Minimizing Barriers to Maximize Potential for Success
Thought Leaders Gallery Database
Founder of The 3% Conference, Advertising Creative Director
Kat Gordon has been called the “triple threat” of an entrepreneur, ad woman + marketing to women expert and was named one of "30 Most Creative Women in Advertising" by BusinessInsider in 2016 and one of “Forty Over 40” women disrupting the world in 2014. She is the visionary behind The 3% Conference. Started as a passion project to spotlight a huge business opportunity in advertising -- the lack of female creative leadership and its impact on connecting with an overwhelmingly female marketplace -- the 3% Conference has grown exponentially since its 2012 launch and has hosted events in 15 cities globally. Kat's team also offers consulting and certification to help agencies up their accountability around gender equality
Rosa T. Sheng, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Senior Associate, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Rosa is an architect with over 22 years experience, that 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. As founding chair of Equity by Design and Treasurer of AIA San Francisco, Rosa has led Equity in Architecture Survey 2014, 2016, authored AIA National Resolution 15-1, and served on the Equity in Architecture Commission. She has presented nationally and abroad including Boston, New York, Lisbon, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Equity by Design has been featured in Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TEDxPhiladelphia and KQED/NPR.
Lilian Asperin, AIA
Associate and Project Director, WRNS Studio
Lilian values a firm culture that embraces collaboration, connection to the community, risk taking and fostering talent. As an Associate and Project Director for WRNS Studio’s San Francisco office, she helps lead the design process and build teams that deliver aspirational outcomes. Lilian attended the University of California, Berkeley 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. 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 continues her involvement with the organization as Council Program Chair. Lilian also acts as Co-Chair of AIA San Francisco’s Equity by Design, a call to action for both women and men to realize the goal of equitable practice and communicate the value of design to society.
Saskia Dennis-van Dijl
Principal Consultant, Cameron MacAllister Group
Saskia’s love of design and the people who practice it drive her work. Applying highly strategic thinking and her knowledge of the design industry, she helps clients improve their competitive messaging and compete successfully for projects. Her clients rely on her intent listening and honest counsel. Passionate about supporting the role of women in the workplace, Saskia has channeled her beliefs into diversity consulting, helping firms better understand their challenges and opportunities in those areas. This focus carries over into her work with the AIA San Francisco’s Equity by Design Committee for which she is an active spokesperson. Saskia also works with clients—often on an ongoing basis—on strategic marketing planning, positioning, and marketing assessments, as well as retreat and planning-meeting facilitation. Saskia lives in Portland and is building a house in the Columbia River Gorge, strategically located within hiking distance of the Pacific Crest Trail.
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 designer and project manager at Wilson Associates, a design/build/development firm in Oakland, Julia’s recent work focuses on innovative commercial and residential projects that serve as urban catalysts. Julia is also very involved with AIASF’s Equity by Design, serving as the group’s 2016 Symposium Chair. 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 Master of Architecture from Rice University and her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Columbia University.
Annelise Pitts, Associate AIA
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Annelise Pitts is a designer with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in San Francisco, CA. In her design work, she has collaborated with clients and interdisciplinary design teams on programmatically 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 group’s current research chair, she is responsible for the development and oversight of the Equity in Architecture Research Project. She looks forward to sharing the results of the 2016 survey at this year’s symposium. Annelise spends her time outside of work exploring California’s ski mountains, running and hiking trails, and traveling with her husband.
Paul Cooper, AIA
Associate Principal, TEF Design and President-Elect, AIA SF
Paul brings order to the creative process of his community and large corporation project. His ability to steward a shared vision amongst stakeholders while simultaneously and creatively tackling project minutae with meticulous precision has helped shape TEF’s culture.
Paul is an Associate Principal at TEF Design a 26 person firm in San Francisco where he contributes to the office by guiding the staffing process.
Paul received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon. He has served on the AIA San Francisco Board of Directors since 2013 and is the current President Elect.
Jennifer Jones, CAE IOM
Executive Director, AIA SF
Jennifer Jones, MS, CAE, IOM serves as Executive Director of AIA San Francisco (AIASF), one of the largest AIA Chapters in the nation representing 2,200+ members in San Francisco and Marin County. As executive director, her core responsibilities relate to long‐term organizational stability and success of AIASF, which includes establishing and maintaining internal and external partnerships, guiding strategic planning, formulating policy, and leading administration in the interest of architect and allied professional membership. Jenn has an MS in Public Service & Nonprofit Management from DePaul University, and was a 2006 DePaul Public Service Fellow. She received her BS in Journalism and Sociology from Eastern Michigan University. Jenn has been honored for her accomplishments in association management by PR Newswire, Association of Media & Publishing, International Association of Business Communicators, and Association TRENDS.
