John Kretzmann (Jody) is Co-Director of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute, a research project of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. ABCD Institute works with community building leaders across North America as well as five other continents to conduct research, produce materials and otherwise support community-based efforts to rediscover local capacities and to mobilize citizens’ resources to solve problems. The Institute continues to build on the stories and methods about successful community building reported in the popular book, Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets (1993, with John L. McKnight.)
A much-traveled speaker and trainer, Kretzmann brings more than thirty years of community experience and study to his current position. He was a founding faculty member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Urban Studies Program in 1969, and served as director of that institution for six years. He has been a community organizer in Chicago’s West Side, and served as a consultant to a wide range of neighborhood organizing and development groups. In addition to the ACM Program, he has taught at Northwestern University, Valparaiso University and the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.
Kretzmann has worked to develop community-oriented public policy at the national, state and local levels. In Chicago, he served as chair of the Neighborhood Planning Committee for Mayor Harold Washington, and was an active policy consultant through Washington’s four and a half years in office. He serves on a wide range of civic, community, and foundation boards.