Maria Rosario Jackson is one of the nation's leading authorities on the phenomenon known as creative placemaking. Her expertise is in comprehensive community revitalization; systems change, the dynamics of race and ethnicity and the roles of arts and culture in communities.
Jackson is the first African American and Mexican American to lead the National Endowment for the Arts. She is an Institute Professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, with an appointment in The Design School. Jackson's position is a cross-appointment with the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.
With a background in community development, Jackson has worked on connecting the arts, culture and design as critical elements of healthy communities. At ASU, she created the Studio for Creativity, Place and Equitable Communities, which will have Chandra Crudup as its interim director while Jackson is on leave.