Architect and urban planner Maurice Cox assumed the position of Planning and Development director for the City of Detroit in 2015. He moved to Detroit from New Orleans, where he had been associate dean for community engagement at Tulane University School of Architecture and director of the Tulane City Center, a university-affiliated practice operating at the intersection of design, urban research and civic engagement throughout the New Orleans community. Cox has taught at Syracuse University, the University of Virginia, and Harvard Graduate School of Design. He was mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, from 2002- 2004.
Cox’s experience merging architecture, politics and design education led to his being named one of “20 Masters of Design” in 2004 by Fast Company magazine. He served as design director of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2007-2010 where he led the NEA’s Your Town Rural Institute, the Governor’s Institute on Community Design, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and oversaw direct design grants to the design community across the US. In 2013, Cox was named one of the Most Admired Design Educators in America in the annual ranking of Design Intelligence.