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K-State Today

April 16, 2014



Alumni Fellow Ray Willis to speak at APDesign

By Thom Jackson

Ray Willis

Alumni Fellow Ray Willis, Master of Regional and Community Planning, 1971, will speak from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17, in 106c Seaton Hall. His topic will be on planning.

Willis serves as the director of community planning and development for Chicago's Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he has made numerous contributions as planner, innovator and manager. He oversees one of the department's largest portfolios of community development programs, administering an annual budget in excess of $1 billion.

Willis leads the department's Illinois efforts in key program areas including community and economic development, supportive housing for the homeless, housing opportunities for individuals with HIV/AIDS and disaster relief. In 1996, he was selected as a Chicago delegate to the United Nations' Human Settlements conference in Istanbul, Turkey.

Before joining housing and urban development, Willis worked for the state government in Ohio, the Housing Authority of Kansas City, Kan., and as an assistant professor of regional and community planning at K-State. Additionally, he has served as a director on several nonprofit boards in Chicago. He earned his bachelor's degree in sociology and his master's degree in regional and community planning, both from K-State.