Minimizing Barriers to Maximize Potential for Success
EQXDV Thought Leaders
Founder, Public Design for Equity
Shalini Agrawal is trained as an architect and brings over 20 years of experience in community-engaged practice and pedagogy. She is co-director of Pathways to Equity, a design leadership program for social equity, and FIELD Design Network, a forum that builds capacity for underrepresented designers. She is Associate Professor in Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts and teaches at the intersection of design and community engagement. Shalini is a board member of Association for Community Design, and Architects, Designers, Planners for Social Responsibility and is a contributing author to Design for Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity and Public Interest Design Education Guidebook.
Patricia Alarcón, AIA
Associate Principal, Ratcliff Architects
Patricia is a registered architect with over 23 years of experience and is a leader of Ratcliff's academic practice. After spending her childhood in Lima, Perú, Patricia moved to the United States at the age of 12. Her experience of two distinct cultures has shaped her identity and world view. She graduated from Washington University and completed her graduate studies at UC Berkeley. Patricia believes that through design we can enhance everyday experience and have a positive impact on the larger community. First through LEAP and then as a lecturer at CCA, Patricia worked with middle school and college students to undertake a number of playground improvement design-build projects. These early experiences have shaped her career, which for the past 10 years has been focused on public higher education work in a variety of building types. Inspired by her children, Lucia (13) and Marco (10), Patricia is dedicated to creating academic environments that positively engage students and teachers and instill lifelong curiosity and love of learning. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Architectural Foundation and on the Board of Trustees at Park Day School in Oakland.
Lilian Asperin AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Lilian values a firm culture that embraces collaboration, connection to the community, risk taking, and fostering talent. As one of the studio's Partners, she helps lead the design process and build teams that deliver aspirational outcomes.
Lilian attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned her BA in Environmental Design and graduated with honors. After completing her studies, Lilian worked at architecture firms around the Bay Area, including Stanley Saitowitz, the City of San Francisco’s Bureau of Architecture, SOM, and NBBJ. Recently completed and current projects include the International Terminal at SFO, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies Master Plan, the Center for Science and Innovation at USF, 21st Century learning Environments Guidelines for CSU East Bay and Diablo Valley Community College, and UC Merced Project 2020's Public-Private-Partnership (P3) project. A leader within the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), she organized the first-ever Hackathon for MOOC’s as part of the Pacific Regional Conference and will be continuing her involvement with the organization as 2018-2021 Pacific Regional Chair.
Lilian utilizes her experience as a practice leader and licensed architect to develop synergistic relationships with leaders throughout the architectural and educational communities. Deeply involved with the local community, Lilian works to raise awareness and help break the cycle of poverty in the Bay Area through her work as a Tipping Point Community Partner. Lilian also acts as a Board Director of AIA San Francisco and is the Co-Chair of the Equity by Design Committee, a call to action for both women and men to realize the goal of equitable practice and communicate the value of design to society.
Jill Bergman, AIA
Principal, HDR Architecture
Jill is a Principal at HDR, and a leader in healthcare facility design. Jill holds her architecture licensed in California and is an ACHA board certified healthcare architect. Her background is all healthcare projects, mostly large firms, mostly large projects, mostly medical planning. She attended Clemson University for both her BA in Design and M.Arch, Architecture + Health program. An experienced healthcare architect and facilitator, Jill is well versed in leading projects, workshops of all sizes, integrated teams, managing group dynamics and synthesizing client goals and content. She believes architectural design is a team sport; that hospitals are small magical cities; a short, well run meeting is a thing of beauty; and the intersection of data and buildings will grow exponentially in the next few years.
Principal/Chief Talent Officer, Perkins+Will
Meg is a recognized talent leader in the design community with expertise in recruitment, employee communications, performance management, acquisitions, cultural integration, and best practices including the Perkins+Will Leadership Institute and Diversity + Inclusion Council. Notably, Meg implemented a highly successful paid parental leave policy, one of the first in the U.S. design profession. She has an unwavering commitment to the human side of our practice, fostering talent development, equity and design thinking.
