Ellen Klasson


Ellen is a Principal at Terra Search Partners in the Affordable Housing and Community Development Practice. Ellen has a deep knowledge of real estate development and neighborhood revitalization, and she is driven by identifying and developing leaders who will positively impact cities. She most recently was Senior Director of the Leadership Network at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, DC. In this role, Ellen oversaw the leadership initiatives for the organization’s 40,000 members worldwide. At ULI, Ellen produced the Leading Voices with ULI podcast, where she and Matt significantly collaborated. Prior to joining ULI, Ellen co-directed CohnReznick’s Real Estate Development Advisory practice in Atlanta, analyzing real estate opportunities for developers and municipalities. She was formerly Vice President of Economic Development at Central Atlanta Progress, where she managed the architecture, content, and exhibit design for the Center for Civil and Human Rights. She previously consulted to developers while a project manager at RCLCO.

Ellen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Emory University and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Georgia Tech. Community Commitment: Ellen volunteers with UrbanPlan, a hands-on program for high school teens to understand the trade-offs in the real estate development process. She also advises municipalities and non-profits by serving as a market analyst on local Technical Assistance Panels and national Advisory Services Panels of ULI. Ellen is a graduate of the 2013 class of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute, as well as the 2010 class of LEAD Atlanta. Personal Passions: As an urban planner and a lover of downtowns, Ellen is often traveling with her husband to explore cities big and small. She has many “old-school” interests, from mid-century modern architecture and tiki bars to the music of Steely Dan.