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Policies to Promote Urban Growth


January 31, 2019
About the event

DEDRICK ASANTE-MUHAMMAD, Chief of Equity and Inclusion, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
Panel Two: The Urban Context: History, Culture, and Demographic Change

Dedrick Asante-Muhammad is the Chief of Equity and Inclusion for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. Previously, Dedrick was the founder of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at Prosperity Now (formerly the Corporation for Enterprise Development) and Senior Fellow of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative.

Dedrick has also worked at the NAACP, as Sr. Director of the Economic Department, National Coordinator for Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and at the Institute for Policy Studies and United For A Fair Economy.


VICKI BEEN, Boxer Family Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
Panel Three: Housing Policy, Opportunity, and Growth: The Major Debates    

Vicki Been is the Boxer Family Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, an Affiliated Professor of Public Policy of the NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and Faculty Director at NYU Furman Center. She returned to NYU in February 2017, after serving for three years as Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development for the City of New York. She has done extensive research on New York City’s land use patterns, inclusionary zoning, historic preservation, the interplay of community benefit agreements with land use practices, and on a variety of affordable housing and land use policies, including gentrification, mortgage foreclosure, racial and economic integration, and the effects of supportive housing developments on their neighbors. She is the co-author of a leading land use casebook, Land Use Controls. Vicki is a 1983 graduate of New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar. She clerked for Judge Edward Weinfeld of the Southern District of New York and for Justice Harry Blackmun of the Supreme Court of the United States.


JOSEPH CAHOON, Professor, Director, Folsom Institute for Real Estate, Southern Methodist University
Working Session Two: Business and Attainable Housing

Joseph Cahoon joined the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business in January 2014 as the director of the Folsom Institute for Real Estate.  In his role with the Folsom Institute, Cahoon is responsible for leading the Institute's initiatives in academics, research and outreach to the real estate industry to enhance the institute's and students' relationships with alumni and other industry leaders nationally.  In addition to his role with the Folsom Institute, Joseph is an adjunct professor in the Cox School and teaches real estate finance courses for both MBAs and BBAs.

Previously, from 2009 to 2014, Cahoon was the managing director of the Real Estate Finance and Investment Center in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin.  Prior to joining UT Austin, Cahoon was with Gables Residential in Dallas, Texas, and was responsible for sourcing and underwriting multifamily and mixed-use acquisition and development opportunities in Dallas.  Before joining Gables in 2006, he was a partner with Champion Partners in Dallas where he focused on value-add office investments.  Prior to attending business school in 2003, Cahoon was a project manager with Century Development in Houston, Texas.


PETE CHILIAN, Managing Director, Market Manager, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Pete Chilian, Managing Director, is the Market Manager for the J.P. Morgan Private Bank in the Dallas region. In this role, Pete manages a team of about 100 bankers, investment specialists, lending advisors, trust officers and client service specialists who provide broad-based wealth management services to private clients and foundations in the Dallas metropolitan area, East Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Prior to his current role, Pete managed the investments business for the Dallas region of the Private Bank, overseeing a team of professionals specializing in providing tactical investment advice and managing multi-asset class portfolios. Pete joined the firm in New York as a Fixed Income Specialist where he traded bonds and advised clients on the positioning of their portfolios for two years before moving back to Texas in 2004. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Pete worked for Guaranty Bank (now BBVA Compass) in Dallas in the Capital Markets Group where he structured and managed the closing of large commercial real estate loan syndications. 

Pete holds an M.B.A. in Finance from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin and a B.B.A. in General Business from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. Pete is a member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas which runs the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament of the PGA Tour to raise funds for the benefit of the Momentous Institute. Pete also serves as a board member of United Way Foundation of Greater Dallas, as well as for the SMU Mustang Club supporting SMU athletics. Within J.P. Morgan, Pete has twice served as Co-Chair of the Good Works Employee Giving Campaign for the Greater Dallas market.  Pete resides in Dallas with his wife of 17 years, Brandi, and their two boys, Cook and Wyatt.