She has contributed to articles in Architectural Record, ArchitectMagazine, and DesignIntelligence including “How top architecture firms measure up in the #MeToo era” in Curbed.com
Tiffany D. Brown, Assoc. AIA, NOMA
Project Manager, SmithGroup and Founder, 400 Forward
Tiffany holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a Master of Architecture, and a Master of Business Administration from Lawrence Technological University. Currently employed at SmithGroup’s Detroit office and faculty at her alma mater’s College of Architecture and Design, Tiffany has spearheaded raising awareness on how representation makes a significant social impact on firm practice, culture, and education. Her expertise stems from first-hand experiences of addressing environmental injustices and social issues. recently featured in AIA+Architect Magazine and Architectural Record for her efforts in EDI, rethinking architecture education for the traditionally underserved also plays a large role in her career.
Susan Chin, FAIA, Hon. ASLA
Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space
Susan Chin, FAIA, Hon. ASLA, Executive Directorleads the Design Trust for Public Space, a nationally recognized incubator that transforms and evolves the city’s landscape with public agencies, community collaborators, and private sector experts since 1995. Her key projects, include: Five Borough Farm, Making Midtown,Under the Elevated, The World’s Park, Laying the Groundwork, Opening the Edge and Future Culture. For over 20 years, Ms. Chin served as Assistant Commissioner for Capital Projects at NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. She also served as Vice President on the American Institute of Architects board, and received numerous awards, including a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard.
Melissa Daniel, Associate AIA
Staff Architect, WDG Architecture
The vast majority of Melissa’s work experience is with Karn Charuhas Chapman & Twohey (KCCT) Architects in Washington, DC. As a Senior Designer, she served 9 years on mission critical facility projects for federal government agencies. Her leadership responsibilities included coordinating projects with consultants and managing a team within the office. Looking to expand her portfolio, Melissa seek out an architecture firm with multi-family housing experience. Currently, she is a Staff Architect at WDG Architecture in Washington DC.
Melissa served as an Officer for the DC Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (DCNOMA), she has served as both its Historian and Treasurer. Melissa has implemented programs emphasizing inclusion such as bringing together AIA|DC Emerging Architects Mentoring Workshop and the DCNOMA monthly meeting to a diversity workshop presentation on the strategic plan to move AIA forward to become a more inclusive professional organization.
On the AIA National level, Melissa has served two years as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council. As chair of the Pipeline Development Working Group, Melissa brings a fresh perspective on how to engage youths’ interest in architecture as well as reaching out to them through social media when promoting the profession. Encouraging, empowering and engaging women in architecture is a passion of Melissa simply because someone has done it for her. ‘Pay it forward’, according to the famous saying. Since 2013, she's been ensuring women would have an established platform to showcase and an inspiring story to tell. There are three ways she has succeed:
• Founder of the Women in Architecture Series in the DC Metro Area
• Social Media maven for promoting women architects
Katy Faix, RA
Principal, Holmes Structural
Katy has been involved with AIA SF and CREWSF to promote equity in the profession. Katy is in a unique position in that she is part of Holmes Management team and was able to implement the in-house equity research project related to salary, years to promotion as it relates to gender. Now well established this tool is utilized each year to verify equity and avoid implicit bias as it relates to overall compensation and promotion. Katy works with the management team to identify areas to open doors and encourage the promotion and development of women in the field which is still dominated numerically by men. Katy has been involved in the expansion of the company to other cities and the mentoring of staff. Katy is a trained architect who now is a Principal in the firm in the related field of structural engineering.
Mani A. Farhadi, Assoc. AIA
Senior Facilities Planner, Stanford University
A global thinker and creative thought leader, Mani Ardalan Farhadi brings three decades of experience in architectural planning. In her current role as Senior Facilities Planner at Stanford University, in the Office of Facilities Planning and Management (OFPM) within the School of Medicine, Mani is combining her passion for education, with her extensive planning skills. Her prior experience includes 1 year at Taylor Design in San Francisco, 16 years at Steinberg Hart in San Jose, and 14 years at Sasaki Associates in Boston. Using analytical skills, she is integral to campus projects, collaborating on design and planning strategies with public and private educational clients throughout the US. Described as ‘the client in the room”, Mani’s keen ability to listen builds consensus within user group settings. Leveraging her expertise in strategic planning and programming, Mani enjoys leading workshops, stakeholder presentations, and conferences nationwide (SCUP, AIA, EQXD, CCFC, CCLC, A4LE).
