Michael A. Nutter is a senior advisor in Dentons’ Public Policy group and member of its Local Government Solutions team, composed of former local government elected and appointed officials who have played integral roles in city halls and county governments. This group works with local governments seeking solutions to complex challenges requiring an interdisciplinary approach. A former mayor of Philadelphia, Michael’s primary focus is now assisting local governments on achieving their economic development, financing and infrastructure goals, including advising on downtown and neighborhood revitalization, green cities initiatives, commercial adaptive reuse, tax credit financing, public-private partnerships, federal government advocacy, global trade missions and many other areas.

After serving almost 15 years in the Philadelphia City Council, he became the 98th mayor of Pennsylvania’s largest city in January 2008. At his inaugural address, Michael pledged to lower crime, improve educational attainment rates, make Philadelphia the greenest city in America, attract new businesses and residents to the city and, above all, to lead an ethical and transparent government focused on providing high-quality, efficient and effective customer service.

By the end of his tenure eight years later, homicides were down and high school graduations were up. The city added miles of bike lanes to its network of bicycle infrastructure. The city’s population grew each year he was in office. The City Council passed his Actual Value Initiative, the city’s first-ever property assessment system overhaul, transforming a broken and corrupt system into a fair, accurate and understandable one. And thanks to Michael’s strong financial stewardship, the city emerged from the worst economic recession since the Great Depression with its credit rating upgraded to the “A” category by the three major credit rating agencies—its best financial report card since the 1970s.

After leaving public service, Michael remained active in public policy, government and civic life. As founder and principal advisor of Michael A. Nutter Advisors LLC, he focused on policy development and thought leadership in the areas of education, governing and leadership, politics, public policy and public safety, advising clients on policymaking, media communications, strategy development, crisis management, government relations, political engagement and corporate governance.

As the mayor of Philadelphia, Michael had high-value successes in the following areas:

  • Crime: Homicide rate was at an almost 50-year low at the end of his tenure
  • Education: High school graduation and college degree attainment rates increased significantly during his administration
  • Cycling infrastructure: Hundreds of miles of bike lanes and trails were added and Philadelphia launched the nation’s first low-income-friendly bike share system
  • Population growth: Population grew every year of his administration, including the largest millennial growth rate (by percentage) in the nation
  • Economic development: Successfully recruited US domestic and international companies to set up shop in Philadelphia through use of tax reforms, improved infrastructure and business services and international trade missions; in the last two years of his administration, more than US$11.5 billion in economic development projects were completed, under construction or announced

Michael’s private sector experience includes the following professional services:

  • Education
    • Appointed David N. Dinkins Professor of Professional Practice in Urban and Public Policy, Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs
    • Non-resident, executive fellow, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
    • Non-resident, executive fellow and senior advisor to the Dean, University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy
    • Board member, National Advisory Board, University of Chicago, Urban Labs
  • Media
    • Political commentator, CNN
  • Public policy
    • Senior fellow and national spokesperson, What Works Cities program, Bloomberg Philanthropies
    • Distinguished non-resident senior fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution
    • Distinguished fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Corporate sector
    • Inaugural chair, Mayors Advisory Council, Airbnb (June 2016–June 2017)
    • Member, board of directors, Conduent Corp. (a Xerox Corp. spinoff)
    • Advisor, Ekistic Ventures (Venture Capital Firm)
    • Advisor, NOVELE Corporation
  • Public and nonprofit sectors
    • Member, board of directors, Code for America
    • Member, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Economic and Community Advisory Council (ECAC)
    • Member, US Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Advisory Council
    • Member, Advisory Council, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance
    • Chair, US Department of Transportation, Transportation Equity Advisory Council
    • Member, Community Policing Advisory Panel, City of Chicago Police Department
    • Member, board of directors, Lincoln Land Institute
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