Robert Dean to Become New CEO of CNT

(Chicago, July 17, 2018) CNT Board Chair Robert Henderson is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert Dean as the organization’s new CEO. Dean joins CNT in August.

“Bob Dean brings deep experience, devotion to equity, expert knowledge of CNT’s work in urban sustainability, and demonstrated leadership in working collaboratively to bring out the best in organizations and people,” said Henderson. “We think he is exactly the right person to lead CNT in the next chapter of its mission of service.”

From 2007-2017, Dean was Deputy Executive Director at Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), where he led development of GO TO 2040, the region’s award-winning comprehensive plan.  Dean also created a follow-up program to assist communities to implement the plan and begin addressing other issues, including climate resilience. He also directed the agency’s research and analysis division.  Most recently, Dean has been serving as a consultant to Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council and RW Ventures.

Robert Henderson, Linda Young and Robert Dean

“I have long admired CNT’s great strengths in urban analytics, its understanding of climate resilience and other critical topics, its deep concern for equity, and its combination of creativity with the entrepreneurial drive to test out its ideas in practice,” said Dean. “I hope to work with the organization’s deeply committed staff and board, and its strong external partnerships, to lead CNT as it builds on these strengths, and finds new ways to promote urban sustainability and equity.”

Dean succeeds Linda Young, who has been serving as Acting Executive Director at the request of the board. “We thank Linda for doing a spectacular job,” said Henderson. “She oversaw our recent move to new headquarters, and meanwhile kept the organization focused and productive in pursuit of its mission, with significant accomplishments along the way. We are deeply indebted to her.”

Based in Chicago with staff in San Francisco and engagements nationwide, CNT is nationally respected for its pioneering community-based, data-driven innovations to promote urban sustainability. Its award-winning RainReady program combats urban flooding by helping homeowners and municipalities plan and install effective, cost-saving green infrastructure for managing storm water. Its Urban Analytics department provides detailed, sophisticated analysis that has, for example, quantified the connections between housing and transportation costs in the pioneering nationwide Housing + Transportation (H+T®) Affordability Index. CNT introduced car-sharing to Chicago, and helped rewrite national transportation laws to promote biking, transit, and walkable communities. It pioneered installation of energy efficiency improvements in urban neighborhoods, work now carried out by its highly successful spinoff Elevate Energy.

“It’s an extraordinary record of accomplishment, carried out by an extraordinarily smart, dedicated staff,” says Henderson, “and we look forward with great enthusiasm to continuing this important and innovative work under Bob Dean’s leadership.”

For more information contact Paul Cusimano,, 773.269.4029.

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