Brooks Rainwater is the Director of the City Solutions and Applied Research Center. He oversees NLC's research, research partnerships, and community engagement efforts to strengthen the capacity of municipal leaders to create strong local economies, safe and vibrant neighborhoods, world-class infrastructure, and a sustainable environment. Brooks' areas of expertise include economic development, urban innovation, and sustainability. >Click here for extended biography.
James Brooks is the City Solutions Director. He is responsible for identifying, analyzing and reporting on best and promising practices among municipal governments in the U.S. and abroad. Areas of expertise include housing, neighborhood and community development, infrastructure, civic engagement, and international urbanism. >Click here for extended biography.
Christiana McFarland is NLC's Research Director. She leads NLC's efforts to transform city-level data into information that strengthens the capacity of city leaders and that raises awareness of challenges, trends and successes in cities. Her areas of expertise include economic development, workforce development, and municipal finance. >Click here for extended biography.
Jess Zimbabwe serves as founding Executive Director of the Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership at the National League of Cities and the Urban Land Institute. Previously, Jess was the Director of the Mayors' Institute on City Design and served as the Community Design Director at Urban Ecology, providing pro bono community planning and design assistance to low-income neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a licensed architect, certified city planner, a LEED-Accredited professional, and a member of the urban planning faculty at Georgetown University. >Click here for extended biography.
Gideon Berger is Program Director of the Daniel Rose Fellowship program at the Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use, a joint program of the National League of Cities and Urban Land Institute. Berger is responsible for developing fellowship programming, recruiting faculty and guest experts, and supporting the fellows with their city's land use challenge and professional development opportunities. Areas of expertise include complete streets, transit oriented development, community development and economic development. >Click here for extended biography.
Caroline "Carrie" Dietrich is the program manager for the Conferences and Meetings department and the Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use at the National League of Cities. In this capacity, she coordinates the logistics for the Daniel Rose Fellowship, other Rose Center programming, a variety of other events for City Solutions and Applied Research as well as NLC's two annual conferences.
Nicole DuPuis is a Senior Associate in the City Solutions and Applied Research Center. She manages NLC's best practice research work on transportation, public works, and telecommunications and helps local leaders communicate the impact of infrastructure projects in their communities. Nicole's areas of expertise include transportation planning and governance, broadband access and adoption, and public utility regulation.
Terrah W. Glenn is the Research Assistant to the Director of the NLC's Center for City Solutions. In addition to pursuing dual Master's degrees in the fields of urban and regional planning and landscape architecture, Terrah works on the Center's full range of research priorities with special emphasis on the areas of urban innovation and sustainability.
Elisha Harig-Blaine is the Principal Housing Associate for the National League of Cities (NLC), connecting local leaders to best practices and efforts working to provide all veterans with a safe place to call home.
A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Elisha serves as part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans. He has testified before the U.S. Senate and spoken across the country on the issues of homelessness and housing. Elisha earned a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from St. Mary's College of Maryland and has a Master Degree in Public Policy from George Mason University.
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Nick Kasza is a Senior Associate with the Sustainable Cities Institute at the National League of Cities. He is part of a team that administers the SolSmart program funded by the Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative. SolSmart is a national designation and technical assistance program that recognizes leading solar communities and empowers additional communities to expand their local solar markets. He helps deliver technical assistance to cities pursuing SolSmart designation. His areas of expertise include solar photovoltaic project development, due diligence, and risk assessment.
Laura Lanford is the Principal Associate for Leadership and Communications with NLC University. Laura has worked at the National League of Cities since 2010, originally joining the organization as Coordinator for the Emergency Management Training program. In August of 2010, Laura joined the Leadership Training Institute, where she managed the Certificate of Achievement in Leadership program until the summer of 2013. Laura earned her undergraduate degree in English and Studio Art from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.
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Trevor Langan is the Research Associate for NLC's City Solutions and Applied Research center. In addition to supporting the Center's work on topics ranging from equitable development to infrastructure finance, he leads the annual State of the Cities research project and quarterly analysis of local government employment data. Trevor is pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree at American University, where he also received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.
Cooper Martin is the Program Director for the Sustainable Cities Institute at the National League of Cities. The SCI program provides information, tools, and guidance to strengthen communities and enable them to thrive while facing the challenges presented by a changing climate and uncertain global economy. His areas of expertise include climate resilience, community development, smart growth, and emergency management.
Soren is the Senior Associate for Research and Data Visualization. He specializes in information design, data visualization, and visual storytelling. He creates compelling data-driven visual products across a variety of mediums, ranging from traditional publications to static information graphics and motion graphics.
Emily Robbins is the Principal Associate for Economic Development with the City Solutions and Applied Research Center at the National League of Cities (NLC). Her research helps city leaders create strong and equitable local economies. Emily is currently focusing on local government strategies for developing small businesses, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and small-scale manufacturing. Emily manages the Big Ideas for Small Business program at NLC, which is a national peer network of local government staff who convene around best practices for supporting the growth of local business communities. She is also co-leading a community of practice for Startup in a Day, an initiative in partnership with the Small Business Administration and Code for America to help cities create a more business-friendly environment. Emily earned a master's degree in public policy from the George Washington University and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston. >Click here for extended biography.
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