Mani’s leadership extends into volunteer duties: former Board of Trustee member at Los Gatos Union School District, and Chair of the Bond Oversight Committee, for which she received the ‘Citizen Architect’ award. In addition, she is Outreach Coordinator and mentor for WIA (Women in Architecture) Silicon Valley, an advocate for pay equity, supplemented with mentoring professional Iranian women. A graduate of Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA with a B.A. in Architecture, she followed with a B.Arch from Boston Architectural College. A lifelong learner, her formal education has been supplemented with certificates from SCUP Planning Institute (Step III), Leadership Los Gatos, LEED AP, as well as training in MIG (Management in Governance) and Lean.
Linna Jane Frederick, FAIA
2019 AIA First Vice President/2020 AIA President
Extraordinary residences and renovations with an eye towards history and the environment are hallmarks of Jane Frederick’s work.
She is principal at Frederick + Frederick Architect, the 2017 AIA South Carolina Firm Award recipient, and her honors include Best Renovation of the Year, the Robert Mill Honor Award, and the Robert Mills Merit Award. She serves on numerous community and historic review and planning boards.
Jane has led the AIA Small Firm Round Table Executive Committee, served as an AIA At-Large Director, and was President of AIA South Carolina. Jane was elected as AIA National President-Elect for 2020 at the AIA National Conference on Architecture in June, 2018. She is part of the visiting team for the National Architectural Accrediting Board and is a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Beau Frail, AIA, NCARB
Beau Frail is an architect, artist, and writer. He is the Principal of Activate Architecture, a firm based in Austin TX, that collaborates with communities, cities and clients to create socially engaged, sustainable, and beautiful spaces. Beau was the 2017 Association for Community Design Fellow. He serves on the Texas Society of Architects’ Board and the AIA National Associates Committee. Beau’s civic engagement includes serving as a Design Commissioner at the City of Austin and as a founding member of the Open Architecture Collaborative Austin chapter. He shares his art and poetry as a form of activism highlighting LGBTQ+ themes.
Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Business Partner, Autodesk
Arezoo Riahi is Autodesk’s first Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Business Partner. She works with different business units and sites on the development of their diversity strategic plans, as well as lead internal initiatives designed to create an inclusive culture. Arezoo comes to Autodesk from the Institute of International Education (IIE) where she served as the Director of the TechWomen program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State, which brings women from around the world to the Bay Area for professional mentorship at innovative companies. In addition to leading the expansion of the TechWomen initiative and developing its strategic direction, she also created new features to the program including the addition of male mentors and a focus on community impact. Arezoo holds a Masters of Public Policy from The University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University.
Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA
Senior Associate, Arrowstreet
Emily Grandstaff-Rice is Senior Associate at Arrowstreet, a Boston-based architecture and design firm, and 2018-2020 Direct At-large on the AIA Board of Directors. With experience on a broad range of academic, hospitality, institutional, and commercial projects, her innovative design work reinforces that a building is more than its shell; it is an experience.
As a frequent speaker and writer on the future of architectural practice, Emily is fascinated by how technology, the social economy, and environmental urgency are addressed in architectural practice.
She has demonstrated continued and significant service to the AIA including leading the national diversity and inclusion conversation as chair of the Equity in Architecture Commission. For more than a decade of her career, Emily has advocated for emerging professionals: conducting original research on professional development, chairing the AIA Continuing Education Committee, and serving as 2014 president of the Boston Society of Architects/AIA.
Shawn Hesse NCARB, LFA, LEED AP BD+C, O+M
Community Engagement Manager, International Living Future Institute
Shawn oversees the volunteer Ambassador program with nearly 1,000 participants worldwide, and conducts training, and public presentations on all of ILFI’s programs.
Shawn has over 13 years of project experience with LEED, the Living Building Challenge, and net zero energy projects. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and policy makers at all levels of government on issues related to sustainability, social equity, and green jobs.
As a volunteer, he has co-authored Social Equity Pilot Credits for LEED, and is Vice President of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, working to promote human rights through design.
He is NCARB Certified, Living Future Accredited, LEED Accredited BD+C and O+M specialties, and has trained in adult education, charrette facilitation, racial equity, and regenerative development.
Kevin Holland, AIA
Operations Director, Perkins+Will
Kevin Holland currently serves as the Operations Director for Perkins+Will in Los Angeles. Most recently, Mr. Holland (Kevin) has served as the 2015-2016 National President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and remains on its National Board until December 2018.
