The City of Riverside has named Jennifer A. Lilley, AICP Director of Community and Economic Development. She brings to the city more than 30 years of experience in economic development and planning in both the public and private sectors, including nearly eight years as the head of her own firm overseeing more than 50 professional planners serving over 60 cities throughout California.
Lilley has spent the past two years as the director of community and economic development in Stanton and was the city planner in Brea for five years before that. She was president/principal of Lilley Planning Group from 2007-2015, where she provided community and economic development services to cities throughout California along with leading several significant engagement efforts including “Listening to the City” – visioning the World Trade Center rebuilding project, “California Speaks” – a statewide conversation on healthcare and the national “Internet for Everyone” campaign.
“Riverside is the economic powerhouse of Inland Southern California, and I am confident Jennifer Lilley is the right person to keep us well-positioned to continue leading, given her wealth of experience,” Interim City Manager Michael Moore said. “We look forward to welcoming her to the Riverside family.”
Lilley is known for being a creative problem solver as evidenced by her extensive experience working on public-private partnerships, complex mixed-use developments, affordable housing, and in engaging the community on both individual projects and larger community visions. She also has experience facilitating community conversations with universities and colleges, reimagining regional malls and retail spaces, and has successfully implemented techniques to engage hard to reach audiences through the use of municipal podcasts, YouTube video series and going to stakeholders to facilitate interactive pop-up experiences.
“I am thrilled to be joining the City of Riverside team and look forward to advancing the priorities of Envision Riverside 2025 Strategic Plan with a particular focus on economic opportunity, community well-being and sustainability,” Lilley said. “I have long admired and want to continue the City’s tradition of being a national leader in the wide array of best practices, like the nation’s best in-person and virtual One Stop Shop, a nationally recognized resilient food ecosystem, USA Today’s top ranked public light display Festival of Lights, and the incredible body of work in community planning and neighborhood engagement. I am so excited to contribute to such a diverse and dynamic community and look forward to ensuring Riverside remains a great place to live, work, and invest.”
As founder of Lilley Planning Group, she was responsible for managing staff, projects, clients, and services. As a working principal in the firm, Jennifer provided project management, entitlement processing and facilitation for the firm’s clients, earning recognition at the local and state levels from the American Planning Association as an innovator, mentor, and leader.
“Jennifer Lilley brings a depth and breadth of knowledge that will enable Riverside to continue its evolution as a sustainable and resilient city,” Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said. “We look forward to working with her to capitalize on those elements that make Riverside truly unique.”
Lilley received her Bachelor of Science in Urban & Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), is second vice-president of the Planning Director Association of Orange County and has been the Section Director and an active board member in the American Planning Association, California State Chapter.
Her salary will be $236,250.