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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.


Value capture remains important transit financing tool
Value capture financing is an important and innovative funding mechanism for public transit improvement and expansion projects across the U.S. As public transit ridership continues to increase to historic levels not seen in more than 40 years, and with declining infrastructure money associated with…
Our roads don't pay for themselves
I bet you’ve said this before: “Why are these roads so terrible and congested? Don’t I pay taxes for this?!” The answer is yes, you do. But those gas taxes and vehicle fees don’t generate nearly enough revenue to cover just the cost of maintaining roads, let alone…
Land closest to Chicago's El stations most valuable in Chicago
One of Chicago’s greatest strengths is its rapid rail transit system. The Chicago Transit Authority operates the second largest public transportation system in the nation, with 146 rail stations providing almost 730,000 rides each weekday. It’s also one of the few cities in the world…
Here's where the nation's top metros rank on employment
This post is the final in a series of three. Read the first two. Employment is a key factor in a region’s growth. A strong labor market means more well-paying jobs are available, making a region a more attractive place for people to move. Growth in the regional economy also generates all…
Why is Minneapolis growing almost five times faster than Chicago? It's not the weather.
This post is the second in a series of three. Read the other two. We last looked at Census data that showed that of the top 20 most populated regions in the U.S., Chicago ranked 18th in population growth. From 2010 to 2013 it grew by just about 20,000 people annually, about 0.22 percent a year,…

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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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Helping create competitive, equitable, and sustainable communities

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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