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Senior Planner + Engagement Manager

Aneesha is a Senior Planner and Community Engagement Manager at Zan Associates with fifteen years of experience working in urban planning, state politics, arts and culture policy, affordable housing, community engagement, and arts district development. She has worked in over 80 communities nationally bringing an outside perspective and unique approach to community-based development. 

Aneesha spent her childhood as a third-culture kid in Saudi Arabia, and her love for travel, learning about new communities, and meeting new people with different perspectives has not waned. She moved to Minneapolis from Chicago, where she worked for a real estate research firm and earned her Master of Urban Planning and Policy. She conducted market studies for downtown, target areas, and transit-oriented development studies.
Prior to moving to Chicago, Aneesha lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, for nine years, where she attended Tulane University and worked in local politics. The position gave her valuable insight into the relationship between politics and urban planning. It also furthered her interest in affordable housing policy and the creative sector’s relationship with economic development. She’s excited that her work at Zan leads her to thoughtful community engagement so people can shape the cities where they live and keep them creative and funky.

stuff to know

  • Master of Urban Planning and Policy (Economic Development Concentration) / University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Chicago, Illinois

  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Development / Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Self-proclaimed desert dog, taught herself how to cross-country ski

  • Mildly obsessed with her dog, Paws

  • Loves spicy food

  • Hasn’t missed a Mardi Gras since 2006

  • New mom!

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