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President’s Lecture Series March 29: Get the Facts

Hear From the Experts on the North Houston Highway Improvement Project

Join President Blanchard and a panel of experts for “North Houston Highway Improvement Project: The Bigger Picture,” the next President’s Lecture Series event. 

Speakers from Central Houston Inc. and the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) will address the impact of the highway improvement project on UHD and the community. 

Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2023  
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.  
Location: TDECU Tour Room, Welcome Center

Lunch will be served.


Allen Douglas3J. Allen Douglas, Chief Operating Officer, Central Houston Inc.   
Allen Douglas serves as the executive director of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority (DRA). He also performs the duties of general counsel for the organization and its related entities, Central Houston Inc. and the Downtown District. Allen has served as vice-chair of the Midtown Management District’s board of directors since June 2015, as well as chair of the organization’s Urban Planning Committee.


David Fields2-edDavid Fields, AICP, Chief Transportation Planner, City of Houston  
A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, David Fields provides strategic leadership for Houston’s systems-level transportation planning efforts, including connecting transportation with land use to maximize the economic development for both the city and region. The role focuses on how Houstonians move in and around the city. Fields has more than 20 years of professional planning experience, including as a Principal Planner with NelsonNygaard Associates, a planning firm, where he developed mobility solutions that improve access by all modes.  


Grady Mapes1

Grady B. Mapes, P.E., Transportation Engineer, TXDOT.   
TXDOT’s Houston District plans, designs, builds, operates and maintains the state transportation system in the following counties: Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery and Waller.​ A 20-year veteran of TXDOT, Mapes was appointed Director for Houston District’s Alternative Project Delivery effective April 1, 2020. In this role, he oversees the district’s alternative project delivery program, including over $2 billion in design and construction and over $3 billion in procurement. 

For more information on the project, visit the TXDOT NHHIP project website, where in-depth resources are available to the public, including a timeline, updates, and white papers (“NHHIP: Facts and Highlights”). 



City photo credit: Art Wager/ iStock

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.