John D. Ratliff
Guest Author

John D. Ratliff

Former Nonresident Senior Fellow – Brookings Metro

John D. Ratliff is a strategist and policy consultant focused on building prosperity in an era of dramatic change. Ratliff works closely with leaders and communities to develop visions for a more innovative, resilient, and equitable future and to build new tools, partnerships, and ways of doing business to realize these visions. He is an expert on the interplay of policies across multiple levels of authority and effective execution in systems of networked governance.


Ratliff is a former Nonresident Senior Fellow and Director of Policy Innovation at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. He served for three years as Counselor to the Secretary and Director of Policy and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Commerce and seven years as Director of Policy in the Maryland Governor’s Office.


He was director of multiple divisions of the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices where he advised governors and other state leaders on policies related to technology, the environment, land use, energy, transportation, housing, natural disaster preparedness, public health preparedness, and homeland security. He also worked closely with mayors, county executives, and other local stakeholders as Director of the AIA’s Center for Livable Communities.


He gained an understanding of the critical role of legislatures while managing bills for the governor in Maryland’s General Assembly and while serving as a legislative counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives assigned to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Small Business, and Education and the Workforce.


Throughout his career, Ratliff has advised leaders and their communities in times of crisis and opportunity. He is currently engaged in efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but he has also assisted with efforts to recover from the Great Recession, rebuild Lower Manhattan after 9/11, reunify Berlin, and rebuild after Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Irene, Isabel, Floyd, and Hugo.


Ratliff holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an M.P. in urban and environmental planning and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Filter by