About Omar Pérez Figueroa
Biography of Omar Perez Figueroa
Omar Pérez Figueroa is an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine. He graduated cum laude in 2010 with a Bachelor of Social Sciences general program from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. One year after completing his undergraduate studies, he obtained the Truman Foundation scholarship that he used to complete a master’s degree in water, Interdisciplinary Analysis, and Sustainable Management from the University of Barcelona. His dissertation, funded by the Ford Foundation, specializes in small water rural systems in Puerto Rico and how they understand water governance problems and resilience in the face of disasters and extreme weather events. He has worked with local communities, including federal and international governments, as well as with private corporations. His research interests focus on understanding how community-based movements and marginalized communities address environmental inequalities, with a special focus on water issues. Additionally, he has presented his research to diverse audiences, including government officials, politicians, United Nations officials, and K-12 students. His most recent project focuses on understanding how drought events can impact public health outcomes of rural communities in Puerto Rico. This project is funded by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency title; Cumulative Health Impacts at the Intersection of Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and Vulnerable Populations.
Ph.D. in Urban and Environmental Planning and Public Policy from University of California, Irvine
Master of Science on Water Interdisciplinary Analysis and Sustainable Management from the Universitat de Barcelona
Bachelor of Arts on Social Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
Research and publications
Ongoing and upcoming research
Ongoing and Upcoming Research
- Urban and wildland interface interaction with environmental hazards (floods, wildfires, and mudslides)
- Health outcomes impacts from extreme weather events on small water drinking water systems in Puerto Rico
- Tension between stakeholder public policy participation and environmental regulation
Pérez Figueroa, O & Ulibarri, N. Puerto Rico's Independent Community Aqueducts: Service Delivery in a Complex Setting in Positive Public Administration: New Directions for Theory and Practice. Edward Elgar.
Peer-reviewed Manuscripts Submitted and Under Review
Pérez Figueroa, O & Anais Delilah Roque (2023). Water Governance in the Wake of Disasters: Implications for Resilience, Security, and Environmental Justice. [under review]
Pérez Figueroa, O, Nicola Ulibarri and Suellen Hopfer (2023) A Content Analysis of Social Media Discourse During Hurricane María: Filling a Void when Traditional Media Are Silent. [Manuscript submitted for publication]
Ulibarri, N. Pérez Figueroa, O. & Grant, A (2022). Barriers and opportunities to incorporating environmental justice in the National Environmental Policy act, Environmental Impact Assessment Review. Vol 97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2022.106880.
Sykora‐Bodie, S. T., Jones, J. L., Hastings, Z., Lombardi, E., Barnett, M., Davis, O. N., Pérez Figueroa, O... & Whitten, J. (2022). Graduate student perspectives on transforming academia. Conservation Science and Practice, 4(1).
Scott, T.A., Ulibarri, N., Pérez Figueroa, O. NEPA & National Trends in Federal Infrastructure Siting in the United States. Review of Policy Research, 37(5). https://doi.org/10.1111/ropr.12399