Patricia G. Alarcón, RA
Senior Associate, Ratcliff Architects
Ms. Alarcón graduated with an M.Arch from the University of California, Berkeley in 1994 and has practiced in the Bay Area ever since. Her experience ranges from multi-family affordable housing to commercial projects. For the past decade she has focused on public higher education projects and has gained a deep appreciation for the challenges, complexities and opportunities that come with such work. Patricia is dedicated to creating academic environments that positively engage users and inspire curiosity and learning. At Ratcliff she plays an active role as a leader in the Academic Practice and as a mentor to younger staff.
Ms. Alarcon lives in Oakland with her husband Pat and their children Lucia (12) and Marco (9). She has served on the Board of Directors of the Architectural Foundation and is currently on the Board of Trustees at Park Day School in Oakland.
Owner, Lumenance Consulting LLC
Expert catalyzer of shared vision and collective change, Certified Master Facilitator, Columbia-certified executive coach, scholar, and owner of Lumenance Consulting LLC, Nancy Alexander has been an active ally of women architects for more than a decade. She illuminates barriers to advancement and helps develop strategies for change at the level of the individual, firm, and profession.
Nancy has consulted on mission, vision, strategy, governance and leadership effectiveness with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, Storefront for Art and Architecture, BIMForum, and The Architecture Lobby, among many clients; she has spoken at AIA Women’s Leadership Summits, AIA National, and Autodesk University; and she serves on the Dean’s Council of the Yale School of Architecture. Past vice-chair of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, she facilitated the first five of its annual Industry Leader Roundtables. Nancy holds undergraduate and MBA degrees from Yale and a master’s degree in women’s studies.
Jame Anderson, AIA
Like all of us, Jame wears lots of labels: architect, artist, spouse, mom. She is currently an Architect at SmithGroupJJR, focusing on Museums, Visitors Centers, and Interpretive Places. Jame recently made the transition back to private practice after working as an Architect at the National Gallery of Art for 13 years. Jame has delivered talks about career, life, and work intersections: at Wake Forest University and for the Visual Voices Series at George Mason University. She has also contributed to the EQxD Blog and is on the coordinating committee of the 2017 Women’s Leadership Summit to be held in her home city of Washington DC. Jame holds a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Wake Forest University and an M-Arch from the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives in the DC burbs with her spouse Neel and 9 year old fiddle playing daughter and hero, Clare.
Director of Integrated Design, McCarthy Building Companies
Stefanie’s passion for bringing a creative approach to all parts of the project process results in deeply collaborative, thoughtful leadership for project teams and non-profit organizations. As Director of Integrated Design at McCarthy Building Companies, she is currently working on the Design Phase of an Integrated Project Delivery laboratory building for Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, OR. A registered Architect with 30 years of professional experience, she is a leader in the design and construction community with strong management, design and marketing capabilities. In practice, Stefanie has successfully developed and maintained client relationships, pursued and won several high-profile commissions, and managed large, highly technical projects that were long-term, complex endeavors. A skilled facilitator, Stefanie has been commended for her ability to keep complex processes moving forward, even when faced with enormous challenges.
Jill Bergman, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED AP
Principal, HDR Inc.
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; and that is a good thing because she tried and failed at a career in standup comedy. 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. 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. In her past, she has taught residencies with the bay area LEAP Architects in School program, served on the AIA San Francisco Board of Directors, the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health National Board of Directors, chaired the Scholarships and Fellowships Committee for the AIA/Academy of Architecture for Health.
Phil Bernstein, FAIA
Vice President, Strategic Industry Relations, Autodesk
Phil is responsible for leading a team that sets the company’s future vision and strategy for technology as well as cultivating and sustaining the firm's relationships with strategic industry leaders and associations. Prior to joining Autodesk, Phil practiced architecture as a principal at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects where he managed many of the firm’s most complex commissions. Phil has taught at the Yale School of Architecture as a Lecturer in Professional Practice since 1988.
Phil writes and lectures extensively about practice and technology issues, has been published in Architectural Record,Architecture, Architecture+Urbanism, Design Intelligence, Fast Company, Fortune and Perspectaand quoted in The Economist, Vanity Fair, Dwell and The Wall Street Journal. Phil is co-editor of Building (In) The Future:Recasting Labor in Architecture(2010) and BIM In Academia (2011), and co-author of Goat Rodeo: Practicing Built Environments (2016). He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council and former Chair of the AIA National Contract Documents Committee. He is a licensed architect in California.
Professor, Syracuse University and Co-Founder ArchiteXX
Lori Brown’s creative practice focuses on the relationships between architecture and social justice issues with particular emphasis on gender and its impact upon spatial relationships. She is the co-founder and leads ArchiteXX, www.architexx.org, a women and architecture group in New York City. Her two books include Feminist Practices: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Women in Architecture, an edited collection of a group of international women designers and architects employing feminist methodologies in their creative practices and Contested Spaces: Abortion Clinics, Women’s Shelters and Hospitals exploring highly securitized spaces and the impact of legislation and the First Amendment’s affect upon such places. She is co-editing the Global Encyclopedia of Women in Architecture with Dr. Karen Burns. Through ArchiteXX she is also collaborating with the Australian group Parlour and the German group N-Ails to write more women architects into Wikipedia. She is a Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University and is a registered architect in the state of New York.
Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA, NOMA, IIDA, LEED AP
Director of Global Diversity, Principal, Perkins + Will
Gabrielle has shaped an architectural career that focuses on her two passions: design and social justice. She has been a key player in Perkins+Will’s success for more than 25 years, leading numerous complex and high-profile projects, in the US and abroad. As the firm’s global diversity director—a position created for her - she is transforming their work culture to foster an environment rich in diverse talent and fresh ideas. She has worked in both the New York and Los Angeles offices, serving as Managing Director of the Los Angeles office, the first African-American and the first woman to take on that role. She graduated in 1984 from the Rhode Island School of Design with degrees in fine arts and architecture, becoming only the second African-American woman to earn an architecture degree from the prestigious university. In 2014 she was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Je'Nen M. Chastain, Assoc. AIA, LEED GA
Heller Manus Architects
Je'Nen M. Chastain, Assoc. AIA, LEED GA is a Designer with Heller Manus Architects in San Francisco, and an MBA candidate at the Mills College Graduate School of Business and Public Policy. A connector of people, ideas, and opportunities, Je'Nen has advanced positive transformation within the field of architecture through her work with the AIA, design firms, nonprofits, and small businesses alike. Her portfolio includes a range of problem solving typologies, including architectural design and strategic business planning. As Chair of the AIA Center for Civic Leadership, Je’Nen developed the re-imagined AIA Leadership Institute, sparking renewed focused on the importance of leadership training in an architect’s career. Her volunteer service has supported the career development of hundreds of emerging professionals. Je’Nen is a 2016-17 Career Grantee of the AAUW, a recipient of the AIA California Council Associates Award, and a Past President of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS).
Renée Cheng, AIA
Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Engagement, University of Minnesota.
Renée Cheng is a nationally renowned Professor and Associate Dean at the University of Minnesota. Educated at Harvard College and Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cheng has been recognized for education excellence with numerous teaching awards at the school, state and national level. Most recently, Cheng was twice honored as one of the top 25 most admired design educators in the United States by Design Intelligence. She led a team of faculty from the University of Minnesota who won the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Education Honor Award for a transformative professional curriculum and developed a professional practice course, Building Stories, that won the first Practice Leadership Award from AIA and ACSA. Cheng served as 2009 President of AIA Minnesota and is a former member of AIA National Board advisory group on Integrated Practice (IPDiG) and the AIA National Board Knowledge Committee, AIA Center for Integrated Practice and currently AIA Culture Collective leading a group on Firm Culture.
Justine is an architectural editor, writer, critic, researcher and curator. She is editor of Parlour and a researcher on the Equity and Diversity project. She is an honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, chair of the Professional Advisory Board of the School of Architecture at the University of Adelaide and a member of the Office of the Victorian Government Architect's Design Review Panel. Justine was editor of Architecture Australia, the national magazine of the Australian Institute of Architects from from 2003 until early 2011, having been involved with the magazine since 2000.
Principal, Aidlin Darling Design
Roslyn Cole has over twenty years of experience in cultural, arts and education projects in the public and non-profit sectors. Roslyn has focused her career on the development of projects in the public realm as a reflection of her belief in architecture’s capacity to better society and the individual through the built environment. Two recent projects—the Windhover Contemplative Center at Stanford and the Contemplative Sciences Center at University of Virginia—emphasize the importance of contemplation in daily life and mirror and augment Roslyn’s belief in mindfulness and intention. With a shared interest in an office culture that supports work-life balance and personal growth, Roslyn and her fellow partners at Aidlin Darling Design have intentionally created a studio that provides a positive and balanced work environment. Roslyn received a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.
Julia Donoho, AIA, Esq
Principal, EQUINOX Design and Development
Julia Donoho, AIA, Esq., is an architect and attorney with experience designing corporate facilities and skyscrapers, running a small design practice with commercial and custom residential clients, and as project manager contracting government work including major energy and justice projects. This diverse experience, north and south, gives her a broad base to represent California architects. Ms. Donoho has served on various committees of the Los Angeles AIA, AIACC, AIA Redwood Empire – most recently as 2012 President of AIARE, and has received various citations and awards, including a 2011 AIACC Presidential Citation. She received her Bachelor’s and M.Arch from Princeton University.
