Peilei Fan is an associate professor of urban and regional planning at the School of Planning, Design, and Construction, Michigan State University (MSU). She also holds a joint research appointment at the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations and is an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Science at MSU. She has a Ph.D. in economic development and an M.S. in electrical engineering and computer science, both from MIT. Before she joined MSU, Dr. Fan worked as a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) postdoctoral fellow at the United Nations University in Tokyo on comparative analysis of innovation and economic development in Japan, China, India, the United States, and other East Asian countries. Dr. Fan has served as a consultant/economist for United Nations University – World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) on innovation and economic development of emerging countries (China and India in particular) and urbanization in Asia. She has served on the review panels for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Fulbright, and been an ad-hoc reviewer for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and multiple international organizations. Dr. Fan is the North America regional coordinator (2018-) for the International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO) Landscape Ecology Working Party and the track chair of Food Systems and Community Health track of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP).
Dr. Fan’s research focuses on innovation and economic development, urbanization, the environment and sustainability, and public health. She has worked on research projects funded by NASA and NSF, such as, “Urbanization and Sustainability Under Global Change and Transitional Economies: Synthesis from Southeast, East, and North Asia (SENA)” (NASA, Lead PI, 2015-18), “China's Urbanization and its Sustainability Under Future Climate Change” (NASA, Lead PI, 2009-2013), and “Chinese Way of Innovation” (NSF, Co-PI, 2011-13). She was a Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar in the Cross-Strait Studies Research Program for 2017-2018, hosted by National Taipei University in Taipei and East China Normal University in Shanghai. Dr. Fan has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and been guest editor/co-editor for special issues of four academic journals, including Landscape and Urban Planning, Ecological Indicators, International Journal of Technology and Globalization, and International Journal of Business System Research. She co-authored the book Land Use Under Rapid Urbanization: Pattern, Effectiveness, and Policies (in China) (Beijing: Science Press, 2019). She is currently writing her second book, “Suburbia Asia: Urban Landscape and Environmental Changes from Siberia, Shanghai, to Saigon” (Springer, under contract).