How to Improve Global Society through Housing | Elizabeth Glenn


Chair of the U.S./Africa Collaborative

Ep. 176 - Elizabeth Scott Glenn has traveled the world working on housing issues, from Ecuador and Turkey to South Africa and Australia. She retired as the deputy director of the Baltimore County Department of Planning to make an impact on the world. She is currently the Chair of the US Africa Collaborative. She will be convening a dynamic collaborative of academics and housing professionals from the US, South Africa, United Kingdom, and other African countries to address the challenges and opportunities within the human settlements and sustainable communities’ sectors. In this episode, Elizabeth talks about her career in housing development and human settlement at the global level. Listen in to learn about the US Africa Collaborative and the advantages in bringing together professionals from different fields and parts of the world for development. You will also learn the importance of forming loving and respectable relationships in the housing sector to achieve equality.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to build a better world by influencing the policymakers on issues of housing and resources
  • How we can learn to love each other without limitations and qualifications for a better world
  • How to show up authentically and with perseverance and overcome life’s challenges

"Find your own voice and don't be afraid to use it. Because there is power in our thinking and our feeling." -Elizabeth Scott Glenn

In this episode you’ll discover:

How the US Africa Collaborative was formed and its purpose in the housing and human settlement sector [1:23]

She explains the African Housing Professionals’ Forum and its objective [2:18]

Elizabeth on how she ended up in the housing development sector globally [3:23]

The value of forming loving and respectable relationships around housing development in the US [7:44]

She explains her passion for people which largely contributes to her professional endeavors [12:04]

The racial and gender inequality she’s experienced throughout her life and how she’s overcome adversity [13:15]

How she has mentored young black women to look at housing as a way to improve society [17:02]

The importance of education, equality, and gender violence elimination in different cultures [18:47]

Elizabeth’s hopes about the power of human connection in settlements and professional fields [20:34]

Why you should never be afraid to be truthful, honest, and direct to make a difference [23:33]


Elizabeth Glenn is chairing an international collaborative initiative spread among three continents and between several universities and social/public housing organizations from the US, UK, and South Africa to implement Global Classrooms, Professional Exchanges, Research Projects, and a Pan African Symposium on Sustainable Development.

Elizabeth Glenn retired from local government as the Deputy Director of the Baltimore County Department of Planning where she was responsible for the administration of affordable housing policy and housing finance, community development programs, and homeless services.


Her international credentials include being a member of the US State Department’s official delegation to Habitat 3 held in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016 and to Habitat 2 held in Istanbul, Turkey in 1996. In 2015, she was appointed by the United Nations as a Policy Expert on Urban Services and Technology as part of the preparation of the New Urban Agenda that was approved by the UN General Assembly in September 2016. She has presented at several international venues including presentations in China, South Africa, Australia, and France.


She is a member of the Board of Governors for the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and has chaired the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee since 2017.  Since 2007, she has served on NAHRO’s International Research and Global Exchange Committee.

She recently accepted an appointment as Chair of the African Housing Professionals Forum in Freetown, Sierra Leone. She serves as the US Advisor for the Nigeria UK Society for Housing Professionals.

She is the current President of the Board of Directors of the Bethel Wellness and Empowerment Center in Baltimore City and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2015. She was appointed by the Governor of Maryland and is finishing up her 3rd four-year term as a Trustee of the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust.


In October 2017, she was awarded the prestigious John D. Lange Award for Excellence in International Housing and Community Development by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).

She has received a number of honors including being recognized in 2017 by the Baltimore Times newspaper as a Woman Trailblazer in Business and a Leadership Award from MAHRA in 2016 and again in 2019.

In 2015, Ms. Glenn was recognized by the Maryland Minority Business Directory for her work in housing and community development. In 2009 and again in 2018, Maryland’s Newspaper of Record, The Daily Record, honored Mrs. Glenn as a Top 100 Woman in the State of Maryland.


Daily Record Article


NAHRO Housing and Community Development Award


Judith Hermanson

Bruno Fulda

Jane Katz

Carla Hills

Wendee Wechsberg

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