Before relocating to Los Angeles, Mr. Holland (Kevin) has practiced the states of Delaware, Ohio and Indiana—holding registrations in each. Now, in his 28th year of professional practice, Mr. Holland (Kevin) graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. degree in Architecture, in 1988, and the University of Michigan with a M. Arch. degree, in 1998. As a native of Wilmington, Delaware, Mr. Holland (Kevin) has always been very active in the community: he has served as a director within various music ministries in Delaware, Ohio and Indiana, and; has served on a number of non-profit board of directors, specifically, as board president of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center in Indianapolis and co-chair of the Directional Signage Committee of the Indianapolis 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinmhollandaia
Damaris Hollingsworth, AIA
V.P. THOR Design Plus, THOR Companies
Damaris Hollingsworth has an Architectural and Urban Design degree from the Faculdade de Arquitetura & Urbanismo at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Having moved to the Unites States of America in 2006, Damaris has since become a Registered Architect, a LEED accredited professional and holds a NCARB certificate. As the Vice President of THOR Design Plus at THOR Companies, Damaris empowers high-performing teams to produce innovative and memorable projects. She ensures that her team develops a distinctive architectural design that aligns with client’s needs, budgets and schedules. A pillar of her philosophy is creating holistic spaces that are accessible to everyone in the community. Her ability to establish a clear vision among a cross-functional team ensures each expert is able to effectively contribute to the overall project. Damaris’ dynamic and engaging personality combined with her global and multicultural background enables her to connect with people from all walks of life. Her approachability makes people feel relevant and the outcome of her work makes it clear that all voices matter. With vibrancy and grace, Damaris is poised to expand the reach of inclusive architecture as a way to promote social justice and to beautify all communities. Her design solutions are deeply rooted in the people it serves, while responding to both community values and economic realities. Her resiliency inspires all around her to be productive and stay engaged. Damaris’ servant leadership is showcased through her service to the design profession as the 2016-2018 President of MSP AoA NOMA chapter and through being an engaged member of the AIA MN, serving as the 2016-2017 co-chair for the Women in Architecture Committee and as a member of the 2016 Strategic Resource Team.
A.L. Hu, Associate AIA
Architectural Designer, Solomonoff Architecture Studio
A.L. is a queer, non-binary person of color working as an architectural designer at Solomonoff Architecture Studio in New York City since 2017. They have worked on residential and institutional projects. Prior to joining SAS, they worked as a designer at Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects. A.L. holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley with a minor in Sustainable Design, and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University.
Their activism is at the intersection of architectural labor and gender equity, and manifests in written and visual media forms. Their research focuses on working with other people and communities to understand and rethink the architect's role in creating inclusive spaces. They are a member of as well as a conduit connecting many organizations, including The Architecture Lobby, QSPACE, ArchiteXX, and AIA New York. They have a Master of Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP, as well as a B.A. Architecture and minor in Sustainable Design from UC Berkeley. Website: a-l.hu ; Twitter: @a_l_hu
Diane Jacobs, AIA
Principal, Holly Street Studio
Diane Reicher Jacobs is the founding principal of Holly Street Studio Architects in Phoenix Arizona. Since 2005, Holly Street has completed nearly 100 projects in the public realm - Community Centers, Higher Ed Facilities, Parks and Recreation Buildings and Urban Masterplans. The work is consistently recognized for design excellence coming from program driven ideas that are grounded in context and inspired by civic discourse. While leading the firm, Diane has remained a steadfast advocate for Women's Leadership as the Chair of the 3rd Biennial National Women's Leadership Summit in Phoenix 2013, President of AIA Arizona in 2014 and Founder of the AZ Women's Leadership Group which is now an active and thriving force in the AZ AIA. Her understanding of the business of architecture from an entrepreneurial perspective has been instrumental in mentoring the next generation not only for impact but well-rounded success. She is the mother of 2 extraordinary young men, wife and partner to Michael Jacobs, AIA, and a perennially aspiring visual artist.
Jessica Jobe Sea, AIA
Architect, Noll & Tam Architects
Jessica Jobe Sea is a licensed architect who has been with Noll & Tam Architects for more than four years, and in the industry for over six. Since then, she has worked on a range of projects: from research labs to hospitals, libraries to office renovations. Jessica has a passion for sustainable design and community-based design. She likes to get the perspective of people outside of architecture – they challenge her to look at things in a different way, and she finds that incorporating these perspectives helps her understand how to move the industry forward.