Mani Ardalan Farhadi, LEED AP
Senior Associate, Steinberg
Mani is a Senior Programmer and Project Manager who is integral to campus planning projects for public/private educational clients throughout the United States. Gathering 30 years of experience, Mani has expertise in higher education and K-12 projects for visioning, programming, master planning, and participatory governance. Her passion is listening to constituents, enriching dialogue and building consensus. Mani has led workshops, open forums, and interactive presentations to stakeholders, plus conferences: AIA, A4LE (CEFPI), CCFC, CCLC, SCUP. A lifelong learner, she completed SCUP Planning Institute Step III. Her professional degree was Bachelor of Architecture from Boston Architectural College, in addition to Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Wellesley College, with cross-registration at MIT. Earlier, Mani graduated from Tehran International School. With eastern roots and western upbringing, she brings a wealth of perspective, plus volunteer duties being a Board of Trustee member for her local school district.
Ellen Fuson, AIA, LEED Green Associate
Architect, HOK San Francisco
Ellen is an architect currently working on Science and Technology projects, but has experience in a range of market sectors from aviation, academic, municipal, and residential architecture. Most recently, she worked on the Salt Lake City Terminal Redevelopment Project. Estimated at $1.8 billion, this highly efficient, 1.7 million sq. ft. terminal building and new concourse will replace the existing buildings and serve up to 23 million passengers per year. In her work, Ellen is passionate about leveraging technology to result in thoughtful, creative design solutions. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology, where she received the Gordon T. Little fellowship.
Prairna Gupta Garg, AIA
Architect, WRNS Studios
For Prairna, design is a ‘way of life’ ‐ not only that which we are currently living but also that which we aspire to live. A double masters and a summa cum laude degree holder from two very reputed universities; IIT, Chicago and CCA, San Francisco; Prairna is extremely fascinated and inspired by the combination of art and engineering that makes architecture. For her, a great designer is not someone who creates spaces, but someone who crafts experiences and she incorporates this philosophy in all her work. With experience in both India and the United States, Prairna has contributed her talents to a variety of project types. The process of design thinking and strategy excite her as much as the final product itself. A licensed architect, an avid design leader and enthusiastic team player, she is actively involved with several AIA committees and is currently serving as the Academic Chair for BAYA.
Linsey Graff, Associate AIA
Ayers Saint Gross
Linsey Graff, Assoc. AIA got her start in public outreach as Chair of the award-winning Architecture + Education Program in Buffalo, New York. During her time as Chair, she was able to expand the program and focus on low-performing schools within the district. Linsey is currently serving on: the AIA Diversity & Inclusion Council to help support diversity, inclusion and equity in the profession nationally, the Equity in Architecture Commission to create strategies to diversify the profession, and the AIA K-12 Task-Force which is focusing on the creation of an architecture and design curriculum to bring architectural education to more kids nationally. Linsey holds an M.Arch from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and is a Campus Planner with Ayers Saint Gross in Tempe, Arizona, where she works on large-scale campus planning projects for higher education and research institutes. Linsey has been awarded the AIA Buffalo/WNY Community Service Award, as well as the AIA New York State Associates Award.
Emily Grandstaff Rice, FAIA
Senior Associate, Arrowstreet
Emily is an architect with 16 years of experience on a broad range of academic, hospitality, institutional, and commercial projects. Her leadership includes serving as 2014 president of the Boston Society of Architects and chairing a national commission on equity and diversity in architecture. Emily’s 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 Arrowstreet’s practice.
Patricia Hansen, Associate AIA
Patricia was born in the small town of Redding, CA. She developed a love of architecture while traveling with her parents and seeing beautiful concert halls and cathedrals. Patricia graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in June 2015 where she earned a Bachelor of Architecture. While in school she had the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program at Dessau Institute of Architecture at Anhalt University in Dessau, Germany and interned at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in Seattle. Patricia made both Cal Poly’s Dean’s and President’s Lists and was a member of the Mustang Marching Band from 2010-14. She is currently an AIA Associate working for HGA Architects in downtown San Francisco and eagerly pursuing professional licensure.
Kelly Hayes McAlonie, FAIA, LEEP AP
Director of Capital Planning, University at Buffalo
Adjunct Professor, UB School of Architecture & Planning
Kelly Hayes McAlonie, FAIA, has dedicated her career to educational architecture and advancing gender equity. In 2011 Kelly and Despina Stratigakos collaborated with Mattel on the design and launch of Barbie I Can Be…Architect. She speaks widely about leadership in architecture and managing a disability in the workplace. Her 2013 Buffalo TEDx talk, The Power Dress has received over 7200 views. She was 2012 President of AIA New York State and 2008 President of AIA Buffalo/WNY. Currently, she serves on the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation Advisory Board and is Vice-Chair of the Buffalo Architecture Center. She writes and speaks regularly on Louise Bethune, FAIA, America’s first professional woman architect. In 2011 she co-curated the first exhibit on Bethune and is currently writing a book on Bethune’s life and career.
