Lynn Ross, Executive Director
Lynn M. Ross, AICP is the Executive Director of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing. Ms. Ross joined ULI in 2012 and is responsible for managing the overall strategic direction of the center and the implementation of the center’s work program. The Center, established in 2007 by former ULI Chairman J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman emeritus of Trammell Crow Residential, seeks to integrate ULI’s housing efforts into a coherent program of work that furthers the development of mixed-income, mixed-use communities and a full spectrum of housing affordable to all.
Most recently, Ms. Ross was the Chief Operating Officer for the National Housing Conference (NHC) and the Center for Housing Policy (the Center). As COO, Ms. Ross was responsible for overseeing all of the day-to-day to operations of the two interrelated, but separately incorporated, organizations. Ms. Ross joined NHC and the Center in 2007 as the Director of State and Local Initiatives. In that capacity she was responsible for developing and executing the education, outreach, and technical assistance strategies directed at helping to strengthen housing policies at the state and local levels.
Prior to relocating to Washington, D.C., Ms. Ross was with the American Planning Association (APA) in Chicago, IL. She joined APA’s research unit in 2002 and later became manager of the Planning Advisory Service. As manager of the Planning Advisory Service, Ms. Ross oversaw a staff of six planners and support staff providing customized planning research to over 1,200 subscribing agencies. During her tenure at APA, Ms. Ross also served as the assistant editor for the inaugural edition of Planning and Urban Design Standards, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2006.
Ms. Ross holds a Masters of Regional Planning from Cornell University and a B.S. in community and regional planning from Iowa State University. Ms. Ross is a certified planner and in 2009 she was honored with the Design Achievement Award from the Iowa State University College of Design.
John McIlwain, Senior Resident Fellow/J. Ronald Terwilliger Chair for Housing
John K. McIlwain is the Senior Resident Fellow/J. Ronald Terwilliger Chair for Housing at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, D.C. An author, speaker and former lawyer, McIlwain brings more than 35 years of experience in the fields of housing, housing investment and the development of sustainable housing. McIlwain’s responsibilities include helping to develop ULI’s research efforts to seek and promote affordable housing solutions in the U.S. and other nations, including development and housing patterns designed to create sustainable future environments for urban areas.
Prior to joining the ULI staff, McIlwain founded and served as Senior Managing Director of the American Communities Fund for Fannie Mae in Washington. The American Communities Fund is a venture fund founded by Fannie Mae dedicated to investing in hard-to-finance affordable housing. In this capacity, he was responsible for structuring, underwriting and closing equity investments in more than $700 million of residential and neighborhood retail developments in lower-income communities around the country. Before taking that position, he was president and chief executive officer of the Fannie Mae Foundation.
Prior to joining Fannie Mae, McIlwain was the managing partner of the Washington law offices of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer and Murphy, where he represented a broad range of clients in the single-family and multifamily housing areas. McIlwain also served as executive assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He began his career in housing as Assistant Director for Finance and Administration, and Deputy Director of the Maine State Housing Authority.
He is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Center for Housing Policy and serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Preservation and Development Corporation, the Advisory Board of the Greenline Community Development Fund, and the Editorial Board of The TOD Line – The NY & CT Transit-Oriented Development Newsletter. McIlwain is a past president of the National Housing Conference, an umbrella organization in Washington for low-income and affordable housing issues. He is also a past president of the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association.
McIlwain received a law degree from New York University where he worked for the NYU Law Review and was a John Norton Pomeroy Scholar. He received a B.A., cum laude, from Princeton University.
Molly Simpson, Program Manager
Molly Simpson is Program Manager of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing. Ms. Simpson joined ULI in 2012 and is responsible for developing and implementing educational and research programs related to housing policy and practice including the Center’s publications, webinars, forums, and awards program.
Prior to joining ULI, Ms. Simpson was a graduate intern at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Office of Sustainable Housing Communities, where she supported the Sustainable Housing Initiative, focusing on promoting green, healthy, and energy-efficient affordable housing. She has also worked in sustainable and health-based community development as a consultant to federal clients including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ms. Simpson is currently pursuing a Masters in Sustainable Urban Planning from the George Washington University and holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies with concentrations in Political Studies and Economics from Bard College.