BRYAN C. LEE JR, Associate AIA
DIRECTOR OF DESIGN, COLLOQATE DESIGN
Designer and Design Justice Advocate. Founder/Director of Colloqate Design. Founding organizer of the Design Justice Platform and organized the Design As Protest National day of Action. Led two award-winning architecture + design programs for high school students through the Arts Council of New Orleans (local) and the National Organization of Minority Architects (national), respectively. National AIA Equity + the Future of Architecture Board Committee. 2013 AIA Diversity Recognition Award. 2014 NOMA member of the year, 2015 Next City Vanguard Fellow, 2015 International British American Project Fellow. 2016 TED Speaker and SXSW Eco Keynote. 40 under 40 National Trust. 2018 Fast Company Most Creative People in Business.
Nancy Malone, AIA, LEED Fellow
Principal, Siegel & Strain Architects
Nancy Malone has dedicated her 28-year career to designing beautiful, regionally appropriate, high-performance buildings. She has focused much of the last 15-years on outdoor education camps, interpretive centers and education facilities that embody her design approach. Key projects include the Jess Jackson Sustainable Winery Building, a net-positive project for UC Davis; the National Environmental Science Center, designed for Nature Bridge in Yosemite National Park and anticipated to be net-zero energy; and the off-the-grid Cottonwood Visitor Center at Joshua Tree National Park. Nancy has taught Design at the University of California, Davis and in the School of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. Over the years, she has served on several Technical Advisory Groups creating or advising on green building standards, including the LEED-NC MRTAG, the LEED-H MRTASC, and the GreenPoint Rated system. Nancy is an Oakland native with a passion for maintaining the character and creative vitality of the Bay Area and ensuring that her teenage daughter lives in the ‘actual’ world.
Julia Mandell, AIA
Architect, Wilson Associates
Julia is an experienced architect and planner with broad project experience in architecture, urban design and landscape design. Currently practicing with Wilson Associates, a design/build/development firm in Oakland, California, Julia work includes the design of spaces for living, working, eating and making, with a focus on adaptive reuse. Julia also currently serves as the Co-Chair of Equity by Design, working to increase access to the field of architecture and promote equitable outcomes throughout the architectural process. Previously, Julia worked for four years with SWA Group on large-scale urban design and landscape work in China and Houston, Texas. She received her Masters of Architecture from Rice University and her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Columbia University. She is a licensed architect in the state of California.
Samantha McCloud, AIA
Director of Community Involvement, Diversity & Inclusion, GastingerWalker&
Samantha McCloud is the Director of Community Involvement, Diversity & Inclusion and a licensed architect at GastingerWalker. She was recently honored by Kansas City Ink Magazine and Star Newspaper as a 2017 “30 Under 30” top individual making a difference.
With empathy and intention, she designs projects that serve diverse populations nationwide. As Director, she engages in human resources, recruitment and culture, community connections, business development and P&L responsibility. In both roles, she researches/tracks outcomes, leads and trains teams, grows relationships, and helps build a future that is more inclusive, accessible, and engaging.
Samantha leads teams in a variety of projects from initial concept through to construction and close-out. Projects include new-builds and renovations of places to work, learn, live, heal and play. Many of these projects integrate cutting-edge technology, require complex coordination, and perform as places of assembly for hundreds of people.
In addition to her professional roles, Samantha is passionate about empowering others through education and social connection. She initiated and co-authored a 60-page report about local perceptions on equity in architecture based on survey data from 270+ Kansas City architects and presently hosts monthly training sessions to spread the knowledge metro wide. She also led an internationally-distributed trade journal celebrating women in design, called “RISE”. Over the last ten years, she has continuously launched and led multiple recurring mentoring programs and talent pipeline efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in architecture, regularly speaking to youth on success and governing the annual distribution of $50,000+ of scholarship funds.
As a Midwestern native, a millennial in her twenties, a woman, a person of color, a first generation citizen and a dreamer-doer, Samantha strives to help others think bigger, try more fearlessly, and believe in their own value and power to make a difference.