Damaris Hollingsworth, AIA
Architect, DLR Group
Damaris grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil and earned my architectural education and degree from the Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de Sao Paulo. In 2005, during her sixth year, she received a scholarship to attend the Spring semester at Arizona State University. Damaris finished that semester and ended up receiving an extension for the Summer to work at her studio professors’ workshop. After that experience she was certain that she wanted to move to the US after completing her thesis and become an architect. Damaris became a licensed architect in 2012, strategically right before she became a mom to Abby. She is very involved with the professional organization, AIA MN as the 2016-2017 co-chair for the Women in Architecture Committee, a member of the Strategic Resource Team, and a member of the Diversity Task Force.
Lucy Irwin, AIA
Consulting Architect, Lucy Irwin Architecture
Lucy Irwin, AIA, is an architect returning to the profession after 20 years of parenting and extensive community service in San Francisco. She and her husband raised three children in the city. Ms. Irwin received her BA from Dartmouth College, and Master of Architecture from Yale School of Architecture. As a service leader and advocate, she coordinated St. Ignatius College Prep’s inaugural Reunion of the Black Student Union, developed community building programs in both public and private schools and facilitated mission statement development for nonprofit organizations. Her architectural experience is in both large offices - HOK in St. Louis and under Phil Freelon, FAIA, in North Carolina - and smaller offices, including Beverly Willis Architects and Butler Armsden Architects. Her interests include printmaking, book clubs, yoga and hiking. Ms. Irwin looks forward to sharing an extensive list of resources for relaunching a career in architecture.
Project Manager, Maryann Thompson Architects
Caroline James graduated with a Master in Architecture from Harvard GSD. She spearheaded the Petition to recognize Denise Scott Brown for her role in the 1991 Pritzker Prize. James creates panel discussions and talks about equity and inclusion in design at venues including the Guggenheim and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is also a community activist and founding member of the Cambridge branch of the Open Architecture Collaborative. She serves on the Board of Harvard GSD Women in Design.
Maryann Thompson Architects is an architecture firm specializing in resonating and contextual architecture from New York to New England. We do residential, commercial and small-scale institutional work including Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 2, a 180,000 sqft athletic complex overlooking Manhattan's skyline, Walden Pond Visitor Center, and the Princeton University Childcare Center.
Freya Johnson, RA
Project Architect, DeForest Architects
Freya Johnson is an accomplished Residential Architect and an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights. Her diverse projects have been published in Architectural Digest, Luxe Magazine, Fine Homebuilding and the Seattle Times. Her career fulfills her passion for people by providing the opportunity to delve into people’s lives, learn their habits and ultimately design around their specific needs and uniquely individual personalities.
Six years into her career Freya came out as transgender and began the long process of transition. The experience of practicing architecture in two genders has provided a unique perspective on the role gender plays in life, business and on the job site. Freya approaches her newfound perspective with an analytical mind, avid curiosity, dauntless perseverance, and passion for creative problem solving.
Jaya Kader, AIA, LEED AP
Principal, KZ Architecture
Jaya Kader is a registered architect in Florida and the founder and principal of KZ architecture, a Miami-based practice founded in 2003. The firm is committed to design excellence and sustainable building practices, with a focus on custom home residential design and a philosophy rooted in context, and purpose. Born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica, Jaya spent 15 years in Boston before moving to Miami, Florida. Prior to KZA Jaya worked for Moshe Safdie and Associates and Graham Gund Architects. Upon moving to Miami, she led a team headed by Robert A M Stern of New York to win the competition for the Miami Beach Library, for which she was the project architect through its completion. Jaya is a member of the AIA Committee on Design Advisory Group and chairs its sponsorship committee. She is also involved with Women in Design initiatives, including Women in Architecture and Equity by Design.
Amy Kalar, AIA
Associate at RSP Architects
Recently joining RSP Architects, Amy is a co-founder of the AIA MN Women in Architecture Committee and director of Women in Design- Twin Cities. As a leader in the movement to enhance women’s roles in the design community, she advances women’s leadership through advocacy, professional development and dialogue. Amy leads gatherings throughout the Twin Cities and nationally to raise awareness surrounding equity and develop initiatives specifically related to strengthening women’s leadership roles in the industry. Amy publishes her own blog, archimom.com, that explores the balance of career and family. Her dedication to the future of the field was recognized with a 2015 AIA MN Young Architect Award, the 2016 AIA National Young Architect Award, and the 2016 Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award. Amy is a healthcare architect and Senior Medical Planner working with healthcare organizations to plan and design facilities that allow them to deliver superior patient care.
Bryan C. Lee Jr., Assoc. AIA, NOMA
Place + Civic Design Director for the Arts Council of New Orleans.
With a background in architecture, Lee is tasked with creating, advocating for, and contribute to, the creative intervention of public art and social impact design in civic spaces across New Orleans. Before joining the Arts Council, Mr. Lee spent time at 2014 AIA National Firm of the Year, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple (Architecture) in New Orleans.
