President and CEO
Metropolitan Planning Council
Darlene Oliver Hightower, J.D., is President & CEO of Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), an independent nonpartisan regional planning and policy organization. Darlene leads the organization’s strategic vision, shaping ambitious goals that will strengthen the impact of MPC’s work within the region. Throughout her career, Darlene has been a tireless advocate for equity. Previously, Darlene served as VP, of Community Health Equity at Rush University Medical Center. Darlene also led the development of West Side United, a cross-sector, collaborative effort to improve the health and economic vitality of Chicago’s West Side. Her leadership in health equity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was nationally recognized, as Darlene was honored in 2020 as a U.S. News and World Report Health Care Hero.