Marilyn is the founding principal of Runcible Studios, an architecture practice in Boston, MA, where she is also a Member of the Faculty at the Boston Architectural College, and an Adjunct Professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Previously, Marilyn worked at Utile, Inc in Boston, as a building contractor in Charlottesville, VA, and was the 2010 SOM Prize winner; she has lectured nationally and internationally on her work and research. She also serves as the Chair of Northeastern Law School’s NuLawLab advisory board and is a Facilitator at the Entrepreneur Architect Academy. Marilyn holds a BS Arch, a BA History, and an M.Arch from the University of Virginia, and is a licensed Architect in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
Michael J. Monti, PhD, has served as executive director of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture since 2004. ACSA’s mission is to lead in architectural education and research, and in recent years, under Monti’s leadership, the organization established new scholarly web publications, a new portal to architecture schools, and a new volunteer structure. Monti has also served as principal on several funded projects with government agencies, foundations and industry groups. Monti has a doctorate from the Philosophy, Interpretation, Culture program at Binghamton University, where his dissertation focused on environmental philosophy and ethics.
Kendall A. Nicholson, Ed.D, Assoc. AIA, LEED GA
Director of Research and Information, ACSA
Kendall Nicholson is a licensed educator, trained architectural designer, and an avid researcher. He works as the Director of Research and Information at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). With degrees in architecture, real estate and education, his research explores the discipline of architecture through the lens of a social scientist. He has presented research internationally and his research interests surround teaching, learning, and curriculum within the context of architecture. At the ACSA, he makes efforts to engender research surrounding issues of:
1) diversity within the discipline of architecture,
2) architectural relevancy and economy,
3) K12 education and the opportunities for architectural impact, and
4) design scholarship and measurable student outcomes.
Diana Nicklaus, AIA
With over 20 years’ experience, Diana has practiced architecture in both the United States and Italy, with projects throughout the continental U.S. and Europe. Diana co-founded Saam Architecture (saam is a multi-lingual descriptor that translates as “together”) in June of 2014. The Saam partnership, a certified Massachusetts WBE/DBE firm, was established with the mission of providing a progressive HR model, thereby attracting top talent to an equitable environment. Diana has become an advocate for equitable practice, sharing her firm's strategies in presentations and interviews. In 2018, the firm was named as one of Boston’s Best Places to Work by the Boston Business Journal. Diana’s portfolio includes high-profile, large-scale institutional projects, including those in the higher education, healthcare, cultural arts, aviation, and K-12 education sectors.
Diana received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Tufts University in 1993, followed by a Master of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. She has been a guest lecturer at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Syracuse University in Florence, a presenter at ABX 2015, ABX 2017, and the keynote speaker at the Vermont ACX 2018. Diana was a founding co-chair of the Massachusetts Building Congress Women’s Network, and is currently serving as the President of Boston Professional Women in Construction.
For over 30 years, Diane has helped the nation’s top healthcare institutions translate their visions into reality. As our pediatric health practice leader, she advocates for integrating the myriad dimensions that address the health and wellbeing of children — from healthcare and education to research, recreation, nutrition and more. Because of her deep expertise and unwavering passion in this area, she is a frequent lecturer at healthcare business and design forums. Her empathic, award-winning work for children’s hospitals, women’s health facilities and cancer care centers are often benchmarked among the world’s best patient care environments.
Diane is also a member of CannonDesign’s board of directors where she contributes her first-hand knowledge about what it takes to run a successful design practice; prior to FKP merging with CannonDesign, Diane was the firm’s CEO for six years. Among the areas she advocates for on the board is diversity and inclusiveness — believing it is essential for our profession to accurately reflect the demographics of communities we live in and serve through our design work.
Workplace Experience Manager, Gensler
My name is Morgan Pegus-Thomas and I strive to elevate conversations that tell the story of the human condition. In bygone years, we shared our history, lessons and warnings by word of mouth and through engaging storytelling. These stories ultimately came to affect our culture. They tell of our existence, offer advice and ultimately engage our condition. At their root, stories are what bind us to our past.
By itself, technology is simply a tool that's purpose is for the betterment of the human condition. I use technology as a tool to dynamically advance a narrative. for me that narrative is often centered around human engagement. I want to share dialogues of what is plaguing, advancing, assisting, trending and challenging the human condition and maximize these stories with dynamic imagery, installations and performance. Working within design I believe we have the tools and resources to really lead the way in being the modern story tellers of our age.
We live in a world of constant distraction. I strive to create a space that binds bygone storytelling with of technology to create a more engaged, informed and impactful experience.
Annelise Pitts, AIA
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Annelise Pitts is an architect with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in New York, NY. In her design work, she has collaborated with clients and interdisciplinary design teams on complex design and planning projects. Recent projects include the UC Davis Large Lecture Hall, and campus planning for Dominican University of California. As a member of the Equity by Design core team, and the research chair for the last 2 surveys, she is responsible for the development and oversight of the Equity in Architecture Research Project. She looks forward to sharing the results of the 2018 survey at this year’s symposium.