Mr. Lee leads two award winning architecture + design programs for high school students through the Arts Council and the National Organization of Minority Architects Louisiana Chapter, respectively. He serves on several boards including the National NOMA board as the Design Education Chair and on the National AIA Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He was selected as the 2014 NOMA member of the year, 2015 Next City Vanguard Fellow, 2015 International British American Project Fellow. Bryan also gave 2016 TED Talk on Design Justice.
Dean of Architecture, California College of the Arts
Jonathan Massey is Dean of Architecture at California College of the Arts. His prior work includes a professional degree at UCLA and practice experience in Los Angeles, undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Princeton University, and teaching at Syracuse University, where he served as Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence, led the Bachelor of Architecture program, and chaired the University Senate. The author of Crystal and Arabesque: Claude Bragdon, Ornament, and Modern Architecture (2009) and co-editor of Governing by Design: Architecture, Economy, and Politics in the 20th Century (2012), he has published extensively on the ways architecture builds civil society, shapes social relationships, and manages consumption. A co-founder of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, he has held fellowships from the Centre for Canadian Architecture, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other institutions.
Nicolette Mastrangelo, AIA, LEED BD+C
Senior Designer, BAR Architects
Nicolette Mastrangelo, AIA, LEED BD+C, is a Senior Designer at BAR Architects in San Francisco collaborating on transit-oriented, mixed-use, urban projects. She has over nine years of experience in the Architecture and Planning industry at the globally recognized practices of Handel Architects, ARUP and Skidmore Owings & Merrill, as well as the strategic design/ideas firm, MKThink. She studied industrial design and obtained a BS in architecture at the University of Michigan in 2003 and a dual Masters of Architecture and City Planning from the University of California in 2010. In 2009, Nicolette travelled to 21 countries over twelve months as a Branner Fellow, researching the global phenomenon of dense, rapid development through The Untested City: unprecedented urbanism and the performance of new public space. She continues to pursue her research interests in the public realm, new cities and the practice of Architecture with her spouse, Asa Prentice in Oakland, California.
Lanny McIntosh, AIA
Principal, The McIntosh Group
Lanny McIntosh, AIA is Founding Principal of The McIntosh Group, a national architecture firm based in Tulsa, Okla. Lanny has built his business on the principal that its people are its best asset, and is a firm believer that equity and inclusion foster relevance and prosperity. The McIntosh Group has been named a “Best Place to Work” Honoree by the Tulsa Business Journal and a “Fast 40” small business winner by the Journal Record for four consecutive years. In 2015, it was recognized as an EP Friendly Firm by AIA Central States Region. The small firm of 25 includes 30% women, 30% emerging professionals, and a wide variety of people with unique cultural backgrounds. Lanny’s business has grown such that in 2016, he was selected as the U.S. Chamber’s “Small Business Person of the Year” for Oklahoma.He is now working to promote inclusiveness and equity across the industry.
Marketing Manager, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Mariana Narvaez is the Marketing Manager of the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, where she is in charge of running the day-to-day operation of SOM’s West Coast Marketing and Communications department. She began her tenure with SOM in the firm’s New York office, where she was proud to serve as part of the Women’s Initiative in 2011. Upon relocating to San Francisco in 2013, she started the West Coast chapter of SOM's Women’s Initiative with a group of colleagues from all disciplines within the office. The SOMWI’s mission is to create an environment that is supportive of equitable practice, providing the necessary resources to encourage leadership, mentorship, and professional growth.
Prior to joining SOM Mariana served as the Marketing and Communications Director for Enrique Norten’s studio, TEN Arquitectos, in New York. She holds a professional degree in architecture from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where she’s originally from.
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 architectural researcher. He works as the Director of Research and Information at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). With a BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia, a MPS in Real Estate from Georgetown and a EdD from Regent University, his research explores the built environment through the lens of a social scientist. He has presented research internationally and his research interests surround teaching, learning, and training 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) social justice and the opportunities for architectural impact, and 4) design scholarship and measurable student outcomes.
Karin Payson, AIA
Principal, Karin Payson architecture + design
Karin Payson is a licensed architect with 30 years experience in architecture and interior design. Since founding KPa+d in 1992, Ms. Payson has built a practice serving both private and public clients. Completed projects include three branch libraries in San Francisco and a new home for the San Francisco Holocaust Archive. Ms. Payson has also designed large-scale single-family homes throughout Northern California, Wyoming and New York. She has been a Lecturer, Associate Professor and Guest Critic at UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York), Academy of Art College, UC Berkeley Extension, California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo, and NY Institute of Technology.
Before founding KPa+d, Ms. Payson was a Project Architect at Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates (New York), where she worked on the planning, programming and design of large-scale commercial buildings. She holds an M.Arch from Columbia University and a B.A in architecture from UC Berkeley.