THE HONORABLE HENRY CISNEROS, Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Panel Four: Cities of the Future: A Call to Action

Mr. Cisneros’ community-building career began at the local level. After serving three terms as a City Councilmember, in 1981, Mr. Cisneros became the first Hispanic-American mayor of a major U.S. city, San Antonio, Texas. During his four terms as Mayor, he helped rebuild the city’s economic base and spurred the creation of jobs through massive infrastructure and downtown improvements.

In 1984, Mr. Cisneros was interviewed by the Democratic Presidential nominee as a possible candidate for Vice President of the United States and in 1986 was selected as the “Outstanding Mayor” in the nation by City and State Magazine. After completing four terms as Mayor, Mr. Cisneros formed Cisneros Asset Management Company, a fixed income management firm operating nationally and ranked at the time as the second fastest growing money manager in the nation.

In 1992, President Clinton appointed Mr. Cisneros to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet, Secretary Cisneros has been credited with initiating the revitalization of many of the nation’s public housing developments and with formulating policies which contributed to achieving the nation’s highest ever homeownership rate. In his role as the President’s chief representative to the nation’s cities, Mr. Cisneros personally worked in more than 200 U.S. cities in every one of the 50 states

After leaving HUD in 1997, Mr. Cisneros was president and chief operating officer of Univision Communications, the Spanish-language broadcaster which has become the fifth-most-watched television network in the nation. Mr. Cisneros currently serves on Univision’s Board of Directors. Mr. Cisneros has served as President of the National League of Cities, as Deputy Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and as Vice-Chairman of Habitat for Humanity International. Mr. Cisneros remains active in San Antonio’s leadership where he is former Chairman of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and BioMed SA. He is a former member of the advisory board of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Currently, Mr. Cisneros is a Principal of investment banking firm, Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., L.L.C., and Chairman of the Executive Committee. Mr. Cisneros is also the Founder and Chairman of the CityView companies, which is a partner in building more than 90 communities in 13 states, building more than 7,000 homes with a total value of over $5 billion. Project sites include Southern California, The San Francisco Bay Area, Houston, and Fort Worth. The company’s investments have generated more than $4 billion in urban investment.

Mr. Cisneros has also been author or editor of several books including: Interwoven Destinies: Cities and the Nation. His book project with former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, Opportunity and Progress: A Bipartisan Platform for National Housing Policy, was presented the “Common Purpose Award” for demonstrating the potential of bipartisan cooperation and Casa y Comunidad: Latino Home and Neighborhood Design was awarded the “Benjamin Franklin Silver Medal” in the category of best business book of 2006. In 2017 he co-authored Building Equitable Cities and co-authored a chapter in the Kerner Commission Report: 50th Anniversary.

Mr. Cisneros holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Texas A&M University. He earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, was a graduate assistant in urban economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holds a Doctorate in Public Administration from George Washington University, and has been awarded more than 20 honorary doctorates from leading universities. He served as an infantry officer in the United States Army. Mr. Cisneros is married to Mary Alice P. Cisneros, who from 2007 – 2011 served on San Antonio’s City Council and they have three children—Teresa, Mercedes, and John Paul—and four grandchildren.

CULLUM CLARK, Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, George W. Bush Institute
Panel One: Urban Growth in America 

J.H. Cullum Clark is Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative and an Adjunct Professor of Economics at SMU.  Within the Economic Growth Initiative, he leads the Bush Institute’s work on domestic economic policy and economic growth.  Before joining the Bush Institute and SMU, Clark worked in the investment industry for 25 years.  He served as an equity analyst and portfolio manager at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (1993-96), as a portfolio manager at Warburg Pincus Asset Management (1996-2000), as President and Chief Investment Officer of Cimarron Global Investors, a Dallas-based hedge fund firm (2000-02), and as President of Prothro Clark Company, a Dallas family investment office (2002-18).  Prior to entering the investment industry, he served for one year on the staff of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Clark fulfilled a lifelong goal by earning his Ph.D. in Economics at SMU in May 2017, and subsequently joined the faculty of SMU’s Department of Economics.  His research has focused on monetary policy, fiscal policy, financial markets, economic geography, urban economics, modern economic history, and economic growth.

