Lynn M. Ross

Lynn M. Ross (M.R.P. '01) is the founder and principal of Spirit for Change Consulting, LLC where she works nationally and across sectors with organizations on a mission to create and sustain equitable policies, practices, and places.

The work of Spirit for Change takes many forms including serving as the lead consultant to the Knight Foundation on Reimagining the Civic Commons, a national demonstration working to advance equitable public spaces; as well as facilitating an 18-month process for the City of Akron, Ohio to establish a new Office of Integrated Development. Ross also recently served as the Senior Fellow for the Housing Playbook Project — an effort to reimagine the federal role in housing policy. Dedicated to serving mission-driven organizations, Ross has 20 years of multi-sector experience as a planner and policymaker including past senior leadership roles at the Knight Foundation; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing; National Housing Conference, and Center for Housing Policy; and the American Planning Association (APA).

She serves on the boards of nonprofits KABOOM! and Next City as well as the advisory board for the National Academy of Medicine's Culture of Health Program. From 2017–19, she served as cochair and co-author of the APA's historic Planning for Equity Policy Guide. In 2019, Ross was named one of 50 "Women of Influence" by the Royal Town Planning Institute's The Planner magazine. Ross holds a Masters of Regional Planning from Cornell AAP and a B.S. in community and regional planning from Iowa State University.

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Cities
  • Community-based planning and development
  • Housing
  • Participatory and collaborative planning
  • Social policy
  • Urbanism

Related Links

Related News

Classes (Selected)

  • CRP 5850 Special topics in Planning: Planning and Policymaking for Equity and JusticeThis course addresses pertinent issues relative to planning. Topics vary each semester.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Housing Playbook Project Fellowship at Community Change (2020)
  • Royal Town Planning Institute's The Planner "50 Women of Influence" (2019)
  • Iowa State University College of Design "Design Achievement" Alumni Award (2009)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • "Equity in the Commons," First Thursday's webinar hosted by Georgia American Society of Landscape Architects (Virtual) (October 2020)
  • "Research and Tools to Support Housing Opportunity and Advance Equity," Housing Opportunity 2020 conference hosted by ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing (Miami, FL) (February 2020)
  • "Catalyzing and Sustaining the Change We Need with a Racial Equity Lens," Foundations for the Future of Housing conference hosted by Urban Institute and MacArthur Foundation (Chicago, IL) (October 2019)

Publications (Selected)

Close overlay