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Chrissy Mancini Nichols


Chrissy joined the Metropolitan Planning Council in 2009 as the manager of fiscal policy.  She was promoted in 2012 to program director, leading MPC’s transportation and infrastructure finance initiatives; and in 2014 to director of research and evaluation.  As the first person to hold this role at MPC, Chrissy is expanding MPC’s research capacity, working across the organization and with partners in business, government, academia and the civic sector to develop and execute MPC’s extensive research agenda to advance MPC’s initiatives and policy goals.  

Recognizing the importance of showing impact, Chrissy is quantifying how all of MPC’s projects help make the Chicago region the best place to live and work in the country.  Measures include job creation, lowering housing cost burden, creating more development near transit, dollars saved from government collaboration and leveraging private investment.

Chrissy serves on the North Lake Shore Drive Corridor Planning Committee.  She staffed Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Transportation and Infrastructure transition committee and the Midway Advisory Panel that evaluated a potential public-private partnership at Midway Airport, the first of its kind in the nation.  Chrissy also was appointed to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's Technical Advisory Group on the Fiscal and Economic Impacts of Development Decisions.

Prior to joining MPC, Chrissy was the associate executive director of a Chicago-based fiscal policy think tank, where she worked on tax, budget and education funding policies, including drafting legislation to reform Illinois’ education and tax systems and modeling its impacts. She was appointed by the Illinois General Assembly as technical advisor to the Task Force on Economic and Workforce Development, Joint Committee on Property Tax and School Funding Reform, Senate Education committee, and House and Senate Revenue committees. 

Chrissy also served as a management analyst at the U.S. Dept. of Education and was a seventh-grade teacher in Washington, D.C. She was awarded the Northwestern University Graduate School’s Distinguished Thesis Award for The Implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in Illinois, which analyzed each component of NCLB compared with state and federal fiscal policies to find how tax policy affects the implementation of the law at the local level.


What if Chicagoland grew like Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Atlanta or Seattle?
In 2010, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, the official regional planning agency for northeast Illinois, forecasted that, based on current population trends, the Chicago region should grow by about 2.4 million people by 2040. That translates into about 79,000 people a year over the next…
Gov. Rauner’s 2016 budget proposal cuts Chicago region transit funding
The first step in the Illinois fiscal year 2016 budget process has begun. Facing a $6.6 billion budget deficit and the rollback in income tax rates, newly elected Ill. Gov. Bruce Rauner recommended $3.7 billion in unpopular cuts and $2.9 billion in pension and retiree health care reforms to…
People are driving less: Transportation agencies need to invest based on the data
Thankfully early January's polar-vortex-like conditions didn’t result in the major Metra delays of January 2014, when thousands of Chicagoans were stranded as train switches froze in the frigid weather. And it was nothing compared to November’s Transitpocalypse when, due to safety…
How Illinois can lower its sales tax rate & raise funding for transit
The State of Illinois’ 6.25 percent sales tax is among the highest levied by any state. With local sales taxes factored in, Chicago tops the list of large cities’ combined sales tax rates, an ignominious ranking that it shares with Los Angeles. But Illinois could lower its sales tax…
How to finance municipal infrastructure with private investment
The Chicago region’s 284 municipalities are never short on capital projects, but what about the money to make them happen? Ever-tightening budgets have forced them to identify new strategies and financing tools to supplement traditional funding sources to implement projects. One such…

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Chrissy Mancini Nichols Director of Research and Evaluation
312 863 6042

Areas of expertise

  • Program impact and evaluation
  • Tax policy
  • Transportation policy
  • Innovative finance for infrastructure
  • Federal, state and local government spending and revenue


M.P.P.A., Public Policy, Northwestern University
B.S., Education and Political Science, Youngstown State University

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For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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