MacArthur has announced the appointment of Herman Brewer of Chicago, a specialist in community and economic development strategies, as Director of its Chicago Working Group.

In this newly created position at the Foundation, Brewer will manage the Chicago Working Group, which is responsible for coordinating and integrating grantmaking strategies in the Foundation's Program on Human and Community Development relating to work in Chicago neighborhoods, particularly in the areas of community development, education, juvenile justice, public housing, affordable housing, and policy research. 

Brewer joins the Foundation after a year as the Chief Operations Officer at the Center for New Horizons, a social service agency that helps Chicago's low-income families become more self-sufficient. Prior to his work with CNH, Brewer served as a Program Vice President with the national office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) from 1998-2002. In that position he had major responsibility for LISC community development programs in seven cities, including decisions for project financing, underwriting and credit decisions for housing, commercial buildings, and community facilities. In the course of developing the financing needed for activities in the cities, Brewer worked closely with community development corporations, state and local governments, financial institutions, and foundations. As a member of LISC's national staff, he served on a committee that reviewed community development activity in all 38 LISC program sites. Previously he served as Vice President for Investor Relations at the National Equity Fund (1996-1998).

"The Foundation's work in Chicago includes the elements of community development, housing, improvement of public education, and regional policy," said Julia Stasch, vice president of the Program on Human and Community Development. "As Director of the Chicago Working Group, Herman Brewer will help ensure that our work relating to Chicago will be strategic and well-coordinated. He brings a wealth of experience to this work and we are pleased that he has joined us."

"The MacArthur Foundation is committed to support for efforts that will improve Chicago's neighborhoods," said Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the Foundation. "Our nation's cities and the regions that surround them can be engines of economic strength and sources of opportunity for the people who live in them. The MacArthur Foundation is focusing in particular on 16 neighborhoods in Chicago, and on ways to connect work in Chicago to similar efforts in other U.S. cities. We look forward to making the most of Herman Brewer's skill and leadership as we carry out this important work."

Earlier in his career, Brewer was Senior Program Officer in LISC's Chicago Office (1994-1996), Director of Community Development for the Village of Park Forest (1991-1994) and Senior Planner and then Assistant to the City Manger of Richmond, Virginia (1984-1991). He is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology with a degree in City and Regional Planning and has done graduate work at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Community & Economic Development, Chicago, Community Development