Meet the experts

Smart Growth America’s technical assistance providers are experts in field, with thorough understanding of development issues as well as on-the-ground experience implementing policies and projects. A more thorough overview of each instructor’s experience is below.

Geoffrey Anderson is the President and CEO of Smart Growth America. Recently named by Partnership for Sustainable Communities as “One of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Sustainable Community Planning and Development,” Geoff came to his current position after eight years heading the Smart Growth Program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Geoff is a leader in the smart growth movement, and one of the authors of the foundational ten smart growth principles. With an extensive list of publications, Geoff has served as an expert witness in front of the U.S. Congress, has been interviewed and cited by the New York Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post, Fox News, NPR, and numerous other outlets and publications. As a regular conference speaker, Geoff has provided assistance to numerous communities across the country including in-depth work in Cheyenne, WY, Prince George’s County, MD, and the flagship smart growth project Atlantic Station in Atlanta, GA. Geoff received his master’s degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment with a concentration in Resource Economics and Policy.

Roger Millar is a Vice President of Smart Growth America, Director of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute, which provides technical assistance programs for state and local government, and Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. Roger has held leadership positions in the public and private sectors, most recently as Director of the Missoula, Montana Office of Planning and Grants. Projects in which Roger played a leadership role, particularly the development of Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District and the Portland Streetcar, are seen as national models. He has also managed or participated in signature projects for rural, resort and gateway communities throughout the American West. Roger is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a Certified Floodplain Manager. He is a member of the ASCE Committee for America’s Infrastructure, which produces the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. He is also Past President of the Oregon Section of ASCE and of the Montana Association of Planners. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1982. Roger can be reached at rmillar [at] smartgrowthamerica [dot] org.

Christopher Zimmerman is Smart Growth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, and Director of the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. Much of his work focuses on the economic and fiscal impact of development policies on localities and regions. An economist by training, for the past two decades he has been intimately involved in planning, development, and transportation policy in Arlington County, Virginia and the greater Washington, DC region. This included work as a neighborhood and civic leader, as a planning commissioner, 18 years as a member of the Arlington County Board, and 13 years on the Board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, as well as other regional transportation agencies. Prior to his service as an elected official, Chris was Chief Economist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. He holds a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Economics from The American University. Chris can be reacted at czimmerman [at] smartgrowthamerica [dot] org.

Elizabeth Schilling is Smart Growth America’s Senior Policy Manager who focuses on how growth and development patterns shape quality of life and how public policies shape growth and development patterns. Elizabeth’s approach to creating more livable communities has been shaped by work for the private sector, non-profit sector and for the public sector at all levels of government. She served as the Public Information Officer to Maryland’s Secretary of Planning under Governor Parris N. Glendening and as a Legislative Aide to Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D, OR-3). From 2002 to 2005, she served as the Executive Director of the Growth Management Leadership Alliance, a national network of three-dozen smart growth advocacy organizations in thirty states and British Columbia, Canada. Elizabeth holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science in Social Anthropology from Harvard College. Elizabeth can be reached at eschilling [at] smartgrowthamerica [dot] org.

Stefanie Seskin is the Deputy Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition at Smart Growth America. She provides technical assistance to advocates, practitioners, and elected officials as they advocate for, develop, and implement Complete Streets policies. She has researched and developed many resources that power the Complete Streets movement nationally, including the Complete Streets Local Policy Workbook; the annual Complete Streets Policy Analysis reports; Complete Streets: Best Policy & Implementation Practices; workshop course materials; and fact sheets. Stefanie has a Masters of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She can be reached at sseskin [at] completestreets [dot] org.