Rebecca Morales Ph.D.
Rebecca Morales, PhD, a native San Diegan, moved from the working-class Mexican
neighborhood of Barrio Logan to the wealthy seaside community of La Jolla when she
was young, giving her a unique perspective on life.
She obtained a B Architecture from UC Berkeley, an MA from UCLA in Urban and
Regional Planning, and a PhD from MIT in Urban and Regional Planning, making her
the first on both sides of her family to receive a PhD and the first Latina in the U.S. to
earn a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning.
She taught at UCLA, the Claremont Graduate School, and the University of Illinois at
Chicago, among other places, where her research and coursework focused on
community, regional, economic, and industrial development with an emphasis on the
impact of industrial change on regions and communities, and on issues of growing
inequality in the United States, along with International Development and Latin
Rebecca co-founded New Economics for Women, Inc., the nation’s largest non-profit
organization aimed at securing housing, income, and wealth creation for low-income
Latinas and their families in Los Angeles. She is also a co-founder of the Inter-
University Program for Latino Research, the first nationwide consortium of university
programs directed at supporting research and policies affecting Latino/as in the U.S.
Through her examination of undocumented immigrants in a changing Los Angeles
automobile industry, and later, design of the National Center for Industrial Innovation
for the Mexican Sub-Secretariat of Trade and Industry, Dr. Morales became known for
innovative and insightful approaches to understanding trends and solutions. She
authored, co-authored, and co-edited a number of books, chapters, articles
and reports including: Stealing Cars: Technology and Society from the Model T to the
Gran Torino; Borderless Borders: U.S. Latinos, Latin Americans, and the Paradox of
Interdependence; Flexible Production: Restructuring of the International Automobile
Industry; and Latinos in a Changing U.S. Economy: Comparative Perspectives on
Rebecca lives in the historic mountain community of Julian in rural San Diego County.
She co-curated the exhibit, In Plain Sight: Mexicano/Chicano Stories in San Diego,
shown at the La Jolla Historical Society, and wrote Pacific Rim Park: The
Transformative Power of Art with Julian artist, James Hubbell. She is currently
working on a suspense novel, El Dorado, a story a brave young Latina, Isabella
Durango, who risks it all to set things right when unethical bio-prospectors and
warring cartel factions attempt to profiteer off a shaman in Colombia able to cure
people during a pandemic. This book is the first of a series set in Central and South
America and the Caribbean with Isabella as the protagonist.