Lynn M. Ross: How I Got from Here to There: A Story of 1 Planner, 2 Degrees, 3 Cities, 14 Years, and Lots of Fun

Lynn Ross lecture
Lynn Ross (M.R.P. '01), during her recent lecture in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP
Lynn Ross lecture
Lynn Ross (M.R.P. '01), during her recent lecture in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP
Lynn Ross talk back session
Following her lecture, CRP alumna Lynn Ross held a "talk back" session with interested students. William Staffeld / AAP
Lynn Ross talk back session
Following her lecture, CRP alumna Lynn Ross held a "talk back" session with interested students. William Staffeld / AAP
Lynn Ross (M.R.P. '01), during her recent lecture in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP Lynn Ross (M.R.P. '01), during her recent lecture in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP Following her lecture, CRP alumna Lynn Ross held a "talk back" session with interested students. William Staffeld / AAP Following her lecture, CRP alumna Lynn Ross held a "talk back" session with interested students. William Staffeld / AAP

Lynn M. Ross (M.R.P. '01), AICP, is the deputy assistant secretary for policy development in the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Appointed in May 2014, Ross leads the 23-member Office of Policy Development (OPD) team. OPD engages in policy development and analysis, policy-related research and data analysis, and dissemination of policy findings.

Prior to joining HUD, Ross was the executive director of the Terwilliger Center for Housing at the Urban Land Institute where she led research, policy, and technical assistance aimed at developing mixed-income, mixed-use communities with a full spectrum of housing affordability. From 2007 to 2011, Ross held positions at the National Housing Conference and the Center for Housing Policy first as the director of state and local initiatives and then as the chief operating officer. She oversaw the day-to-day operations as well as executing the education, outreach, and technical assistance strategies directed at strengthening housing policies for states and localities. Before that Ross was with the research unit of the American Planning Association in Chicago, serving as the manager of the Planning Advisory Service, providing customized planning research to more than 1,200 subscribing agencies.

Ross holds a M.R.P. from Cornell University and a B.S. in community and regional planning from Iowa State University. She is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners and was honored with the 2009 Design Achievement Award by the Iowa State University College of Design.

Abstract:

What does it take to get from here to there on your post-Cornell career track? In fewer than 15 years, Ross has gone from M.R.P. candidate to serving as a deputy assistant secretary at HUD. She will share her post-Cornell story and lessons learned as a planner moving through the ever-changing landscape of planning, community development, and housing policy. Ross will also discuss her current work with HUD's PD&R by highlighting recent research, outlining plans for setting PD&R's next research agenda, and sharing how HUD is reflecting on its 50th anniversary as a federal agency.