involved in the planning and zoning process. Through his blog, “The Midwest Planning BLUZ,” his presentations to professional organizations and his assistance to Iowa community leaders, he keeps the planning community of Iowa and surrounding states current on legal matters and practice issues in land use.

He has received awards from the American Planning Association and the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals for his programming and service to Iowa communities.

Taylor joined Iowa State in 2004. Previously he was the extension state and local government specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University. Before joining academia, he was an associate planner for the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, a planning consultant in Seattle and an attorney in Portland, Ore.

Taylor is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He holds a law degree from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University.


Gary Taylor, Community and Regional Planning, (515) 290-0214
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu
Laura Sternweis, Extension and Outreach Organizational Advancement, (515) 294-0775, lsternwe@iastate.edu