Terwilliger Center Team

Maya Brennan, Vice President, Housing

Maya BrennanMaya Brennan is Vice President, Housing, of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing. Ms. Brennan joined ULI in 2014 and leads the center’s research and evaluation projects and coordinates a diverse set of activities related to housing policy and practice.

Ms. Brennan joined ULI from the National Housing Conference’s Center for Housing Policy, where for seven years she wrote and spoke extensively about affordable housing issues, including how developers and policymakers can use housing to improve outcomes in education, health, aging, and economic self-sufficiency. Maya has authored or co-authored numerous publications, including Veterans Permanent Supportive Housing: Policy and Practice; Comparing the Costs of New Construction and Acquisition-Rehab in Affordable Multifamily Rental Housing; The Impacts of Affordable Housing on Education; and Strengthening Economic Self-Sufficiency Programs: How Housing Authorities Can Use Behavioral and Cognitive Science to Improve Programs.

Ms. Brennan holds a master’s of science in urban policy analysis and management from the Milano Graduate School at the New School in New York. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

John McIlwain, Senior Resident Fellow/J. Ronald Terwilliger Chair for Housing

John McIlwain, Senior Resident Fellow, ULI/ J. Ronald Terwilliger Center 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.

Michelle McDonough Winters, Senior Visiting Fellow for Housing

Michelle Winters, Senior Visiting Fellow for Housing

Michelle McDonough Winters is Senior Visiting Fellow for Housing at the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing. In this role, Ms. Winters works with the Terwilliger Center on key research, publications and convenings related to rental housing development and preservation; housing affordability and finance; and the intersection of housing and health. Ms. Winters brings almost 20 years of experience working in the housing and community development field on issues ranging from housing finance and policy to nonprofit capacity building. She is currently president of Winters Community Strategies, a consulting practice focusing on the intersection of affordable housing and sustainable communities.

Ms. Winters most recently led the sustainability and green affordable housing efforts of NeighborWorks America, where she developed the first organization-level green designation program for housing and community development nonprofits. She previously served as program director for affordable housing preservation at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and spent nine years at Fannie Mae and the Fannie Mae Foundation working on affordable lending policy, housing market analysis and community planning strategies. Earlier in her career she conducted housing research at the MIT Center for Real Estate, the Urban Institute and the Virginia Center for Housing Research.

Ms. Winters spent four years serving on the Housing Commission in Arlington, Virginia, from 2007-2010. She was chair of the Bricks and Mortar committee and served as chairman of the commission in 2008. Ms. Winters has a Master in City Planning from MIT where she specialized in Housing, Community and Economic Development, and she earned her BA in Urban Affairs from Virginia Tech.

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