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Noreen McDonald

Senior Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Global Programs

College of Arts and Sciences


Noreen McDonald is the 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, including aerospace studies; African, African American and diaspora studies; anthropology; archaeology and the research labs in archaeology; Asian 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 all of the global programs in the College of Arts and Sciences that are housed in the FedEx Global Education Center, including the Study Abroad Office; African Studies Center; Carolina Asia Center; Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations; Center for European Studies; Curriculum in Global Studies; Institute for the Study of the Americas; and Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies.

McDonald brings a wealth of experience to the role. She 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, where she holds the Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Term Chair in Public Policy. 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 whose work has demonstrated the road safety and physical activity impacts of transport and school infrastructure.