Clark's volunteer leadership activities include serving on the boards of Uplift Education, the Eugene McDermott Foundation, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Foundation for the Arts, as well as on the investment committee of SMU.  He earned a B.A. in History from Yale University in 1989 and an A.M. in Political Science from Harvard University in 1993, in addition to his Ph.D. in 2017.  After graduating from Yale he lived for one year in Japan.  Clark and his wife Nita have three daughters: Lili, Annabel, and Charlotte.


RICK COLE, City Manager, Santa Monica, California
Panel Three: Housing Policy, Opportunity, and Growth: The Major Debates

Rick Cole has served as City Manager of Santa Monica since June 2015.  During his tenure, he has spearheaded work on the City Council’s five Strategic Goals: converting the Santa Monica Airport to parkland; forging a new model of mobility; taking regional leadership on homelessness; fostering an inclusive and diverse community; and promoting wellbeing so that residents Learn & Thrive.

Rick has been recognized as one of “America's Public Officials of the Year” by Governing Magazine and one of the "Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers" by Government Technology Magazine. He has won awards for municipal management excellence from the American Society of Public Administrators and the Municipal Management Association of Southern California, as well as for urban planning leadership from the Congress for the New Urbanism.

Prior to coming to Santa Monica, Rick served as Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation for the City of Los Angeles where he was responsible for a budget of $8.6 billion and oversaw five city departments. Rick also spent 15 years as City Manager of two Southern California cities, Ventura and Azusa.

As Santa Monica’s City Manager, Mr. Cole is responsible for leading one of California’s most successful and progressive full-service cities.  With a AAA bond rating from all three major public credit rating agencies and an annual budget of more than $700 million, Santa Monica’s award-winning services and programs are delivered by a staff of nearly 2300.

Rick received a degree in American Studies from Occidental College in 1978 and earned a Master's Degree in Journalism from Columbia University in 1979.


WENDELL COX, Principal, Demographia; Senior Fellow, Center for Opportunity Urbanism
Panel Three: Housing Policy, Opportunity, and Growth: The Major Debates

Wendell Cox is Principal at Demographia, senior fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism and urban policy consultant, specializing in demographics, transportation and housing. He was a three term board member of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission and served on the Amtrak Reform Council. Wendell co-authors the just-published annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey (15 editions) and produces Demographia World Urban Areas annually (14 editions), which estimates density for 1,000+ urban areas with 500,000+ residents. He is also author of the COU Standard of Living Index. He served as a visiting professor at a Paris University (CNAM).


STEVEN C. CURRALL, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Southern Methodist University

Steven C. Currall is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at SMU.  As SMU’S chief academic officer, he oversees all aspects of academic life at SMU.  Currall is a psychological scientist and holds faculty appointments in three schools – the Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and the Lyle School of Engineering.

Prior to joining SMU, he spent nearly half of his career as a professor at Rice University, where he held an endowed professorship.  More recently, Currall served as a Dean at the University of California, Davis. He was Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the University of California Global Health Institute. He has been a grantee on over $21 million in research funding, most of which came from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Provost Currall received his Ph.D. from Cornell University, a Master of Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University.


KLAUS DESMET, Altshuler Interdisciplinary Professor, Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University
Panel Two: The Urban Context: History, Culture, and Demographic Change

Klaus Desmet is the Altshuler Centennial Interdisciplinary Professor of Cities, Regions and Globalization at Southern Methodist University. He holds an MSc in business and engineering from the Université catholique de Louvain and a PhD in economics from Stanford University. Prior to coming to SMU, he was a professor at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, and held visiting positions at Stanford University and the University of Illinois. His research focuses on urban economics, international trade, economic growth, and political economy. In 2010 he was awarded the August Lösch Prize for outstanding contributions in the field of regional science.


