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Jeremy Nowak

J Nowak

Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation

Jeremy Nowak passed away on July 28, 2018 at the age of 66 due to complications from a heart attack. His pioneering life’s work in community-development finance was the embodiment of the Lindy Institute’s mission to forge innovative strategies to equitably advance cities. He challenged conventional urban policy and practice with design-thinking and rigorous, data-informed problem solving, and infused innovation into all of our initiatives. Jeremy was at the intellectual and practice-based heart of our work, and he will be missed for his incredible vigor, humor and humanity, and especially for his fearless approach to confronting and tackling intractable urban challenges. We are fortunate to have benefited from his wisdom.


Jeremy was a giant in the urban field. He created The Reinvestment Fund, one of the largest community investment institutions in the United States, and chaired the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. A widely published author and columnist, he was the co-author with Bruce Katz of The New Localism: How Cities Thrive in the Age of Populism (Brookings Institution Press, 2018). He co-founded (with Bruce) a start-up (New Localism Advisors) and a new academic endeavor (the Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University).

In recent years, in addition to being a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, he was also the chair of the investment committee for Spring Point Partners; on the board of directors of the University City Science Center in Philadelphia; on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Urban Research at the University of Pennsylvania; and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Impact Investment at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy.

Jeremy also chaired the board of The Philadelphia Citizen, a new media startup devoted to solutions based journalism. He also consulted on strategy for a variety of public, private, and civic institutions.

An overview of Jeremy’s remarkable life can be read at 
Jeremy Nowak, 66, prominent Philadelphia investor, advocate, commentator by Chris Palmer & Diane Mastrull — and He Will Not Rest by Larry Platt.