Former Philadelphia mayor joins UChicago Urban Labs in new role

Michael A. Nutter named executive fellow, will focus on public engagement and growth

Mark Peters
News Director and Social Sciences SpecialistUniversity Communications

Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter is joining the University of Chicago Urban Labs to help guide strategy and growth as an executive fellow—a new role for the organization, which is dedicated to addressing challenges faced by cities through evidence-based policymaking.

Nutter was mayor of the nation’s fifth-most populous city until January 2016 when he reached his term limit. He brings more than two decades of policymaking experience to the executive fellow role, including 14-plus years on the Philadelphia City Council and a term as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“My eight years as mayor of Philadelphia gave me the opportunity to work with communities to tackle challenges ranging from poverty and education to public safety and sustainability,” said Nutter, whose new role was announced Aug. 8. “We made incredible progress, but there is still a great amount of work needed to solve the problems that cities face. Urban Labs uses science, data and evidence-based programs to inform and develop urban policy for the biggest impact possible. I’m excited to be a part of promoting the use of evidence to make cities across the country smarter, safer, healthier places to live.”

At Urban Labs, Nutter will help broaden public engagement and bring together the labs and civic leaders to generate and use evidence-based policy. Urban Labs partners with cities and communities to tackle challenges in five key dimensions of urban life: crime, education, energy & environment, health and poverty. Urban Labs uses rigorous scientific analysis to find the most effective and cost-efficient programs and policies that improve human lives.

“Mayor Nutter’s tenure in Philadelphia demonstrates how evidence-based policymaking can make a significant impact in underserved communities,” said Timothy Knowles, the Pritzker Director of Urban Labs and chairman of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute. “We are enormously lucky to have someone with Michael’s experience and passion for using rigorous research as part of the labs’ efforts to discover what works and improve lives in cities across the nation and around the world.”

Nutter will continue to serve on Urban Labs’ national advisory council, which is composed of business and civic leaders who provide strategic guidance, perspective and recommendations to the labs.