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Mr. Sean Zielenbach

Sean Zielenbach has been working on issues related to economic development and development finance for the past 21 years. He operates his own national consulting practice and is a member of multiple community development advisory boards. Mr. Zielenbach spent four years at the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, where he developed a model for underwriting CDFIs, created a framework for assessing the economic and social impacts of these organizations, and was integrally involved with the design and development of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program.  He had previously coordinated fundraising efforts for the Chicago office of the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC).  He currently consults for a number of community development entities throughout the country on issues of strategic planning, impact measurement, and program and product development.  He works closely with both for-profit and nonprofit community development entities in the design and evaluation of their NMTC programs, as well as in the refinement of successful allocation applications.  He also consults with the Urban Institute team charged with evaluating the overall impact of the NMTC.

In addition to his development finance activities, Mr. Zielenbach has conducted numerous studies on issues pertaining to affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization.  He has examined the economic impacts of HOPE VI public housing redevelopments on their surrounding neighborhoods.  He has done extensive work on the neighborhood effects of the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) in a number of weaker urban markets.  He has coordinated studies of the economic benefits of public housing and the impacts on communities and tenants of affordable housing developments financed with federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.  He is currently working on an analysis of the economic development infrastructure in greater Cleveland, with a particular focus on small business and workforce development.  He has published numerous articles on community development as well as a book, The Art of Revitalization, which examined the factors associated with neighborhood change in Chicago.

Mr. Zielenbach has a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton and a doctorate from Northwestern.