Chief Executive Officer – Americas


Position: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Americas

Location: Washington, D.C.

Reporting Relationship: Patrick Phillips, Global Chief Executive Officer



The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is recognized as one of the world’s most respected and widely quoted authorities on urban planning, growth, and development. Supported by its members, ULI is an independent global nonprofit representing the entire spectrum of real estate development and land use disciplines. The mission of ULI is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.

ULI’s predecessor, “The National Real Estate Foundation for Practical Research and Education”, was founded in 1936 as an organization of business leaders with knowledge, experience, philosophy about the problems of urban growth and the decay of the American city that plagued the nation. In 1939, the organization changed its name to “Urban Land Institute.”  Today, ULI has 40,000 members worldwide with headquarters in Washington, DC, and additional major offices in Hong Kong, London, Frankfurt, and a number of American cities. In the Americas, ULI is organized into 57 location-based district councils and 49 product councils focused on 23 areas of member interests.

Members represent a wide variety professionals from throughout the industry, including real estate developers, builders, owners, investors, architects, public officials, planners, real estate brokers, appraisers, attorneys, engineers, financiers, and academics. For these diverse constituents, ULI provides a variety of multi-disciplinary educational programming, publications, forums and meetings, applied research, and advisory services.

ULI’s culture is focused on providing exceptional benefit to the member through leveraging its collective intellectual and experiential capital. The strength and value of the organization is deeply tied to connections made between members at all levels and ULI delivers its mission by inspiring, informing, and mobilizing its membership to improve the practices and policies that drive effective land use and urban development.

Allied with and supporting ULI  is the ULI Foundation, which manages and promotes a variety of charitable giving programs from ULI members and others to support ULI programs and initiatives. The ULI Foundation has its own governance structure with a strict set of policies and procedures to foster transparency and accountability.

As ULI marks its 80th anniversary, the organization presses on to provide the highest standards of excellence in real estate development and land use. Through collaboration of leaders across industries and proliferation of development education, ULI continues to explore the areas of urbanization, conservation, regeneration, land use, capital formation, and sustainable development with a relentless pursuit of fostering meaningful dialogue and progress.


The CEO – Americas will be based in Washington, D.C. and have responsibility for the delivery of ULI’s mission in the Americas region, one of three operating regions for ULI.  As one of three regional executives, the CEO – Americas will develop market and member responsive programs, P&L, business plans, staffing models and a program of work that delivers member value and the ULI mission, using globally distributed resources to execute and implement results. The CEO – Americas will report to the Global CEO with a “dotted line” reporting to the Chairman of the Americas, the members of the Americas Executive Committee, and the other members of ULI’s executive management team including working collaboratively with ULI’s other regions.

The Americas region constitutes the United States, Canada, and Mexico—where ULI currently has active programs and local networks—as well as latent or potential future opportunities or initiatives in Central and South America. ULI’s global expansion is guided by the organization’s Board of Directors, in consultation with regional Executive Committees and the staff executive team. About 85 percent of ULI’s members are currently based in the Americas region. The creation of the position of CEO – Americas in 2016 was part of an initiative to foster the global growth and impact of the organization.

Over the past several years, ULI’s leaders have focused on delivering and measuring the organization’s impact on the quality and performance of our communities, the way our members conduct their professional and civic activities, and the responsible use of land in the pursuit of these objectives. The CEO – Americas will be expected to continue this emphasis, to foster a culture that establishes clear goals, continually measures impact, and communicates the results effectively to our own members and external audiences.

