Myron Orfield

Professor Myron Orfield is the Executive Director of the Institute on Race & Poverty, a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and an affiliate faculty member at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. He teaches and writes in the fields of civil rights, state and local government, state and local finance, land use, questions of regional governance, and the legislative process. For 2005-06, Professor Orfield served as the Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs.

Professor Orfield graduated, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota, was a graduate student at Princeton University, and has a J.D. from the University of Chicago, where he was a member of the University of Chicago Law Review. Following law school, he clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit and then returned to the University of Chicago Law School as a Research Associate and Bradley Fellow at the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice. After working as an associate at Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis, he served as a Special Assistant Attorney General of Minnesota in the Solicitor General's Division.

In 1990, Professor Orfield was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, where he served five terms, and to the Minnesota Senate in 2000, where he served one term. There he was the architect of a series of important changes in land use, fair housing, and school and local government aid programs. His first book, Metropolitics: A Regional Agenda for Community and Stability (Brookings 1997), a study of local government structure and demographics, relates to these efforts. For over a decade, Professor Orfield has been president of a nationally respected regional research organization undertaking studies involving the legal, demographic and land use profiles of various American metropolitan areas. His second book, American Metropolitics: The New Suburban Reality (Brookings 2002), is a compilation of his work involving the nation's 25 largest regions. His most recent book, Region: Planning the Future of the Twin Cities (U of M Press, 2010), co-authored with Thomas Luce, director of research at the Institute on Race and Poverty, examines the successes and failures of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council’s regional planning and policy work and includes recommendations for responsible, environmentally sound urban and suburban planning.