Victoria Beard's research and teaching focus is on international urbanization and planning. More specifically, she is interested in the relationship between community-based planning and poverty in the global south. Her research explores the intersection of collective action, social movements, transnational processes, and planning. Beard has two ongoing research projects. One examines community-based planning and poverty alleviation in Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia. The other examines transnational community-based planning in Southern California and Oaxaca.
Beard has also worked as a planning practitioner for organizations such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, AusAID, and RAND during the past 15 years. Her professional work has focused on three areas. First, she has worked with community-based organizations helping them plan and manage their own sustainable development. Second, she has experience designing, implementing, and evaluating national as well as local government programs that address poverty. Third, Beard has expertise in applied social science research and monitoring and evaluation.
Beard is a core faculty member in the Cornell's Southeast Asia Program, and she is a faculty fellow in the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and in the Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research. She received her B.A. degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California-San Diego in 1992. She received her M.A. degree in Urban Planning from the University of California-Los Angeles in 1995, and she received her Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia in 1999.