The CEO – Americas will also:

  • Represent ULI as the leading authority on land use and real estate in the region
  • Provide executive leadership and strategic direction in the areas of regional programs and services, member networks (including ULI’s product councils and district councils), industry outreach, and strategic partnerships
  • Working with the Americas Executive Committee, establish priorities and goals, strategies and tactics, and policies for the Americas, in accordance with ULI’s worldwide mission, vision, and strategic plan
  • Oversee staff whose role is to curate and connect member’s thinking. Foster a culture that establishes clear goals, continually measures impact, and communicates the results effectively to ULI’s members and external audiences
  • Ensure the business success of the Americas region, including the delivery of operating results per ULI’s annual business plan and budget

Other specific responsibilities & roles will be:

  • Internal Leadership: Provide clear direction and decisive leadership to the staff team; recruit, motivate, develop, leverage, and retain high-quality staff
  • Member of ULI Global Leadership Team: Participate as a member of the ULI executive management team and work to integrate the Americas as part of a global organization. Effectively represent ULI America’s interests in global ULI decision‐making and resource allocation processes. Serve as a resource and share best practices with peers in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions
  • Americas Executive Committee Liaison: Serve as the primary staff liaison to the Chairman of the Americas and the Americas Executive Committee, and all associated working groups or committees
  • Governance: Work with Americas Executive Committee or its designees to oversee the regional governance processes, including the cultivation and nomination of trustees and other leadership positions
  • Strategic Budgeting: Provide overall guidance to the development of the annual budget and business plan for the Americas; work with the Americas Executive Committee to lead regional strategic planning activities at the programmatic level. Working with the shared global services departments, meet or exceed the budgeted annual operating results
  • Ownership of the Regional P&L: Working closely with the regional and global staff, along with the Americas Executive Committee, maintain a focus on the P&L for the region
  • Internal and External Relationships: Build and maintain relationships with a broad range of member groups, global ULI staff, and corporate partners
  • Sponsorship & Development: Working with the sponsorship and ULI Foundation team, explore opportunities to create innovative strategic business relationships with key industry firms and related industry organizations
  • External Spokesperson: Advance the profile and influence of ULI with key opinion‐formers, including the media and public officials, across the Americas; represent ULI to major decision makers within the real estate sector; act as an external spokesperson and representative for the membership to a wide range of key constituents


  • Establish strong working relationships with the Americas Chairman, Americas Executive Committee and other key ULI Americas constituencies, including Trustees, District Council and Product Council leadership, and executive team colleagues
  • Work with global team and Americas Chairman to effectively execute on the business and ultimately the strategic plan for the Americas region
  • Deliver FY18 operating results which includes repositioning of culture in ULI


  • Minimum 15 years of experience, with a minimum of 5-10 years in a related top level executive leadership role with significant budgetary responsibility.
  • Experience successfully executing a strategic plan within a large and complex and organizational structure. Must have experience working across multiple networks and stakeholder groups and have a proven ability to build strong relationships with member leaders, senior executives, colleagues, vendors and partner organizations.
  • Experience with strategic planning and budgeting processes, and successful delivery of bottom-line results.
  • Demonstrated competency across a broad range of managerial functions appropriate to a non-profit (501c3) organization of comparable size, including financial management, fundraising, planning, program delivery, marketing, and staff/member relations leadership.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience managing groups of executives, senior professionals and experts to generate high quality results in a “player coach” fashion.
  • Proven ability to inspire, recruit, train, motivate and manage staff in high-performing environment. Demonstrated capability to work effectively within a globally distributed organization and across internal departments.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with a willingness to share information and the ability to communicate plans and outcomes at all levels of the organization.
  • Persuasive and highly polished executive presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Advanced analytical skills, problem solving (issue identification and prioritization) skills, communication and presentation skills are essential for this role, plus the ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions based on accurate and timely analysis.
  • Advanced project-management, division-management and client-management skills, with the ability to develop and execute short and long terms plans including the establishment of goals and outcome measures. Dependability, with a strong sense of urgency and results-orientation, is essential.
  • Knowledge of ULI’s membership, program of work and content, Product Council and District/National Council programs would be preferred.
  • Ability to travel approximately 50% of the time; and work effectively and productively in a contemporary, collaborative open-plan workspace
  • Ability to be based in Washington, DC; a commuting arrangement will not be acceptable


Bachelor’s degree and advanced degree in real estate, urban planning or business/public administration or related field required.


To apply, please submit your letter of interest and résumé to:

Alison Harrigan
Senior Associate, Real Estate
200 Park Avenue, Floor 33
New York, NY 10166
Direct: (212) 984-9486
Cell: (650) 279-5641