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Mike James, AICP, Joins Matrix as Director of Planning

30 January 2024

Matrix is pleased to announce that Mike James, AICP, has joined our Phoenix office as the new
National Director of Planning. He will be leading our Planning Center of Excellence and adding a strong community-focused vision for integrated land use, transportation, resiliency, and public engagement projects and pursuits. Mike brings a diverse portfolio of different community, transportation and private development experience throughout the nation and a broad management perspective from his experience both in the pivate and public sector. He is nationally recognized as a  leader in transportation and transit planning with experience demonstrating how land use and development projects integrate multimodal transportation options that provide increased mobility, economic vitality, and attractive activity centers.

Mike offers over 25 years of planning and business development experience across the U.S. with an emphasis  in Arizona, Texas, and Washington. He has managed planning studies  and led efforts for major capital rail capital projects in Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Tucson, and Seattle. As the former Transit Services Director for the City of Mesa, Mike led city efforts for the planning of the Central Mesa and Gilbert Road light rail extensions. These extensions, which were planned with extensive community engagement have transformed the downtown. Several new housing, mixed-use, and transit-oriented developments, as well as adaptive reuse projects have delivered a thriving cultural and entertainment destination. Recently, he provided transportation consulting for the redevelopment of Phoenix’s Central Station. The former single use transit center is now being constructed with high-rise apartment and student housing, office, retail, and commercial uses. 

Mike is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), American Planning Association, Arizona Planning Association, Arizona Transit Association, and the Mesa Transportation Advisory Board. He holds a Master of Urban & Regional Planning from Eastern Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Washington State University.