PHILLIP KASH, Partner, HR&A Advisors
Panel Three: Housing Policy, Opportunity, and Growth: The Major Debates             

Phillip Kash is a partner with HR&A Advisors and leads the firm’s housing affordability practice. In this role he works in cities across the country to evaluate housing market conditions, design and implement housing policy and advise on housing development projects.

Most notably, Phillip is working with the National Multifamily Housing Counsel on a local affordable housing toolkit to support the development of more effective local housing policies and an equitable housing plan for the City of Atlanta. Outside of the housing practice, Phillip works extensively on climate adaptation and disaster recovery in coastal communities.

JOEL KOTKIN, Executive Director, Center for Opportunity Urbanism 
Panel Four: Cities of the Future: A Call to Action

Joel Kotkin is executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism and a Presidential Fellow in Urban Features at Chapman University in Orange, California. He is the author of nine books, including The Human City: Urbanism for the rest of Us (Agate: 2017), and writes regularly for the Southern California News Group, the City Journal and the Daily Beast. He is one of the authors of the current study and is finishing a new book for St. Martin’s on America’s shift towards a modern form of feudalism.


BEN LEAL, Chief Executive Officer, Jubilee Park and Community Center
Working Session One: Non-profits and Neighborhood Revitalization 

Ben Leal has served as CEO of Jubilee Park for seven years, combining his experience in legislative affairs, policy, programs, operations, and development.  He has been named one of Dallas’ 40 Under 40, a ‘Mover and Shaker’ by Dallas Innovation Alliance, and a finalist for Non-Profit CEO of the Year.  Ben serves on the City of Dallas Citizen Bond Committee, the Attendance and Boundaries Committee for Dallas ISD, the Citizen Budget Review Committee, as an advisor for Leadership Dallas, and on nonprofit boards across North Texas.  


CHEQUAN LEWIS, Senior Director, Pizza Hut Express; 2018 Presidential Leadership Scholar, George W. Bush Institute
Panel Two: The Urban Context: History, Culture, and Demographic Change

Chequan Lewis is a multidisciplinary professional who leverages experience as a lawyer and business leader to solve complex problems in both the private and public sectors. As the Senior Director of Pizza Hut Express he manages Pizza Hut's domestic non-traditional business and leads the team responsible for the license of ~1,500 locations in airports, stadiums, military bases, Target stores, movie theaters, transportation centers, colleges/universities, and other venues. In his prior role as senior counsel at Pizza Hut, he managed the brand’s strategic efforts in domestic franchising transactions and administration and brand enforcement.

During his time at Harvard Law School, he spent a traveling term working with the Office of Mayor Mike Rawlings and the City of Dallas’s Office of Economic Development, where he analyzed economic growth and revitalization efforts and opportunities in southern Dallas. As a 2018 Presidential Leadership Scholar, Chequan focused on the revitalization and relaunching of the South Dallas Fair Park Opportunity Fund, an entity at the City of Dallas (of which he was the mayor-appointed chairman) that invests public funds in the form of targeted grants and low‐interest loans for small businesses and non‐profits serving a high‐need, high‐potential area of the city.

Chequan, a resident of Oak Cliff, has served or serves on numerous other boards or commissions focusing on educational, cultural, or urban issues including the City of Dallas Urban Design Subcommittee and the Dallas Zoo Board of Directors. Chequan is also an occasional contributor to the Dallas Morning News focusing sociopolitical issues in Dallas.

