Brooks Rainwater

Senior Executive & Director, Center for City Solutions

National League of Cities

Brooks Rainwater

Senior Executive & Director, Center for City Solutions

National League of Cities

Brooks Rainwater is the senior executive and director of the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Center for City Solutions. Rainwater drives the organization’s research agenda, community engagement efforts, and leadership education programming to help city leaders create strong local economies, safe and vibrant neighborhoods, world-class infrastructure, and a sustainable environment.

As an advocate for strong local leadership, Rainwater leads a team of experts across the field of urban policy, and regularly advises cities both in the United States and globally on critical issues faced now and yet to come. He has published a wide variety of reports and articles on innovative solutions that lead to vibrant and successful cities.

Rainwater speaks regularly across the country and overseas on issues facing city leaders. Under his leadership of the Center, it has grown and developed a host of new programs from land use and equitable development to alternative energy and resilience to urban innovation and enhanced city governance strategies.

Rainwater’s research and interests include advancements in technology and city innovation, the sharing economy, and how the rise of state preemption is impacting local authority. His expertise is a draw for media outlets, including the TODAY Show, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and the New York Times. Rainwater also frequently contributes to publications such as Fast Company, Forbes, CityLab, Business Insider, TechCrunch, and Fortune.

Prior to joining NLC, Rainwater was Director of Public Policy for the American Institute of Architects (AIA). While there he developed the Local Leaders research series and spearheaded the Cities as a Lab initiative focused on the key role cities play as creative instigators of innovative practices.

Rainwater serves on numerous boards with current and past service to the STAR Communities Board, the American Library Association Public Policy Advisory Council, the International Advisory Board for the City of Rotterdam, and the Arlington County Environment and Energy Conservation Commission.

A person listed as a contributor has spoken or otherwise participated in Regulatory Transparency Project events, publications, or multimedia presentations. A person's appearance on the website does not imply an endorsement or relationship between the person and the Regulatory Transparency Project. The Regulatory Transparency Project takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues. All expressions of opinion by a contributor are those of the contributor.


Deep Dive Episode 108 – Regulating Home-Sharing and Home-Based Businesses

April 28, 2020

In this episode, Brooks Rainwater and Jon Riches discuss developments in state and local regulations surrounding home-sharing and home-based businesses. How do we balance safety and public goods with innovation and entrepreneurialism?

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Deep Dive Episode 53 – Analyzing the Regulatory Thicket

May 17, 2019

Brooks Rainwater and Luke Wake explore whether we should maintain the status quo, seek to scale-back existing regulation, and/or winnow existing regulatory regimes.

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Deep Dive Episode 51 – Emerging Tech and Regulation

May 13, 2019

In this episode, leading thinkers from across the emerging tech space discuss the regulatory environment for everything from drones to autonomous vehicles.

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Pepperdine Law Review’s 2019 Symposium: Emerging Technology and Regulation

March 21, 2019

Today’s regulatory landscape presents challenges for public and private entities. Private actors are often faced with conflicting, ambiguous, or altogether absent regulatory frameworks. Is it possible for them to overcome these challenges while delivering the creativity and innovation the marketplace demands? How can government regulators and legislators avoid stifling opportunity, function more efficiently, and enact and enforce sensible and effective regulatory schemes?

Pepperdine Law Review’s 2019 Symposium, in partnership with the Regulatory Transparency Project, explored these vital questions from both the academic and practical perspectives. The third panel of the symposium focused on the potential impact of regulatory policies on emerging technologies.

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