Dr. Anthony Townsend will present the keynote address during the first installment of a new speaker series at NU that's sponsored by the Maid of the Mist.

A new Niagara University lecture series sponsored by the Maid of the Mistwill debut at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, in the Castellani Art Museum.

Dr. Anthony Townsend, the author of SMART CITIES: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for A New Utopia, will serve as the keynote speaker for what will be the first of an annual series hosted by NU’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

The event is open to the public.

Prior to Dr. Townsend’s presentation, Christopher Glynn, a 1985 Niagara alumnus and president of the Maid of the Mist, will speak about the importance of tourism in Western New York. Glynn’s father, 1957 NU graduate James V. Glynn, purchased the Maid of the Mist in 1971 and was a driving force behind its rise to a world-class tourist attraction that has thrilled millions of visitors from around the globe.

“We are grateful to the Glynn family for their longtime support of Niagara University and excited for this new event, which will facilitate important conversations on tourism in the region,” stated Dr. Kurt Stahura, dean of Niagara’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. “This is another concrete illustration that Niagara University fully intends to be involved in the planned development and growth of the tourism and hospitality industry in Western New York and New York state.”

A panel discussion follows the keynote, featuring Dr. Townsend, Dr. Stahura and Christopher Schoepflin, president of USA Niagara Development Corporation. The dialogue will be moderated by Dr. Tim Downs, Niagara University provost.

The event’s opening remarks and invocation will be given by the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University.

Dr. Townsend is an internationally recognized expert on urbanization, ubiquitous computing, technology innovation and economic development. He holds posts at the Data & Society Research Institute and New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation. He is an advisor to government and industry, currently works with Google’s Sidewalk Labs, the World Economic Forum, Code for America, and Urban.Us on technology strategy for cities.

From 2005 to 2014, Dr. Townsend served as research director at the Institute for the Future, an independent futures and trend research group based in Silicon Valley, in the Technology Horizons program.

Dr. Townsend holds a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s in urban planning from New York University, and a B.A. in urban studies with a minor in physics from Rutgers University.

For more information, please contact Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management at 716.286.8279 or ude.aragain@wahsdarb.

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