Erika Poethig is an Institute fellow and director of urban policy initiatives at the Urban Institute. She leads the Policy Advisory Group, which assembles Urban experts to help leaders draw insights from research and navigate policy challenges facing urban America. She also leads partnerships to develop new programs and strategies, translate research into policy and practice, and align philanthropic investments and federal policy.
Before joining Urban, Poethig was acting assistant secretary for policy, development, and research at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. During her tenure in the Obama administration, she was also deputy assistant secretary for policy development and was a leading architect of the White House Council for Strong Cities and Strong Communities. At the MacArthur Foundation, she was associate director for housing. She also was assistant commissioner for policy, resource, and program development at the City of Chicago's Department of Housing. In the 1990s, she developed Mayor Richard Daley's campaign to combat predatory lending, prevent foreclosures, and stabilize communities. Previously, she was associate project director of the Metropolis Project, which produced the Metropolis 2020 agenda for regional leadership around the major issues faced by the metropolitan Chicago area. Poethig serves on the boards of the Center for Community Progress, Mercy Housing, and the College of Wooster board of trustees.
Poethig was a Phi Beta Kappa member at the College of Wooster, a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Vienna, and has an MA with honors in public policy from the University of Chicago.