Skip to main content
Noreen McDonald

Senior Associate Dean, Social Sciences and Global Programs

Dr. Noreen McDonald is Senior Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Global Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

As senior associate dean, McDonald oversees the departments/curricula and other units in the social sciences: aerospace studies; African, African American and diaspora studies; anthropology; archaeology; Asian and Middle Eastern studies; city and regional planning; economics; geography; history; military science; naval science; peace, war and defense; political science; public policy; sociology; and the Center for Urban and Regional Studies.

She also oversees the global programs of the College that are housed in the FedEx Global Education Center: the curriculum in global studies, the Office of Study Abroad, African Studies Center, Carolina Asia Center, Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, Center for European Studies, Institute for the Study of the Americas, and the Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies.

McDonald has been a member of the UNC faculty since 2007. Since 2016, she has served as chair of the department of city and regional planning. She is also the associate director of both the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety and the Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Education and Development Center.

McDonald’s scholarship is at the intersection of city planning and public health. Her current projects focus on how transport technology, policy and COVID-19 impact road safety, goods movement and access to healthcare. She is an internationally recognized expert on the travel behavior of youth and young adults. Her work has demonstrated the road safety and physical activity impacts of transport and school infrastructure. Her most recent work explores disruptions associated with shared mobility, e.g., Uber/Lyft and autonomous vehicles.

She received her undergraduate degree in engineering and chemistry from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in city planning from UC Berkeley. Prior to her work in academia, she was a consultant for Cambridge Systematics and Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman).

  • Telephone: 919.962.1165
  • Email