Lavea Brachman ’84 currently divides her time between her hometown of Columbus, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan, where she serves as Vice President of Programs at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Prior to this position, for almost ten years, Lavea was executive director and co-founder of the Greater Ohio Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank and policy advocacy organization advancing urban and regional revitalization strategies. A nationally recognized expert on policy and practice focused on the US older industrial cities located in the Midwest and Northeast, Lavea has held various fellowships in this field with national think tanks, including the Brookings Institution and the German Marshall Fund in Washington, D.C. and that Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, MA.
Before founding the Greater Ohio Policy Center, Lavea practiced environmental law at a Washington, D.C. firm and was a partner at a Cambridge, MA consulting firm advising Fortune 500 companies on brownfield and industrial property reuse. Lavea also served in the Clinton Administration’s Department of Energy developing future land reuse policies for decommissioned nuclear sites and worked at a Chicago non-profit organization focused on sustainability issues in the Great Lakes states. Lavea has taught urban policy courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Ohio State University and authored articles and reports on infrastructure, community, and economic redevelopment issues. Lavea holds her AB form Harvard College, a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, and a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lavea and her husband, Andrew, have two children, one a recent graduate from the University of Chicago now living in New York City and the other in the Harvard College Class of 2020.