KARLA LOPEZ DEL RIO, Principal, Connextions Consulting 
Panel One: Urban Growth in America 

Karla Lopez del Rio is a community development executive committed to supporting low-and moderate- income families build wealth and thriving communities. Her work fosters public-private-grassroots partnerships resulting in innovative community-led projects, afffordable housing solutions, homeownership opportunities, and small business development across Southern California. Karla contributes to the field her insight as a first-generation immigrant, a background in real estate, experience in social enterprise management, as well as a Bachelor’s in Development from the University of California, Berkeley. She has received awards from UC Berkeley’s Blum Center for Developing Economies and NeighborWorks America in the categories of poverty alleviation and community building.


JOHN H. (JACK) MATTHEWS, Chief Executive Officer, Matthews Southwest
Working Session Two: Business and Attainable Housing

Jack Matthews was a founding partner of Matthews Southwest in 1988.  Prior to this, Jack worked for Matthews Group Ltd., a family-owned construction and development business, which produced up to $500 million a year in revenues.  MSW has built, or is in the process of developing, in excess of 8 million square feet of office, residential and mixed use developments throughout North America.  Currently their largest project is “The Bow” in Calgary which will be the headquarters for EnCana Corporation, North America’s largest independent oil and gas company.  This 2.0m sqft, $1.4 billion dollar high density complex is the largest single tenant office project in North America.  MSW was the developer for the Omni Dallas Convention Center Headquarters Hotel which opened on 11/11/11.  The 1,001-room property works in concert with the Dallas Convention Center to offer the latest in state-of-the-art meeting and break-out facilities.  Future plans include additional restaurant, retail and entertainment venues adjacent to the Hotel.

Located just south of the Dallas Convention Center, is MSW’s South Side development.  This 45 acre transit-oriented development is anchored by South Side on Lamar, a 1.2 million sq ft residential/mixed use development, and the City of Dallas Police Headquarters. Other South Side projects include the Beat Lofts, a ten story, 75 unit condominium completed in 2008, and the NYLO Dallas South Side, a boutique hotel.

MSW is also the developer of, The Tribute, a 1500 acre mixed-use, master-planned resort on Lake Lewisville in The Colony.  The development consists of two golf courses, resort amenities, and single family houses.  The next phases of The Tribute will include retail, entertainment, beach club, and lake access as well as a hotel and golf villas.    

ALI MODARRES, Director of Urban Studies, University of Washington at Tacoma
Panel Two: The Urban Context: History, Culture, and Demographic Change

Ali Modarres is the Director of Urban Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma. He has published in the areas of social geography, immigration, urban development, planning, and policy. Dr. Modarres has focused a significant portion of his public scholarship on economic development through an equity lens that includes global labor migration within larger political and economic discourses. He serves on a number of governing and advisory boards of nonprofits, policy centers, and academic associations, including Urban Affairs Association. Throughout his academic career, he has built bridges between university and community, promoting and supporting the mission of urban serving universities.


CHRISTIE MYERS, Managing Director, Opportunity Dallas
Working Session Three: Building Dynamic, Upwardly-Mobile Communities

After coming to Dallas, from Flint, Michigan in 2010, Christie Myers has spent the duration of her career focused on collective impact and community-building, providing a voice for communities that have been neglected for decades. She has worked across several sectors, developing relationships with state and local leaders, businesses, civic organizations and neighborhood advocates, realigning their focuses to create synergy in both their missions and visions.

Most recently Christie served as the General Manager for the Mayor’s Neighbor Up Dallas Organization, focused on growth and development in the Education Corridor. Additionally, she is the co-founder and Director for the Mayor’s Rising Star Council (MRSC), a leadership academy focused on bridging the gap between north and south Dallas, through participation of five Dallas and Richardson ISD High Schools.

Through her work at both Neighbor Up and Dallas ISD, Christie has been focused on moving the needle in areas including transportation, education, infrastructure and development. Christie continues to be committed to serving alongside neighborhood leaders and has built life-long relationships in communities because of her willingness to be genuine and build trust through empowerment. She considers it an honor to continue the work of Opportunity Dallas as the entire city focuses on both the development and implementation of a comprehensive housing policy.


