Joe Carley

Joe Carley is the Associate Director for Economic Development within the Indiana University Office of the Vice President for Engagement. In this role, he is focused on connecting the resources of Indiana University to communities, businesses, and government agencies throughout the state to promote economic development.

Carley has long been interested in identifying ways that the public sector can facilitate regional economic development. As a planner for the City and County of Durham, NC, he studied best practices in land use and zoning regulations from communities around the country and implemented significant updates to the Durham Comprehensive Plan and Durham’s Unified Development Ordinance. During his time in Durham, the local economy boomed, resulting in a procession of high accolades for quality of life and economic development from national publications.

Prior to his work in Durham, Carley spent two years with the City of Madison, Wisconsin Department of Planning & Community & Economic Development. There he worked to modernize the City’s zoning code, a process which culminated in the adoption of a comprehensive revision of the Madison zoning code in 2013. He also served as lead author of a guide to participating in the development review process, with significant community involvement. The guide won an award for Best Planning Tool from the WI chapter of the American Planning Association. He has also contributed research on the effectiveness of local economic development investments in high tech infrastructure to the book Cities in the Technology Economy.

Carley holds an M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus on economic planning. He later returned to school to earn a J.D. from IU Maurer School of Law. While in law school, he clerked with the City of Bloomington Legal Department, where he advised the City on issues pertaining to zoning, community development, and public works. He also served as a contractor for Indy Rezone, a comprehensive effort to rewrite the Indianapolis zoning code. There, he drafted subdivision and storm water management ordinances and apprised planning staff on issues of compliance with state law. Carley is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.