Keynotes and Plenaries
Each year, PCRG prides itself on bringing in dynamic speakers from across the country to present some of the newest and most challenging ideas to regional community development. At this year’s Summit, our keynote speakers bring their skills and experiences as hands-on advocates for equitable change and growth to our conference. We look forward to welcoming them to Pittsburgh
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Writer, scholar, practitioner and advocate Alan Mallach has been engaged with the challenges of rebuilding America’s cities and their neighborhoods for over fifty years. A senior fellow with the Center for Community Progress in Washington DC, he also teaches in the Graduate Center on Planning and the Environment at Pratt Institute in New York. He has been affiliated with the Brookings Institution and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and served as director of housing & economic development for the city of Trenton, New Jersey. His latest book, The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America, grapples with the challenge of the simultaneous urban revival, decline and polarization in the nation’s older industrial cities, and lays out a path for future cities of inclusion and opportunity. He has authored many other books, articles, book chapters, op-eds, and research and policy reports. He is also a pianist and author of two acclaimed books on 19th century Italian opera. He holds a B.A. degree from Yale College, and lives in Roosevelt, New Jersey.
Nate serves as Founder and Chief Equity Officer of the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), which advances policies and institutional actions that promote racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the growth of metropolitan Atlanta and the American South. Among PSE’s notable accomplishments was the creation the American South’s first equity mapping and framing tool, the Metro Atlanta Equity Atlas, and co-authoring numerous reports including: “Growing the Future: The Case for Economic Inclusion in Metropolitan Atlanta”, and “Employment Equity: Putting Georgia on the Path to Inclusive Prosperity”. PSE also led a coalition of diverse stakeholders to support a $13 million transit referendum that expanded Atlanta’s metropolitan transit system into a new county for the first time in 45 years. Smith’s advocacy activities were instrumental in the ratification of a 15 percent set aside of Atlanta Beltline Tax Allocation District (TAD) dollars for the development and maintenance of affordable workforce housing within the Atlanta BeltLine Planning Area - $250 million dollars over the 25-year lifespan of the Atlanta BeltLine TAD. A child of Civil Rights Movement and Atlanta native, Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Morehouse College and a Master of Science from the New School. Among many his many accomplishments, The Huffington Post honored Nathaniel as one of the eight “Up and Coming Black Leaders in the Climate Movement” in 2017. Nathaniel was also designated one of the 100 “Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend magazine and named to the Grist 50 by Grist Magazine in 2018.
Andrea Batista Schlesinger
Andrea Batista Schlesinger leads the Inclusive Cities practice at HR&A Advisers, where she is a Partner. As a former leader in government, think tanks, philanthropy, and political campaigns, Andrea uniquely understands the capacity and role of government, advocacy, and philanthropy in making cities just and dynamic places. Her current work focuses on supporting equitable economic development and removing barriers to opportunity for all communities in cities, by working to effect change in workforce development, education, criminal justice, racial equity, and other fields. Prior to HR&A, Andrea was Deputy Director of US Programs the Open Society Foundations, George Soros’ global philanthropy. Previously, Andrea served as a Special Advisor to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and as Executive Director of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, originally founded by an advisor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Andrea began her career in public policy at age 16 as the Student Advisory Member on the New York City Board of Education, for which she was the subject of an award-winning documentary, “Hear Us Now.” She is the author of the book The Death of Why: The Decline of Questioning and the Future of Democracy (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009). Andrea received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and holds Masters degrees in History from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, where she focused her studies on how global cities have constructed their responses to inequality during the latter half of the 20th century. Andrea also serves on the board of The Nation and the New York Women’s Foundation.