MAGGIE PARKER, Director, The Real Estate Council (TREC) Community Fund
Working Session Three: Building Dynamic, Upwardly-Mobile Communities

Maggie Parker is a Dallas-native and Director of TREC Community Fund, a community development financial institution (CDFI) providing access to capital and technical assistance for real estate projects serving low-to-moderate income communities. She is committed to real estate development being a tool for inclusive, economic growth that builds generational wealth in distressed neighborhoods. She received her dual-masters degree in City & Regional Planning and Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


STEVE PONTELL, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Community Renaissance
Working Session One: Non-profits and Neighborhood Revitalization

Steve PonTell is the President and Chief Executive Officer of National Community Renaissance (National CORE), one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable and senior housing. National CORE owns, operates, and/or manages nearly 9,000 units serving more than 27,000 residents in Arkansas, California, Florida, and Texas. Mr. PonTell is a respected national voice on the affordability and availability of housing, and the need for collaborative solutions to the housing crisis. 

Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in City and Regional Planning and an Executive MBA from Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Business.

JAY READEY, President and Chief Executive Officer, The MetroAlliance; 2015 Presidential Leadership Scholar, George W. Bush Institute
Working Session One: Non-profits and Neighborhood Revitalization

Jay Readey is Managing Director at RW Ventures, LLC for the South Suburban (Chicago) Economic Growth Initiative. Jay has spent his career as a lawyer and social entrepreneur focused on issues of racial and socioeconomic equity, with experience in nonprofit startups, real estate and community economic development. Jay also practices law with Ginsberg Jacobs LLC, focusing on complex community development finance. He was a 2012 Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and a member of the inaugural 2015 class of Presidential Leadership Scholars through the Bush and Clinton Presidential Libraries. Jay received a BA, JD and MBA from Yale University.


PARIS RUTHERFORD, Principal, Catalyst Urban Development
Working Session Two: Business and Attainable Housing

Paris Rutherford is Principal of Catalyst Urban Development, a Dallas-based real estate company that focuses on the planning, finance and development of transit-oriented, urban housing and mixed-use places. Catalyst has arranged over $2.3 Billion in transactions since 2009, specializes in non-traditional finance and is currently developing over $400 Million in phased projects that include notable public/private partnerships focused on urban redevelopment and suburban reinvention. Catalyst’s mission is the creation of Great Places defined through their economic, placemaking and social success. The recipient of over 95 national, regional and local awards, Paris’ work has been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Urban Land Magazine; he has spoken at the National Press Club, ULI, ICSC, and been featured on CNBC’s Closing Bell and PBS’s News Hour.  He is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Harvard University.


JEAN-CLAUDE SAADA, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cambridge Holdings, Inc.

Jean-Claude brings 32 years of leadership to Cambridge Holdings, Inc. He works with community leaders and healthcare executives to champion development of communities and facilities that support healthy, mindful living, made easy. His honors and appointments related to health, education and the arts have included: representing Cambridge in the World Economic forum; Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Alcuin School; Board of Trustees of the Dallas Museum of Art; Founder and Chairman of the Saada Foundation, which supports advancements in healthcare and education; and Founder and Chairman of the Cambridge Mindful Living Foundation, which supports personal, community and global health initiatives; Advisory Board, the Thunderbird School of Global Management and Boards of Directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas and MediSend International. Jean-Claude holds Master of Business Administration, Master of Science (engineering) and Bachelor of Science (engineering) degrees, all from Case Western Reserve University.


PETE SAUNDERS, Urban Planning Consultant, PDS Consulting
Panel One: Urban Growth in America

Pete is a writer and researcher whose work focuses on urbanism and public policy. Peter has been the editor/publisher of the Corner Side Yard, an urbanist blog, since 2012. Pete is also an urban affairs contributor to Forbes Magazine’s online platform. Pete’s writings have been published widely in traditional and internet media outlets, including the feature article in the December 2018 issue of Planning Magazine.

