In Memoriam: Dorothy Walker

Remembering APA's first female president.

Dorothy Walker, APA's first president — and first female president — passed this month.

Walker was instrumental in helping to set the path forward for the newly formed APA, from a consolidation of the American Institute of Planners (AIP) and the American Society of Planning Officials (ASPO). She served as the president of APA from December 1978 to October 1979.

Dorothy Walker

Prior to her role at APA, Walker served as the president of ASPO during the late 1970s. In this role, she shared with ASPO members an update of the proposed merger, raising a series of questions about what type of an organization would best serve its members and advance the planning profession (see sidebar for an excerpt).

Walker was a trailblazer in her career, focusing on housing and fighting to desegrate communities and against the wrongs of housing discrimination. She served on Berkeley, California's, planning and zoning commission, was a hallmark at the University of California, Berkeley, among many other notable career accomplishments.

Learn more about the life and accomplishments of Dorothy Walker as shared by the APA California Chapter, including links to an oral history project at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Excerpt of Walker's column, "A Report From the President," from Planning magazine, August 1977.

June 16, 2023