Founder, Point Line Projects
Sarah Rafson is an architectural writer, editor, and curator who founded Point Line Projects, an editorial and curatorial agency for architecture and design. She was the 2017-18 Ann Kalla Visiting Professor at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture, where she continues to teach, and won the Columbia University Buell Center Oral History Prize for her graduate research. Sarah serves on the board of ArchiteXX and has worked on exhibitions with the Centre Pompidou and Museum of Modern Art, and edited two books, Parc de la Villette (Artifice, 2014) and Builders, Housewives, and the Construction of Modern Athens (Artifice, 2017).
Prescott Reavis, NOMA, LEEP AP, SEED
Director of Community Planning, Asian Neighborhood Design
Prescott Reavis is an Oakland based spatial activist, designer, planner and educator who has merged his 20 years of experiences in architecture, planning and education to plan, develop and construct inclusive communities internationally with a focus on cultural design and planning justice. Mr. Reavis is a Project Manager and Director of Community Planner for the nonprofit AND Architecture + Community Planning. Prescott earned his Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Education from Howard University and is currently completing his Masters in Urban Planning from San Jose State University with a focus on youth education and engagement.
Director of Creative Engagement, Payette
Karen leads the external engagement strategy at Payette, having developed staff on-boarding programs, a clear voice for the firm and strategies for success. With experience in graphic design, Karen plays a critical role in managing the firm’s brand identity. Karen leads the dialogue in Boston about how firms can integrate social media strategy into their business development goals. Karen is a member of the AIA COTE Communications Task Force and leads the BSA’s Equity Roundtable.
Rosa T. Sheng, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C
Principal, SmithGroup and AIASF President 2018
Rosa T. Sheng, FAIA is a Principal at SmithGroup and Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion. She is also AIASF President and Founding Chair of Equity by Design. As a licensed architect with 23 years of experience in architecture and design, Rosa has led a variety of award-winning and internationally acclaimed projects from the aesthetically minimal, highly technical development of the glass structures for Apple’s original high-profile retail stores, to the innovative and sustainable LEED NC Gold–certified Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College in Oakland, California.
Most notably Rosa has led a national movement for equitable practice in Architecture - catalyzed by ground-breaking research, engaging platforms and public speaking outreach nationally and abroad. National press coverage of Rosa’s work with Equity by Design include Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TEDxPhiladelphia and KQED/NPR.
Michael Thomas, Esq.
Senior Associate, Ogletree Deakins
Michael Thomas is a Senior Associate with Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Steward P.C in Los Angeles - a global management side labor and employment law firm. Michael represents employers in both class action lawsuits and single-plaintiff litigation including discrimination and harassment claims. He is also a member of Ogletree’s Pay Equity group where he regularly conducts pay equity audits and provides advice, counseling and workplace trainings on issues involving diversity and inclusion, and unconscious bias. Michael has a Bachelor of Arts from Bucknell University and a Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School. Michael has also studied yoga, meditation and mindfulness. Michael is a recipient of the 2018 American Arbitration Association Higginbotham Fellowship and was recently selected by the National Bar Association as one of the Top 100 African-American Attorneys.
Natalie Y. Tse, SE, LEED AP
Project Manager, Tipping Structural Engineers
Natalie Y. Tse is a California Licensed Structural Engineer with a broad range of design experience in educational, commercial/retail, residential, science and technology sectors. She is a Project Manager at Tipping Structural Engineers in Berkeley, California. Her portfolio includes the structural design, assessment, and seismic retrofit of over 35 school campuses, a mission critical laboratory and office building, and the design of a new wood-framed cathedral over concrete post-tensioned podium. Natalie is deeply passionate about innovative solutions, well-integrated and cost-effective designs, responsiveness during construction, and open communication. She is profoundly committed to learning, mentoring, building strong relationships, family, and giving back to the community. In 2015, Natalie co-founded the SE3 Project, a project established to understand and mitigate issues of employee engagement and retention, advancement, work-life balance, and gender equity in the structural engineering profession. Natalie received her BSE in Engineering and Mathematics from Queen’s University in Canada in 2002.
Deanna Van Buren, RA
Founder, Designing Justice, Designing Spaces
Deanna Van Buren is one of the national leaders researching, formulating, and advocating for restorative justice centers, a radical transformation of the criminal justice system. She currently sits on the national board of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility and is a co-founding partner of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, an architecture and real estate development firm innovating in the built environment to end mass incarceration.
