Jesse Helmer

Senior Research Associate

Jesse Helmer is Senior Research Associate at SPI, where he focuses on climate-friendly housing policy and the real costs of urban sprawl. Based in London, Ontario, where he has served two terms as a city councillor, including six years on the planning and environment committee, two years as deputy mayor (2018-2020) and eight years on the transit commission. He is particularly interested in the intersection of housing, mobility and climate policy and actionable strategies to build cleaner, greener and more affordable cities and communities. He was named one of London’s Top 20 Under 40 in 2019.

Jesse is a graduate of University of Waterloo (BA) and Queen's University (MPA) and is currently a PhD Candidate in political science at Western University, where his research focuses on the political participation gap between homeowners and tenants ( He teaches part-time at Western in the local government program and at Huron University College in the governance, ethics and leadership program. Jesse lives with his wife, Kate Graham, and their daughter, Flora, in Old North.