Erin Aleman

Executive Director
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning  (CMAP) 

Erin Aleman is a planning and public policy expert, accomplished leader, and a positive change agent.

She leads the award-winning Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) — the regional planning agency for 7 counties, 284 municipalities, and 8.6 million residents in northeastern Illinois.

She is the first woman to serve in this role and the first professional planner to lead the agency.

The CMAP team is comprised of transportation experts, data analysts, thought leaders, planners, policy influencers, collaborators, and consensus builders. CMAP has earned a revered reputation for advancing sound policy, driving innovative solutions, and leading transformational change.

From helping to create a first-of-its-kind regional economic partnership, developing solutions to transform the region’s transit system, and building consensus among the region’s leaders on the highest-priority transportation projects, Erin and CMAP have left their mark on this region since Erin became CMAP’s executive director in July 2019.

The region consistently relies on Erin and her team to share their expertise and knowledge on national, regional, and local conference panels and media interviews.

Aleman’s career journey brought her full circle. Fresh out of graduate school in 2007, she joined CMAP as the agency’s Phillip D. Peters Regional Planning fellow. Over the next eight years, she rose through the ranks to become principal planner in 2011 and played key roles in creating the highly successful Technical Assistance program, leading regional outreach for GO TO 2040 — the agency’s first long-term comprehensive plan — and completing more than 20 local planning projects.

She also held leadership positions at the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT), first as a bureau chief and then as director of the Office of Planning and Programming. During her IDOT tenure, she provided strategic guidance, implemented performance-based tools, developed the state’s first asset management plan, and was responsible for developing multimodal policy initiatives.

In 2019, Erin was named as one of Crain’s distinguished 40 under 40 designees and the Women in Transportation (WTS) Chicago Chapter’s Woman of the Year in 2020.

Erin holds a master’s degree in urban planning and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking. She holds advisory roles for UIC’s Stuart Handler Real Estate program, the Southland Development Authority, and the Chicago Chapter of WTS. Erin also had the honor of being a strategist for the Obama Foundation Scholars Program in 2018.

She has served on the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) Board since 2019, elected secretary in 2021, and currently serves as vice chair.

Erin is a passionate planner and champion for collaboration with a love for serving people and making a difference.