Tanya’s work has taken her from Rwanda to Latin America, notably as a Fulbright Scholar funded to evaluate new processes for architecture and planning in resource-limited settings. She later spent several years building MASS Design Group's US practice, deploying human-centered design methodologies to support the delivery of care domestically and abroad. Much of her work focused on applying knowledge gained from their projects overseas to health facilities in the US. Tanya leverages this process throughout her work joining SOM and later Gensler as a Health & Wellness Practice Area Leader. While at Gensler, Tanya co-led efforts to work with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office to implement temporary transformational upgrades to North Figueroa. The work was featured in the Huffington Post among other publications. In 2016, Tanya joined CAMA as a Senior Designer with the intention of merging her interest in design, wellness, and health policy. Tanya received her Bachelors of Art from Tufts University and her Masters in Architecture from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.
Francis Murdock Pitts, FAIA
Francis buys groceries by serving as the Managing Principal of architecture+, a 30+ person collective pretending to be a capitalist organization. architecture+ has been named a Best Place to Work in New York’s Capital Region for each of the past nine years. Architect Magazine ranked architecture+ as number 32 in their listing of the top 50 firms nationally on the basis of business and cultural practices. Mr. Pitts has earned a small reputation for his skills in designing libraries (he's an avid reader) and for his work with facilities designed for the mentally ill, developmentally disabled and criminally insane (to know him is to understand why). Pending the onset of a midlife crisis, Mr. Pitts has served as the President of the Academy of Architecture for Health and the American College of Healthcare Architects. He currently serves as National Vice President of the American Institute of Architects.
Joyce Polhamus, FAIA
Joyce Polhamus leads the San Francisco office of SmithGroupJJR, one of the nation’s largest architecture and planning firms, garnering over 60 million dollars in revenue a year. She works to inspire innovation and advocate for policies to drive the cultural shift needed to create a workplace-of-choice environment. As one of six females on the SmithGroupJJR Board of Directors and a member of the firm-wide Women@SmithGroupJJR initiative, Joyce helps drive equity efforts across all 10 offices. In May 2015, Joyce was inducted into the AIA College of Fellows
Joan Price, MCR
Managing Director, Gensler
Joan is Co-Managing Director of our San Francisco office and a leader in the Gensler Client Relationship Community. Her mantra is: “Our client’s point of view determines our success.” She identifies business opportunities in key Gensler markets and also services multi-location and multi-project accounts for leading client companies and organizations. Joan is former President of the Northern California CoreNet Global Leadership Council and the first woman recipient of their Corporate Real Estate Service Provider of the Year Award. She currently chairs the Board of the San Francisco Center for Economic Development and is on the Executive Committee of SPUR (San Francisco Urban Planning & Research). Joan earned a Master of Corporate Real Estate, a professional designation of CoreNet that is focused on the strategic management of corporate real estate. An avid hiker, Joan has raised more than $30,000 as a nine-time participant in the 40-mile Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
Communications Editor, Payette Associates
Karen leads the external engagement strategy at Payette and since joining the firm in 2012, developed staff on-boarding programs, a clear voice for the firm and strategies for success. With previous experience in both marketing and design roles, Karen plays a critical role in designing of the firm’s client-facing materials and award submissions, as well as leading the firm’s media presence. As an active member of the Boston Society of Architects, Karen leads the dialogue in the Boston design community about how architecture firms can implement social media as part of larger marketing and business development goals. Additionally, Karen is a member of the AIA COTE Communications Task Force and leads the BSA’s Equity Roundtable. With a background in literature and theatre, Karen infuses all of her work with storytelling. Karen received her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Theater Arts from the University of Richmond.
Patricia Romallo, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Manager, Experience + Education, NCARB
Patricia Ramallo joined NCARB late 2015 as part of the Experience + Education team. Her focus is to provide support and contribute to the development of the Architect Licensing Advisors Community. Patricia has over 14 years of experience in architectural design, management and construction administration. Prior to joining NCARB, she worked in Michigan, Kentucky and New York in a variety of projects ranging from residential and multifamily, to religious, commercial and mixed-use buildings.
Patricia holds a Master of Architecture degree from Lawrence Technological University and is licensed to practice architecture in Argentina, Kentucky, and New Jersey. She is a Certified Passive House Designer and LEED AP® Homes & BD+C; a member of the American Institute of Architects; and holds the NCARB Certificate for national reciprocity.
Mia Scharphie, is a designer, do-er and big-picture thinker working at the intersection of creativity, empowerment and urban change. She helps mission-driven, community-oriented people and organizations realize their goals beyond their expectations and is known for empowering people and organizations to achieve the future they envision for themselves. Mia runs Creative Agency, a creative engagement and design research firm whose past clients have included the Harvard Business School and Enterprise Community Partners. She founded Build Yourself+, an empowerment workshop for women creatives, and co-founded Proactive Practices, a research collaborative investigating business models of social impact design. Mia has been a resident at the Harvard Innovation Lab, an entrepreneurial practice Research Fellow at Northeastern University, and has been an invited speaker at the Association of Community Designers and A Better World by Design. She serves on the Equity Roundtable of the Boston Society of Architects and curates the Creative Somerville Series, a speaker series for local creatives and entrepreneurs.
