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.
As the Senior Resident Fellow for Housing, McIlwain’s responsibilities include leading 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. McIlwain is also the Chairman of the Center for Housing Policy and a past president of its affiliate 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. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Preservation and Development Corporation, the Advisory Board of the Capmark Community Development Fund, as well as servings on the International Housing Coalition Board of Directors.
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. He also structured, negotiated and closed more than $100 million in historic tax credit and inner-city equity investments funds with Lend Lease, AEW Capital Management, and the Community Development Trust. 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 bachelor of arts degree, cum laude, from Princeton University.