Executive Director, ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing


The ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing engages in a multifaceted program of work that includes research, publications, convening’s, awards, and technical assistance. Our mission is to facilitate creating and sustaining a full spectrum of housing opportunities—including affordable and workforce housing—in communities across the country.

Established in 2007 with a gift from longtime ULI member and former ULI chairman J. Ronald Terwilliger, the Center’s initial mission was to expand workforce housing opportunities for families earning 60 to 120 percent of the area median income. The Center expanded its mission in 2011 to include a broader range of housing issues—including market-rate housing—while retaining an emphasis on expanding housing affordability to a full spectrum of buyers and renters.

This expanded focus allows the Center to integrate ULI’s many 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, a critical aspect of ULI’s core mission of the “responsible use of land.”


ULI seeks an entrepreneurial leader with significant experience and a national profile in the housing and community development industry to lead the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing. The Executive Director of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing reports to the Chief Content Officer and will be an exempt position.  He/she is responsible, with the advice of the Center’s 18-member National Advisory Board, for the overall strategic direction of the Center and the implementation of the Center’s program of work.

The Executive Director, along with the Chairman of the National Advisory Board, serves as the leading spokesperson for the Center and its work.   He/she is responsible for cultivating effective working relationships with other parts of ULI, including the broader Content team, Strategic Communications, Convenings and the ULI District Councils and Product Councils, and will take the lead on building and maintaining relationships between ULI and private and public sector leaders and the organizations that serve them.


While the majority of efforts and projects will relate to housing, the Executive Director will also engage on other topic areas within the Content Team such as resilience, leadership, infrastructure, capital markets, and public policy.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Establishes the goals and program of work for the Center annually, including its budget, working with the National Advisory Board and ULI’s Executive Leadership Team.
  • Maintains a strong working relationship with Chair and members of the National Advisory Board.
  • Engages with ULI District Councils and Product Councils to support knowledge sharing.
  • Directs communication/dissemination efforts to accomplish ULI’s housing goals in close coordination with the Strategic Communications team and other partners.
  • Establishes the brand and marketing plan for the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing and markets its mission and programs.
  • Directs the annual ULI Housing Awards program, recruiting applicants, and designing and implementing the program.
  • Designs and implements the Center’s research, education and outreach programs drawing on the resources of the Center, ULI members and other parts of ULI.
  • Organizes and convenes the Center’s Advisory Board at least twice a year, and maintains open and supportive communication with members of the Advisory Board at all times.
  • Works with the National Advisory Board, ULI’s Development Team, and others to secure additional funding to support the Center’s work.
  • Works with all areas of ULI to ensure that the programs of the Terwilliger Center are integrated with other programs at ULI and that information about the Center’s mission, programs and products is widely and effectively disseminated in all parts of the organization that relate to the Center’s mission.


The Executive Director will have extensive knowledge, experience and expertise in a broad range of topics related to housing development and finance, housing policy and administration, planning and community development.  He/she must have excellent communication skills, both in written and oral formats. He/she should have first-hand knowledge of ULI and experience working with high-level private and public officials and the real estate community.  He/she will have shown demonstrated leadership with an established reputation and high visibility in the housing sector.

The ideal candidate leverages deep personal and business relationships into significant business success, and motivates others to similarly build relationships. In addition, the Executive Director should have experience in identifying sources of program funding and participating in the development process.


  • Advanced degree (Master’s or Ph.D.) in urban planning, real estate or a related field preferred.
  • Minimum of ten years of increasingly responsible experience; experience in a non-profit is helpful, but not essential.
  • An exceptional, dynamic and energetic leader who possesses the vision, ambition and energy to move the Center forward while being a catalyst for new ideas, new concepts and new partnerships.
  • Superior relationship building skills with a sophisticated understanding of what relationships are important to ULI and the Center and its stakeholders and how to leverage them into enduring competitive advantage.
  • Leads strong collaboration among the various players that generates superior team results.
  • Creative thinker with a strong reputation for developing unique approaches to challenging problems and persuading others to support them.
  • Effective coach and manager of staff that cultivates high performance teamwork through addressing conflicts openly and improving the team’s overall skill set.
  • Superior communication skills along with the ability to effectively serve as an advocate for advancing the reputation and programs of the Center with diverse customers.
  • Strategic thinker with an approach that incorporates sound judgment, political savvy, and excellent business skills in meeting the various challenges that will occur in this role.
  • Outstanding organizational, project management and problem-solving skills with an emphasis on managing shifting priorities and meeting frequent deadlines.
  • Willingness and ability to travel.
  • Experience with writing for the web and using social media.
  • Sense of humor and creative spirit.


To apply, please submit your letter of interest and résumé to Erica Thomas, SPHR, Sr. Consultant, Expand HR Consulting, ethomas@expandhr.com with “Executive Director, ULI Terwilliger Center” in the subject line. EOE/m/f/d/v