Meet Our Founder and Principal

Lynn M. Ross, AICP is the founder and principal of Spirit for Change Consulting, LLC, a boutique consulting firm dedicated to creative solutions for people and places working to serve the common good. 

Leading Spirit for Change, Lynn works nationally and across sectors with organizations on a mission to create and sustain equitable policies, practices and places. While regions, cities and neighborhoods are rich with possibility, they are also the places where the challenges of income inequality, economic and racial segregation, and lack of affordability persist. The practice of Spirit for Change is rooted in a deep belief in equity, diversity and inclusion, evidence-based decision making, and asset-based community development. 

Dedicated to serving mission-driven organizations, Lynn has over 17 years of multi-sector experience including past leadership roles at the Knight Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Urban Land Institute, National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy and the American Planning Association. Her core expertise is in evidence-based policy making, housing affordability, urban planning, community development, and organizational change. In addition to subject matter expertise, Lynn has also developed and demonstrated skill in cultivating talent; building teams in complex organizations; transforming programs for greater impact; expanding funding sources and partnerships; and improving operational efficiency. 

In addition to her domestic policy experience, Lynn has provided strategic advice to international housing and planning leaders representing Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom. In 2017, she became a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar at Session 574, The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play.

A frequent speaker and award-winning author, Lynn holds a Masters of Regional Planning from Cornell University and a B.S. in community and regional planning from Iowa State University. Lynn serves as co-chair of the national working group developing the American Planning Association’s Planning for Equity Policy Guide. She also serves on the Advisory Committee for National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities and leads fundraising for the Spaces and Places Organizing Committee. Lynn is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, American Planning Association, Education Leaders of Color, and the Urban Land Institute. Lynn was honored with the 2009 Design Achievement Award from the Iowa State University College of Design and the 2016 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the Iowa State University Alumni Association. 


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