The UCF Metropolitan Center for Regional Studies began in 2001 under the leadership of former Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin. Upon her retirement in 2009, Dr. Diane Trees assumed leadership of the center focusing efforts on economic development and economic impact.

Associated with the university since 1994, Dr. Diane Trees joined the Division of Community Relations in 2000 where she serves as division associate vice president and director of the UCF Metropolitan Center for Regional Studies. She holds five degrees, including a doctorate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on the role of universities in regions, a master’s degree in Health Science, a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in environmental studies. Her record of academic accomplishment, business leadership and community involvement provide an ideal combination for her university role in helping the region envision and prepare for the future.

Trees created and hosts MetroCenter Outlook, a weekly program on WUCF TV that covers issues of regional impact. Extensively involved in the community, she currently serves on executive boards for myregion.org and the Urban Land Institute of Central Florida as well as the Regional Water Strategy Steering Committee for myregion.org and the Technical Advisory Committee for the Central Florida Partnership’s Connection for Global Competitiveness. She has served as chair of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, Florida Executive Women, West Orange Committee of 101 and the Seminole Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees. Active in a number of other organizations as well, she has been a resident of Central Florida for more than 30 years.