Gilda Haas, MA

Core Faculty
MA in Urban Sustainability
Adjunct Faculty
Management Department
(310) 578-1080 ext. 287

Gilda Haas is an organizer, educator, and urban planner who has been helping grassroots organizations build economies from the ground up for thirty years. She has also taught economic development at UCLA’s Department of Urban Planning for over 25 years, where she was also the founding Director of their Community Scholars Program.

Gilda recently transitioned out of her position as the founding director of Strategic Actions for A Just Economy (SAJE), an economic justice and development organization that is dedicated to building economic power for working-class people in Los Angeles. SAJE’s achievements include leading the effort to negotiate the “Staples Agreement” between the Figueroa Corridor Coalition for Economic Justice and the Anschutz Entertainment Group; creating the nation’s first welfare-to-work bank account; and organizing the autonomous Figueroa Corridor Community Land Trust.

Gilda now manages the popular education website of her alter-ego, Dr. Pop (, creates learning games about planning and economics, and consults with and coaches the next generation of leaders for a new economy.

Gilda lives in Los Angeles and is married to mystery writer Gary Phillips and has two adult children, Miles and Chelsea.