Manuel Pastor is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he directs the Equity Research Institute and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change. His research is focused on the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities and the social movements seeking to change those realities. His books include the co-authored South Central Dreams: Finding Home and Building Community in South L.A.; State of Resistance: What California's Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Means for America's Future; and the co-authored Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Regions
Pastor's engagement in civic life includes his service as a member of the Governor's Task Force on Jobs and Business Recovery and as a Public Member of the Strategic Growth Council in California. He also previously served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and as a member of the Regional Targets Advisory Committee for the California Air Resources Board. He has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation, and awards from the California Center for Regional Leadership and the Advancement Project. Pastor holds a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.