Jeff Michael

UNC Charlotte Urban Institute


Jeff Michael is director of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.  A planner and attorney by training, his professional experience includes extensive work around land use, sustainable development and land conservation  issues. Prior to coming to the institute in 2003, Jeff served as director of the Wildacres Leadership Initiative and the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, one of North Carolina’s premier leadership programs.

A native of the Charlotte region (Stanly County), Jeff is often called upon by the news media and policy makers to share his professional and personal knowledge of the region, and to provide commentary on the economic, environmental and social issues confronting its communities. 

Jeff was named a William C. Friday Fellow in 1997 and an American Marshall Memorial Fellow in 2005 and has served on the boards of numerous statewide and regional organizations.


JD, University of North Carolina School of Law
Master of Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.S. in Business Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Land use law, land conservation, regional planning, sustainable economic development, leadership development, diversity/multicultural training


    Feb 18, 2015
    After three years of citizen engagement, which led to a Regional Growth Framework for the Charlotte region, the CONNECT Our Future initiative moves into implementation, including a set of 31 quality-of-life indicators, now available online.
    Jan 12, 2015
    EducationNC – a nonpartisan, nonprofit news source aiming to create a bipartisan, statewide conversation about public schools – launched Jan. 12. The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute will assist by providing data and maps about major trends, issues and challenges facing the state's schools.
    Dec 16, 2014
    In reviewing the institute's 2014 highlights, one common denominator is clear. We’re using data in increasingly complex ways to – paradoxically – help make public understanding of policy issues simpler.
    Dec 16, 2013
    All three of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s most recent directors came, not from large urban centers, but from small, rural communities. But what we may have lacked in urban sophistication we made up for in our conviction that great metro regions are a healthy mix of urban, suburban and rural communities. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
    Nov 06, 2013
    Welcome to a new look for the web pages. You’ll find all the content from our previous set of pages, but with a new look.
    Sep 26, 2013
    The institute’s web pages are getting a new look. We hope you'll like what you see. (Photo: Mary Newsom)
    Feb 28, 2013
    North Carolina's young people are increasingly steered away from manufacturing jobs. But many people now believe manufacturing has more promise than the low-wage service jobs that dominate the limited options for young people outside the state’s urban areas. (Photo: GMI)
    Dec 17, 2012
    2013 may be a year historians look back on as the time local leaders hit the “reset” button on issues that had been at the forefront of public policy discussions before the 2008 economic meltdown. Will leaders revisit these issues following the same assumptions and conventional strategies as before? Or will lessons learned in the past five years and a new set of leaders take the region down an entirely different path in addressing some of these issues?
    Oct 17, 2012
    For those of us who admired Bill Friday and his long and distinguished career, we knew the day would eventually come when we received that call or email, or heard the news on the radio, telling us that the former president of the UNC system had passed away.
    Dec 19, 2011
    This has been a year of change and growth for the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.  As I look back on the year’s highlights – and look forward to a new project we’ll debut early in 2012 – I’m reminded of the role the institute has played since 1969 in the greater Charlotte region.