Stephen Pesci

Career Story

After arriving at UNH in fall 1983 and testing out numerous majors in the Liberal Arts College, I found a home in COLSA in the (then) Resource Economics & Community Development programs. The program offered me a perfect blend of self-designed research, broad learning experiences and real world study. In 1987, I completed my undergraduate degrees in Planning & Community Development and Political Science.

That summer, I was lucky enough to land an internship at the Strafford Regional Planning Commission (SRPC) in Dover, NH working as a land use planner. After a brief stint as a Resource Economics grad student, I was offered a full-time job with the Commission with which I would remain affiliated for over 15 years. During that time, UNH afforded me the opportunity to continue my studies in part-time programs while working and I completed a Masters in Public Administration in spring of 1994.

After brief stints in the private sector as a consultant on projects in the US and Brazil, I returned to SRPC and settled into a long-standing focus on transportation issues and I became the Assistant Director of the Agency and its affiliate the Seacoast Metropolitan Planning Organization.

In 2001, the Vice President of UNH offered me the chance to come back to UNH and focus my planning and policy efforts on our campus – a perfect microcosm. Since that time I have served as Director of Special projects for the Campus Planning Office – part of Energy & Campus Development. I liaison between EC&D, Transportation Services and the Sustainability Office.

My focus has been on transportation systems, land use, energy, climate initiatives and general operations as well as the Campus Master Plan. In my ten years at UNH, I’ve assisted in the adoption of new transportation policies at UNH; a redesigned fare-free transit system which provides over 1.3 million trips/year and the procurement of over $12 million of federal transportation funding for projects including alternative fuel, transit, historic rail station renovation and Main Street improvements. As a planner, coming back to UNH has been an ideal chance to put in place best practices and projects in a progressive community. I also have the opportunity to lecture and mentor students in our planning programs.