Deanna’s professional career spans 16 years as a global design lead and project manager on mixed-use, retail, institutional and higher education projects with developers such as Bovis Lend Lease, Australand, The Al Ghurair Group and Alexandria Real Estate Equities. In 2011, Deanna started her first public interest design firm, FOURM design studio, where she completed the Syracuse Peacemaking Center in New York, the first of its kind in the United States. At Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, Deanna brings her design and thought leadership to current projects such as Restore, a multi-use hub for restorative justice and workforce development in east Oakland and the Pop-up Village, a mobile infrastructure for under-resourced communities. She is a recent award of the 2017 Women in Architecture Awards Honor Pioneering Professionals, a 2015/2016 Rauschenberg Artist as Activist fellow and an alumnus of the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
Sandra I. Vivanco, RA, SEED
Sandra I. Vivanco is the founding principal of A+D, Architecture + Design in San Francisco. Based on the premise that inclusiveness and design excellence can and should co-exist, the work of A+D is globally recognized and operates at multiple scales. As one of a handful of Latina-owned architecture firms in the country, A+D explores cultural identity representation as design inspiration for new and invigorated public spaces. Vivanco has practiced architecture in Japan, Portugal, Peru, Italy, Mexico and Brazil. Most notably, she worked for Portuguese Pritzker prize winner Alvaro Siza in 1990.
Widely recognized as a rigorous modern architect with a deep commitment to public work, Vivanco is also well known as a LatinX cultural expert with profound knowledge of modern art and architecture in Latin America. She is currently the Architect of Record for The Mexican Museum in San Francisco, due to open in 2020. Vivanco was selected Architect of Community as one of 10 Architects to Watch featured in California Home & Design magazine in 2010. Last year, she received the Education Award in the AIA San Francisco Community Alliance Awards program.
As a California College of the Arts Professor of Architecture and Diversity Studies and Co-Director of the CCA BuildLab; Vivanco skillfully synthesizes theory and practice in her work. Sometimes design proposals start in the classroom and are deployed as design-build projects. Other times a professional commission might find a different life in an academic studio. Two successful recent examples are the permanent built interventions by her students at Plaza Adelante - a community service and art center for Latino immigrants - and an urban design studio proposing a temporary global event on 38 acres of waterfront remediated land owned by PG&E. Vivanco is a San Francisco Mission neighborhood resident and activist, an avid dancer, a proud mother of two public school graduates and is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
Roberta Washington, FAIA, NOMA
Principal, Roberta Washington Architects
As Principal of Roberta Washington Architects, PC since 1983, Roberta has designed and overseen the designs of schools, housing projects and cultural centers including the African Burial Ground Interpretive Center in Lower Manhattan. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Howard University and a Master of Science in Architecture degree from Columbia University. Roberta is a past president of the National Organization of Minority Architects and a past NYC Landmarks Preservation Commissioner. Since 1997 she has researched and written about early black women architects with biographies appearing in The Biographical Dictionary of African-American Architects, 1865-1945 and Le Dictionaaries Des Femmes Creatrices.
Carole Wedge, FAIA
CEO, Shepley Bulfinch
Carole Wedge, FAIA, is CEO of Shepley Bulfinch. Her work in both leadership and design capacities is noted for its success in achieving organizational change and strategically positioning her clients for the future. Carole is recognized for her leadership in moving the firm forward since 2004, opening offices in Phoenix and Houston and growing the quality and creativity of the firm’s work. Her efforts to enhance diversity in architecture, on a national level, are visible through her leadership of the Large Firm Round Table and active participation in both the AIA Women’s Leadership Summits and Equity By Design.
Karen Williams, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Architect, Pivot Architecture
Karen E. Williams is consistently working to educate people about the inner benefits of the architecture community. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Oregon where she teaches Revit and Professional Practice. As a means to be professional example, Karen is on the AIA-SWO board and supports STAnDD a local student group. She joined PIVOT Architecture in 2014 as a Project Architect after practicing on the east coast for 9 years.
Karen has been active in the Southwestern Oregon chapter of the American Institute of Architects. She has been instrumental in the design and construction of Howard Elementary and River Road Elementary. In 2014, Karen was honored as the Young Architect of the Year by the American Institute of Architects.