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Joanna Trotter

Joanna Trotter

Joanna joined the staff at MPC in 2004 as housing associate. In 2006, Joanna began managing MPC’s Community Building Initiative, helping communities address difficult development challenges by illustrating how best practices in planning and development can work on the ground. By providing technical assistance and support to communities, Joanna works to inform and increase opportunities consistent with MPC’s broader policy goals of creating a more equitable, sustainable and competitive region, such as enhancing local connections between housing, employment and transportation. In 2013, she was promoted to vice president of programs, directing MPC’s community development activity and providing leadership to the organization as whole as part of MPC’s management team. She leads two of MPC’s working committees and is responsible for shaping MPC’s project tracking and success measurement process, including advising staff on organizational linkages and partnerships to advance MPC’s agenda.

Prior to MPC, Joanna was the commercial district planner for DevCorp North, the community and economic development organization in Rogers Park. She helped the Chicago neighborhood revitalize its commercial districts, while encouraging balanced growth to meet current community needs. She managed a local Special Service Area, provided technical support for local businesses, and led community-wide planning processes. Before that, while in California, Joanna worked to advance affordable housing policy at PolicyLink, and ran the City of West Hollywood’s inclusionary housing program.     

Joanna is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and serves on the ULI-Chicago Public Policy Committee. She chairs the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) Technical Advisory Committee and serves on the CMAP Housing Committee. She also serves on the Board of the Quad Communities Development Corporation and chairs its fundraising committee. She lives in the Grand Boulevard neighborhood in Chicago with her husband and their son.

Joanna Trotter

Vice President of Programs

Email Joanna

Phone: (312) 863-6008



  • Affordable and workforce housing development
  • Housing policy
  • Housing finance
  • Community messaging and engagement strategies
  • Interjurisdictional collaboration
  • Transit-oriented development

M.A., Urban Planning/Public Policy, University of California, Los Angeles
B.A., African American Studies/Policy Studies, Georgia State University