URP Alumni Spotlight: Lori Mullins

Where has your MSU degree taken you?

Geographically speaking, my degree from MSU's MURP class of 2006 hasn't taken me far. It has allowed me to live happily in East Lansing and build a fulfilling career in economic development with the City of East Lansing until 2017, and since then with the State of Michigan at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. I have also been fortunate to be a part-time instructor in the School of Planning, Design, and Construction for the last 5 years.

While working for the City of East Lansing, I was the Community and Economic Development Administrator where I was able to participate in two master plan updates, the creation of the Lansing Regional SmartZone, implementation of an urban design plan and several neighborhood scale redevelopment strategies. Collaborating with a variety of community groups and boards and commissions at the local and regional level was the highlight of that part of my career as it gave my work greater context and meaning while also affording me the opportunity to meet many amazing and inspiring people. Currently I am the Managing Director of Community Development Incentives at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. We are the state's chief marketing and business attraction agency, responsible for enabling long-term economic opportunity for all Michiganders. As a leader on the Community Development team, I am able to help facilitate investment that results in resilient communities that are successful in attracting talent and private investment.

When I think about the future of the planning profession, I am encouraged by the growing awareness around inequality and the actions that are being taken to address the systemic causes of racism and other injustices. We must acknowledge the planning missteps of the past and move forward by engaging all people in planning communities and participating fully in our collective economy.

Beyond career updates, I am happy to share that my wonderful husband Justin, two busy teenage children, and our wonderful little dog love to travel and experience the natural beauty of Michigan and beyond.

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