Robert Lilligren lives in south Minneapolis and represents District 6, which includes portions of the City of Minneapolis along I-35W, generally north to I-94 and I-394 (including the eastern Bryn Mawr neighborhood) along Franklin Avenue, bounded by the Mississippi River on the east, and southwest portions of the city of Minneapolis, east of Lyndale Avenue, north of 42nd Street (east of Lake Harriet), north of Lake Harriet, and neighborhoods on the west side of Lake Harriet and north of 39th Street West (around Bde Maka Ska).
Lilligren has extensive experience in local government, specifically in housing, transportation, community development, and community engagement. He served on the Minneapolis City Council from 2001 to 2014, including as Council Vice President for 12 of those years, and as a leader on several city commissions and collaborative groups. He also served on the Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Advisory Board for 12 years while a local elected official.
Robert Lilligren is the CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), an asset-based development nonprofit. A citizen of the White Earth Ojibwe Nation, he is the first Tribal member to serve on the Met Council. He previously served as CEO of the Little Earth United Tribes. Prior to his local government service, he worked as a housing developer and general contractor, building and managing affordable housing in south Minneapolis.
Lilligren said he will focus on equity, particularly in local economic development in the region, as a Council member. He hopes to bring his experience as a facilitator and consensus builder to his work as a Council member, and tap into the values and interests of the communities and stakeholders.
“Advancing equity in our region is the best expression and means of progress toward Gov. Walz’s vision of One Minnesota. I am passionate about community engagement and inclusive decision-making. We have our best successes when we engage collectively with a broad range of stakeholders. It is a core value of mine to honor all perspectives,” Lilligren said.
Lilligren’s education background includes studies in music, English, French and education at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College, leadership courses at the National League of Cities University, and two leadership development programs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
After living on the same block in the Phillips neighborhood for 36 years, Lilligren and his husband, Steve, recently moved to the Loring Heights Neighborhood just south of downtown Minneapolis where they enjoy the walkability, parks, and amenities of the area.