Leah Elliott


Leah works with clients to align economic development and planning efforts with diverse public benefits and policy goals.


As an Analyst based in HR&A’s New York Office, Leah develops solutions that support socioeconomic equity, smart growth, and resiliency objectives. Currently, Leah is advising on an incentives toolkit for the City of New Orleans that drives the City’s equity, housing, quality jobs, and resilience goals. She also recently coordinated and delivered the Asian Development Bank Resilience Academy in Bangkok, Thailand as a part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Resilience Academy program. The Academy brought together resilience and community engagement experts from Asia, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States to support government officials from 8 Asian cities in developing community-led resilience projects.

Her interest in helping cities achieve equitable and resilient objectives also applies to land use solutions and public private partnership structures. Currently, she is advising on potential programming within redesigned downtown public spaces in Rochester, Minnesota’s “Heart of the City” in support of a larger Destination Medical Center master plan. Leah has also evaluated the socioeconomic impacts of proposed rezoning actions along the Staten Island Bay Street Corridor and researched best practices for transit-oriented development to inform strategic initiatives led by Connecticut’s Capitol Region Council of Governments. And as the lead writer for Unlocking Value from Public Assets,” Leah has developed expertise in best practices to generate new public benefits from outdated civic infrastructure through innovative public-private partnerships.

Prior to joining HR&A, Leah advised local governments on a wide range of public policy challenges and advocated for quality education and human rights, areas she remains passionate about today. For the City of Baltimore’s Bureau of the Budget and Management Research, Leah identified appropriate performance metrics and best practices for the bureau’s Stronger Neighborhoods initiative. And in 2015, Leah served as a graduate intern for the White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities and tracked progress of federal interagency collaborations in cities across the country. For her master’s thesis, she worked with the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights to conduct a quantitative and qualitative analysis of workplace sex and gender discrimination claims filed with the City, and recommended strategies for outreach and reporting.

Leah holds a Master of Public Policy from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. She received her undergraduate degree with highest honors from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Policy. Between degrees, Leah was a writer for The Choices Program, an education non-profit based at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.