A professor at the University of British Columbia since 1972, David Ley currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Geography. From 1996 to 2003, he was the UBC Director of the interdisciplinary Vancouver Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis (RIIM). RIIM's mandate is to study the economic and social needs, and achievements of Canada's immigrant population. His own research has focussed on immigrant poverty, housing and labour market experiences, and migrant voluntary organizations.
Professor Ley was awarded his BA from Oxford University and his PhD from Pennsylvania State University in 1972. His thesis was an ethnographic study in an African-American district in Philadelphia. A preoccupation with inner city people and place has continued to this day. Other research interests include gentrification and urban restructuring, the politics and culture of consumption, social geographies of immigration and social movements. A good part of his work has also been to interpret the 'post-industrial' Canadian city.
A member of the Royal Society of Canada since 1998, Professor Ley has received visiting fellowships at a number of foreign universities, including the Christensen Fellowship at Oxford, and has been an invited speaker at 76 universities and colleges in 17 countries. Dr. Ley's current book, Millionaire Migrants: Trans-Pacific Life Lines, was published by Blackwell-Wiley in 2010.