Senior Resident Fellow, Urban Land Institute
Ed McMahon holds the Charles E. Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC where he is nationally known as an inspiring and thought provoking speaker and leading authority on topics related to sustainable development, land conservation, smart growth, and historic preservation.
As the Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development McMahon leads ULI’s worldwide efforts to conduct research and educational activities related to environmentally sensitive development policies and practices.
Before joining the Urban Land Institute in 2004, McMahon spent 14 years as the Vice President and Director of Land Use Planning for The Conservation Fund in Arlington, Virginia where he helped to protect more than 5 million acres of land of historic or natural significance. He is also the co-founder and former President of Scenic America, a national non-profit organization devoted to protecting America’s scenic landscapes. Before that, he taught law and public policy at Georgetown University Law Center for 9 years, and served in the U.S. Army, both at home and abroad.
McMahon is the author or co-author of 15 books and over 300 articles. His books include: Conservation Communities: Creating Value with Nature, Open Space and Agriculture; Better Models for Development in Virginia; Developing Sustainable Planned Communities; Green Infrastructure: Connecting Landscape and Communities; Land Conservation Finance, and Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities. McMahon also writes regularly for Urban Land Magazine, Planning Commissioners Journal and other periodicals. During the past 25 years McMahon has drafted numerous local land use plans and ordinances. He has organized successful efforts to acquire and protect urban parkland, wilderness areas, and other conservation properties.
McMahon has served on numerous advisory boards and commissions including: the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Maryland, The Governor’s Institute for Community Design, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Orton Family Foundation.
McMahon is a native of Alabama. He has a BS from Spring Hill College in Mobile; an M.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Alabama, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law School. He and his wife live in Takoma Park, Maryland.