Jennifer Lilley: The New Head of Riverside Community and its Economic Development Department

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Nov 23, 2022


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Key Points

  • The Economic Development Department of California plays a leading role in building the backbone (entrepreneurship) of Riverside County. 
  • The City of Riverside has chosen Jennifer A. Lilley, AICP, as its community and economic development director. She has more than 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors of economic development and planning.

Jennifer Lilley to Lead Riverside’s Economic Development Department

Jennifer’s expertise includes nearly eight years as the president of her own company, where she led over 50 professional planners who served more than 60 municipalities throughout California.

Riverside is the economic powerhouse of Inland Southern California, and I am confident Jennifer Lilley is the right person to keep us well-positioned to continue leading, given her wealth of experience. We look forward to welcoming her to the Riverside family.

Interim City Manager Michael Moore

As proven by her vast expertise working on public-private partnerships, intricate mixed-use complexes, affordable housing, and involving the community on specific projects and more comprehensive community ideas, Lilley is renowned for being a creative problem solver. 

She has also successfully used techniques to engage difficult-to-reach audiences through municipal podcasts, YouTube video series, and visiting stakeholders to facilitate interactive pop-up experiences. 

She has experience facilitating community conversations with universities and colleges, reimagining regional malls and retail spaces, and implementing techniques to engage hard-to-reach audiences.

Jennifer’s Working Experience

As the company’s founder, she oversaw the management of the projects, people, and services. As a working principal at the company, Jennifer offered project management, entitlement processing, and facilitation for the firm’s customers. 

For her work, the American Planning Association recognized Jennifer as an innovator, mentor, and leader at the local and state levels.

Jennifer’s Background

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, is where Lilley earned her bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), the Planning Director Association of Orange County’s second vice-president, and the American Planning Association’s California State Chapter, where she served as section director and an active board member.

She will earn $236,250 annually.

Role of Economic Development Administration in Strengthening the Backbone of Riverside

EDA is committed to using the lessons learned from the entrepreneurial experience to improve program design and delivery in the future. This will help technologies advance as entrepreneurs take them from the lab to the market and into people’s daily lives.

When the right kinds of funding are made available at the correct times, EDA gives firms access to resources that match their needs for expansion.

Furthermore, human infrastructure, such as childcare, healthcare, and workforce development programs, supports entrepreneurship’s diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. Individuals and groups inside those ecosystems must be connected to utilize this infrastructure.

EDA aims to bring together the people, organizations, and resources that permit innovation and entrepreneurship to proceed quickly and at scale by concentrating on particular regions and technologies while expanding the funnel to include and empower more people to participate in and lead in technology-driven economies.

EDA Supporting Entrepreneurship and Startups in Riverside 

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded the City of Murrieta, California, a $2.4 million grant to renovate the Murrieta Innovation Center and to create a life science business incubator.

Read Here: Murrieta Gets $2.4M to Uplift its Innovation Center and Support Life Sciences Startups and Entrepreneurs.

Wrap Up!

Riverside City Names Director of Community and Economic Development Jennifer Lilley. Building Riverside County’s entrepreneurial foundation is a significant responsibility of the Economic Development Department of California, and Jennifer will help with this. 

She has more than 30 years of expertise in economic development and planning in both the public and private sectors. In her nearly eight years as president of her own business, Jennifer oversaw more than 50 professional planners. 


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