Neelanjana Sen, AIA
Architect, HGA Architects
With 10 years in the workforce as Architect and Medical Planner, Neelanjana has a belief that the field of architecture grows stronger as it includes diverse ideas and adapts to changing times. A member of the winning team of EQxD hackers at the AIA convention in 2015, she continues to draw from her experience to identify root causes. With a mindset of “hacking” she seeks to discover and share techniques and tools to empower design professionals to shape their own careers. Her background in Physics, Visual Arts and Architecture informs her approach towards problem-solving. A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she received the AIA Award from the Henry Adams Fund for Excellence in the Study of Architecture. Neelanjana is actively involved in the architecture industry at large, serving on the Health and Science committee and Equity by Design Committee with AIASF.
Stanford Venture Studio
Singari Seshadri is a venture capitalist turned social entrepreneur and startup advisor. She currently runs the Stanford Venture Studio, a program for student entrepreneurs at Stanford. She is also the co-founder of Sparkup, a collaborative community for women in career transition, and is currently working on launching her next passion project - Women.Ventures - an initiative to help women explore, learn and engage in entrepreneurship. Coming from a family of feminists, Singari has always been passionate about empowering women and has a strong interest in women’s empowerment in business and in the workplace.
Ming Thompson, AIA
Principal, Atelier Cho Thompson
Ming Thompson, AIA is a principal of Atelier Cho Thompson, a San Francisco-based design and concept firm, engaged in the art of architecture, interiors, graphics, brand strategy, furniture, installations, and exhibition design. Ming and her partner Christina Yoo formed their firm with an aim to transcend the conventional boundaries between these disciplines, resulting in a richness borne of the cross-pollination of ideas and strategies from across this spectrum of design. Ming studied architecture at Yale University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design and has worked for large and small firms around the globe. As a practicing architect, Ming is focused on bettering human experience through design; she insists that good design must occur at all scales, from the building to the furniture to the logo, and everything in between. Outside of architecture, Ming serves on the Board of Trustees of the Yale-China Association and the Alumnae Council of The Madeira School, and teaches at the California College of the Arts.
Principal, A+D, Architecture+Design
Sandra Vivanco is founding principal of A+D, Architecture+Design, a San Francisco firm characterized by design excellence as well as innovative community-based processes. Published widely, Vivanco is sought as a Latino cultural expert with profound knowledge of modern art and architecture in Latin America. A Professor of Architecture and Diversity Studies at CCA, she is a Mission resident, an avid dancer, a mother of two public school graduates and is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
Carol Wedge, FAIA LEED AP
President, Shepley Bulfinch
Carole Wedge, FAIA, LEED AP is President of Shepley Bulfinch, a national architecture and planning practice with offices in Boston, Houston, and Phoenix. Since becoming president in 2004, Carole has led a transformation of Shepley, through the creation of an open culture and work environment and the rebranding of the firm and its institutional identity. In 2011, Shepley Bulfinch has been honored by the American Institute of Architects’ Diversity Recognition Program.
Throughout her career Carole has sought to transform organizations by challenging them to face issues with clarity, frankness, and commitment. As an architect she has focused on the convergence of learning and teaching and research environments, with a long-standing commitment to sustainable design. She is an advocate for diversity in the profession on a national level, and is active in the AIA Women’s
Karen E. Williams, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Architect, PIVOT Architecture
Karen E. Williams joined PIVOT Architecture Eugene, OR, as a Project Architect in 2014. Currently she is working CA on a local elementary school. Born in London, England, Karen has always had an international perspective. Karen attended Florida A & M University where she received a Master of Architecture degree. In addition to practicing architecture, she is an Adjunct professor at the University of Oregon, instructing the courses of Professional Practice and Fundamentals of Revit, as well as serving as a career advisor. Karen was the emeritus chairperson of the Women In Architecture – Orlando (WIA-O) committee where her personal goal was to learn from the influential women in Orlando’s architecture community. Consistently she is works to educate people about the overall benefits of the architecture community. She believes strongly in the need to market architecture to citizens of all ages and is willing to share her talents with the community.
Russell A. Davidson, FAIA
Davidson, a former president of his local component in 1999 and president of AIA New York State in 2007, joined the AIA National Board in 2009 and served as AIA vice president from 2012-2013. Throughout out his national leadership tenure, Davidson has maintained a special focus on government and public advocacy for architects and architecture. Davidson practices with KG&D Architects in Mount Kisco, N.Y., where he has worked for 28 years, holding every position from junior draftsperson to managing principal. Davidson earned a degree in Architectural Aesthetics from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and a MArch from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.