Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, was elected as a global trustee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a nonprofit education and research institute that aims to provide leadership in responsible use of land and the creation of sustainable, thriving communities.
Green, who holds the Lusk Chair in Real Estate and is a professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy and the Marshall School of Business, is the only academic among the institute’s new 48 trustees.
He has been involved with ULI for more than a decade, serving on its Commercial & Retail Development Council and speaking at many of the institute’s events. However, Green admitted that the election came as a surprise.
“It’s a very nice recognition in the world of real estate development,” Green said. “It’s a prestigious position to hold, and it formalizes several of the activities I’ve been doing for ULI informally.”
Green recently completed a one-year appointment as senior advisor for housing finance at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. His research addresses economics, housing markets and urban growth, with recent works focusing on retail market outlook and how competition for employment affects the growth of areas.
Setting the agenda
As a ULI global trustee, Green is tasked with providing input and guidance to define the institute’s overall program of work.
“They’re not just getting me, they’re getting the Price label, the Marshall label and the USC label,” Green said. “I take a lot of pride in my ability to take rigorous academic research – not just my own, but that of others – and solve real-world problems.”
Green began serving a four-year term July 1. He will attend three meetings a year to help form ULI’s agenda and priorities.
Advocating for women, minorities
One principle he plans to promote as a global trustee is the need for more women and underrepresented minorities in real estate development. He pointed out that these are both potential areas of growth, with women finishing college at much higher rates than men, and the minority population projected to grow by 70 percent over the next 25 years.
“Thinking about how we develop real estate, how we finance real estate, and how to make real estate available to people who have long been shut out is not only crucial because of moral imperatives but also for the industry to thrive,” Green said. “It’s a message I’ve been delivering, but this gives me a much larger audience to do so.”