THE 2021 DISTINGUISHED ALUMNA AWARD is presented to Victoria Mason Ailey, Class of 1975.
Victoria holds a B.A. from Brown University and master's in urban planning from Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
Victoria started her career in 1984 at the New York City Department of City Planning. She then worked at the Office of the Manhattan Borough President where she advised David Dinkins on planning and transportation issues, including the reconstruction of 125th Street. In 1989, Victoria began working at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York where she served as a policy development manager and a manager of policy and special projects. From 2000 to 2005, she worked for the Philadelphia City Planning Commission where she was involved in comprehensive city planning focusing on 34 neighborhoods and using extensive community outreach and engagement.
In 2005, she returned to Columbia University, where she served as the assistant vice president for planning and project coordination before becoming the associate vice president for planning and community affairs, a position she held until November 2020. In this role, she managed the university’s interface with elected officials, civic groups, the community, and the campus regarding construction, land use, planning, and community affairs.
Victoria is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners as well as a member and division chair of the American Planning Association (APA), where she heads the Planning and the Black Community Division. She has spoken at numerous American Planning Association conferences and has been an adjunct professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
She was a member of the Springside Board of Trustees and served on the Springside National Alumni Council.