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Neil has held research, advisory, and teaching roles relevant to government, business, and non-profit sector collaboration. As Executive Director of The Intersector Project, Neil supports organizational strategy, research initiatives, partnership development and leads external engagements with organizations that share an interest in cross-sector collaboration. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a member of The World Economic Forum community as a Global Shaper, and serves as President of the Concordia Public-Private Partnership Index Task Force. Neil previously worked as a Project Coordinator and Senior Research Assistant to the York University Community Finance Project where he coordinated a research team to assess the accessibility of local financial services, developed publicly available self-assessment resources, and outlined a framework for social performance assessment to support impact evaluation. Neil also worked as a Principal Researcher for the Social Investment Organization of Canada where he collected, organized, and analyzed environmental, social, and governance data from asset management firms to evaluate the state of responsible investment in Canada. Neil studied finance and philosophy at York University in Toronto, Canada and graduated with an Honors Bachelor in Administrative Studies and a Certificate in Practical Ethics.

Twitter: @leagueofcities@theRoseCenter

Gideon Berger is an urban planner with eight years of combined experience in the public, non-profit and private sectors whose practice has focused on using transportation infrastructure to help communities achieve their broader goals. As director of the Daniel Rose Fellowship program at the ULI Rose Center, Berger is responsible for developing fellowship programming, recruiting faculty and guest experts, and supporting the fellows with their city’s land use challenge and their own professional development opportunities.

Located in Denver, Colorado, Berger has been a transportation consultant for Fehr & Peers, a city planner for the City of Denver—where he led complete streets and transit-oriented development (TOD) planning initiatives—and a TOD planner for the Denver Regional Transportation District’s FasTracks program, and an adjunct planning professor at the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning. Before becoming an urban planner, Berger spent a decade in public affairs communications.

Berger earned his Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Communication from American University. He has published articles on planning in the journal The Next American City, National Journal magazine, The Hill newspaper and Planetizen website, has been a guest expert on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and is a certified planner by the AICP. He currently serves on the boards of Walk Denver and the Denver Transit Alliance.

Twitter: @jzimbabwe@leagueofcities@theRoseCenter

Jess Zimbabwe (AIA, AICP, LEED-AP) serves as Executive Director of the Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership at the National League of Cities. The mission of the Daniel Rose Center is to achieve and support excellence in land use decision making. The Center’s flagship program is the Daniel Rose Fellowship for public leaders, which brings the mayors and senior leadership teams of 4 cities together for a year-long program of learning from land use experts, technical assistance, study tours, leadership development, and peer-to-peer exchange. Jess serves as the Rose Center’s first Executive Director.

Previously, Jess was the Director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design. In that capacity she worked with over 125 American mayors and cities to help local leaders better understand issues of urban design so that they could advocate for better built environments in their own communities. Prior to that, Jess served as the Community Design Director at Urban Ecology, providing pro bono community planning and design assistance to low-income neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jess earned a Master of Architecture and Master of City Planning from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Architecture from Columbia University. Jess was an Urban and Regional Policy Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, and a Fellow of the Women’s Policy Institute of the Women’s Foundation of California. She serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Next City, and she was appointed by Mayor Vincent Gray to the Washington, DC Green Building Advisory Council She is a licensed architect, certified city planner, and a LEED-Accredited professional.

Mike Conduff is the President and CEO of The Elim Group – Your Governance Experts, a leadership training and organizational governance consulting firm headquartered in Denton, Texas. During his 30+ year career in local government, Mike served as the city manager of four different university communities in the United States: Pittsburg and Manhattan, Kansas, and Bryan and Denton, Texas.

Mike served on the International City/County Management Association’s Board of Director and is the Special Liaison for Governance for ICMA, where he writes a regular governance column for the internationally distributed Public Manager Magazine. He is also a Fellow of the prestigious National Academy of Public Administration, a member of Who’s Who Worldwide and a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary International. He has been honored with the prestigious 2004 Award for Career Development in Memory of L. P. Cookingham from ICMA. The Center for Digital Government (a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local governments) has awarded Mike their coveted “Best of Texas 2004 Visionary Award.”

Mike earned his B.S. in civil engineering at the University of New Hampshire, graduating Cum Laude. His M.B.A. is from Pittsburg State University. He is also a charter graduate of the Carver Policy Governance® Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, and serves on the Board of Directors and as Secretary of the International Policy Governance® Association. Mike’s clients have included the International City Management Association, the National Council on Planned Giving, the Community Associations Institute and many cities, associations as well as other non-profit and for-profit corporations.

Twitter: @jimhuntwv

Jim Hunt speaks, trains, and writes on leadership development in local government and assisting communities in maximizing their potential. He is the founder of Amazing Cities, an organization dedicated to creating excellence in municipal government. Jim served in elected local office for 27 years and has played a prominent role on a state, national and international level in advancing the cause of effective local governance. In 2006, American City and County Magazine named Jim as “Municipal Leader of the Year”.

Jim has presented throughout the world on the topics of leadership, community revitalization and inclusiveness. He was a featured speaker at the Connecting Communities Conference in Caux, Switzerland in 2001 and traveled to the Peoples Republic of China in 2002 as part of a U.S. State Department mission. In 2005, he was a RUPRI Fellow in Brussels, Belgium. During his tenure as President of the National League of Cities, the oldest and largest organization representing municipal governments, Jim traveled throughout the United States speaking to over 25,000 local municipal officials on excellence in local government.

Jim writes on issues important to local government and is the Co-Author of Bottom Line Green-How America’s Cities are Saving the Planet (And Money Too!)”  

Jim is probably best known for creating the Partnership for Inclusive Communities, a national effort to create an inclusive approach to government. The partnership was featured in a front page article in USA Today and has grown to include over 161 cities representing over 20 million citizens.

Jim has appeared on C-Span, NPR and is regularly quoted in national media outlets on issues concerning local government. He has also been a contributor to National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” program.