Grant R. Saff
Professor of Global Studies and Geography
Degrees: PHD, 1996, Rutgers Univ; MSC, 1989, Witwatersrand Univ; BA, 1986, Univ Cape Town; BA, 1984, Univ Cape Town
Dr. Saff is a Professor of Geography in the Department of Global Studies and Geography at Hofstra University. He has chaired the Department since its inception in 2008. In 2011, he was elected a Regional Councilor of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) representing the Middle States Region (MDSAAG) and in April 2013, the AAG Council elected him to serve as the Treasurer of the AAG (until 2015). In this capacity he is also a member of AAG’s Executive Committee and Chair of the Finance Committee.
Dr. Saff has degrees in African Studies (BA, Honours), from the University of Cape Town, Economic History and History (BA) and Secondary Education (HDE), from the same institution, Development Planning (MSc) from the school of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, and received his Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (1996). In the latter case, his dissertation was awarded the Barclay Gibbs Jones Award, as the best planning dissertation at an accredited program, by the American Collegiate Schools of Planning. This dissertation was later developed into a book, Changing Cape Town: Urban Dynamics, Policy and Planning during the Political Transition in South Africa (1998).
Dr. Saff’s research interests range across global economics, urban planning, and urban, political and economic geography. His research on desegregation and residential exclusion (in South Africa and the US) has been extensively published in journals such as the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Professional Geographer, Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Affairs Review and SAFUNDI. One of his articles was recently reprinted as part of a collection of the most important geographical research in political geography (Political Geography: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences).
In the last ten years the main focus of his research has been on urban and economic issues in the US. Of particular interest has been how the shift from manufacturing to services has changed the economic and social fabric of various suburbs in New Jersey and Long Island. He has also researched immigration and exclusion in suburban Long Island and New Jersey. In 2012, he was a visiting scholar at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, Hainan, China, where he was part of a research team working on strategies for the sustainable economic development of the Province. He has also been researching the nature and history of undergraduate geography in the US, and how the use of interdisciplinary programs can help develop and grow undergraduate geography enrollments.
Prior to pursing his Ph.D., Dr. Saff worked as a Project Leader and Urban Development Specialist at the Development Bank of Southern Africa. While employed at the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University, Dr. Saff was part of the team assessing the community driven Neighborhood Urban Revitalization Program in Minneapolis. He was also part of a research team employed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation to write a transportation supplement to the NJ State Plan. He has conducted research into the NJ Enterprise Zone Program, integration management programs in various parts of the US and the use of science and technology parks as a mechanism for regional and national growth.
At Hofstra he was responsible for creating the Global Studies Program and became the first Director of the program in 2006. Within the Global Studies Program, Dr. Saff currently offers the Introduction to Global Studies course, a seminar on the Global Financial Crisis and the Global Studies Senior Seminar. Within the Geography Program, Dr. Saff has taught Urban Geography, Economic Geography, Human Geography, the Geography of Africa and the Senior Seminar in Geographic Methodology. In the past Dr. Saff has taught graduate courses at other institutions, including urban political economy at the New School University.