Pete has more than twenty years’ experience in planning, economic development, and community development, with stops in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. He lives in Chicago.  


PETER SCHER, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Region, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Panel Four: Cities of the Future: A Call to Action

Peter L. Scher is Head of Corporate Responsibility and Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Region for JPMorgan Chase & Co. He also serves as a member of the firm’s Operating Committee. Scher oversees the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the United States and has led the development of a number of the firm’s flagship programs, including the $150 million investment into Detroit’s revitalization for which Fortune Magazine ranked JPMorgan Chase #1 on its 2017 “Change the World” list. Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase in 2008, Scher was the Managing Partner of the Washington D.C. office of Mayer Brown LLP. He spent nearly a decade in public service and as U.S. Special Trade Ambassador, Scher served as one of the lead U.S. negotiators on China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.


ANNE SNYDER, Director, The Character Initiative, The Philanthropy Roundtable
Working Session Three: Building Dynamic, Upwardly-Mobile Communities

Anne Snyder is a writer studying those people and communities that are consciously grappling with both the challenges and opportunities presented by the current demographic unfurling. She is currently a fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, and the Director of The Philanthropy Roundtable’s Character Initiative, a program that seeks to help donors and foundations across the country develop a framework for advancing character formation through their giving — across social class, ethnic group and philosophical creed. In March of 2019, she will publish a book entitled, “The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Renewing Our Social and Moral Landscape."

Prior to moving to Houston, Texas, Anne worked at The New York Times, the Ethics and Public Policy Center and World Affairs Journal. Anne holds a B.A. in Philosophy and International Relations from Wheaton College (IL) and a Master’s degree in Journalism from Georgetown University.


PAUL SWEEN, Managing Partner, Dominium
Working Session Two: Business and Attainable Housing

Paul joined Dominium in 1989 and currently is the Managing Partner.  Under his leadership Dominium has grown to more than 34,000 units in 25 states.  Dominium operates almost exclusively in affordable housing.  It is the fourth largest provider of affordable housing in the United States. In 2018 it added over three quarters of a billion dollars of affordable housing assets.  Prior to his employment with Dominium, Mr. Sween worked with Ernst & Young.

Mr. Sween is Chairman of the Dominium Board and the Dominium Foundation.  He is a member of the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Board and the Council of Affordable Housing Owners. He also serves as a tutor with CommonBond Study Buddies, a program that engages volunteers with youth as homework mentors. Previously, Mr. Sween served as Board Chair of the Minnesota Housing Partnership, an affordable housing advocacy group.


MARSHALL TOPLANSKY, Clinical Assistant Professor of Management Science, Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University
Panel Three: Housing Policy, Opportunity, and Growth: The Major Debates            

Marshall Toplansky, serves as a research fellow at the C. Larry Hoag Center for Real Estate and at the Center for Demographics and Policy.  He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management Science at the Argyros School of Business and Economics. Most recently, Marshall co-authored (along with Joel Kotkin) The OC Focus, a multi-year research publication that has identified strategic directions for the growth of Orange County.

Marshall holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an undergraduate degree from SUNY Albany in Political Science/Chinese Studies. He is Senior Advisor at The Cicero Institute, based in Salt Lake City, Utah and serves on the board of directors of Double Check, LLC, Harvard Business School Association of Orange County and global NGO Church World Service.

Marshall began his career in advertising at Ogilvy & Mather. He rose through the ranks over an eight-year period and left to serve as VP, Marketing for US Robotics. Marshall also held top roles such as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Open Environment, VP of Marketing Insight and Strategy at Gateway, and CEO at Core Strategies, Inc.  In 2011 he was elected to the Computing Industry Hall of Fame for his role in creating the A+ Certification program, the world’s largest computer service professional certification program.