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Josh Ellis

Vice President, Metropolitan Planning Council

Headshot for Josh Ellis

Josh Ellis has been with the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) since 2005. He directs many of MPC’s urban and regional planning initiatives, most notably through Great Rivers Chicago, Transform Illinois, Stormwater Management, and Water Supply Management. Through on-the-ground initiatives like robust community planning for investments throughout Chicago's 150+ miles of riverfront, technical assistance to municipalities throughout northeastern Illinois, and facilitation of diverse stakeholder groups—such as the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative—he leads MPC's multiple strategies to balance community aspirations, ecosystem needs, economic growth, and sound public policy. He is a frequent public speaker and a source for media, and has also led many of MPC's research projects on a range of urban and regional challenges, including Immeasurable Loss: Modernizing Lake Michigan Water Use, Bus Rapid Transit: Chicago's New Route to Opportunity, and Before the Wells Run Dry. He is an alumnus of MPC's research assistant program, and continues to manage fellowship opportunities at MPC. Ellis is a member of the Midwest Leadership Council of the National Parks Conservation Association, and a board member at PODER, which serves adult Latino immigrants with a mission to provide the necessary academic tools to promote human dignity, increase employment potential, and facilitate participation in the larger community. A New Hampshire native, Ellis resides in Chicago’s South Loop where he is a board member of the Greater South Loop Association. He managed a small school in Japan before his graduate studies in public policy and the Middle East at the University of Chicago. His honors thesis, Environmental Security and Sustainable Rural Development: Conflict and Cooperation in Central Eurasia, compared the political discourse of marsh restoration in southeastern Iraq with the environmental history of the region.