Next City Vanguards - Directory of Past & Present Attendees

Vanguards

The Vanguard conference is a gathering of rising urban innovators working to make change in cities. Designed to bring together professionals working across disciplines and sectors, each Vanguard class includes policymakers and politicians, architects and urban planners, artists and mediamakers, all selected through a competitive application process. After more than a decade of Vanguard conferences, the Vanguards number more than 400. Learn more about Vanguards past and present on this page, where you can search for Vanguards and Vanguard alumni by discipline, geographic area and more. Find your next collaborator or just learn about these rising leaders.

  • George Abbott

    John S and James L Knight Foundation
    Miami, FL
    2016

    George Abbott leads the Knight Cities Challenge, an annual $5m call for ideas to make the 26 cities that Knight Foundation invests in more vibrant places to live and work. Abbott is also currently serving as Knight’s program director in St. Paul, Minn. Abbott previously worked in creative placemaking and political campaigns.

  • Edith Abeyta

    Artist
    Braddock, PA
    2020

    Edith Abeyta is a visual artist living in North Braddock, Pennsylvania. Her current practice is centered around people, identity and negotiating relationships with the built environment. She has been collaborating with residents in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hazelwood since 2014. Together they founded and implement Arts Excursions Unlimited.

  • Lena Afridi

    Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development
    New York, NY
    2017

    Lena P. Afridi is the Policy Coordinator for Equitable Economic Development at the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development. Lena has extensive experience merging data, policy, and grassroots organizing. Lena integrates quantitative research, geographic analysis, and coalition-based campaign planning to inform ANHD’s goal of economic justice in New York City.

  • Folayemi Agbede

    Chester Engineers
    Gaithersburg, MD
    2015

    Folayemi Agbede is an emerging voice in urban planning and an avid researcher of the African diaspora working for Chester Engineers, the largest Black-owned civil engineering firm in North America. She has worked with Progress 2050, a project for the Center of American Progress, was awarded an Irene Tinker-Millidge Walker Fellowship to pursue work with the UN Development Programme’s Economic Policy Analysis Unit in Mozambique.

  • Nathaly Agosto Filión

    City of Newark
    Newark, NJ
    2019 (Newark)

    Nathaly Agosto Filión is the City of Newark’s leading sustainability strategist, convening interdepartmental teams to make Newark a cleaner, greener, healthier, better prepared, and more engaged city. She works with a diverse network of partners advancing a variety of sustainability, greening, environmental health, and quality of life initiatives.

  • Paola Aguirre

    Borderless Studio | Workshop
    Chicago, IL
    2015

    Paola Aguirre is an architectural and urban designer, educator and founder of Borderless Studio, Chicago-based collaborative and interdisciplinary design consultancy. Her professional experience includes working with government, universities and architecture/urban design offices in Mexico and the United States. Paola’s transnational background and strong collaborative approach focuses her research and design practice on inter-disciplinary exchange, urban systems integration and participatory processes.

  • Sasha Ahuja

    New York City Council
    Brooklyn, NY
    2017 (Australia), 2015

    Sasha Neha Ahuja is a community organizer and advocate from New York City. She has organized at the intersections of migration and labor for over a decade. Sasha is a consultant with August Public Inc. and most recently served within the Speaker’s Office, at the New York City Council.

  • Fallon Aidoo

    University of New Orleans
    New Orleans, LA
    2018

    Fallon is an educator, scholar and practitioner of resilience planning. Her recent appointments—Louisiana Landmarks Society trustee and UNO’s Chair of Historic Preservation—follow decades of teaching, researching and consulting on adaptive reuse of infrastructural heritage. She advances equitable reinvestment advising the public realm projects of cities, conservancies and communities.

  • Jamie Alderslade

    Citi
    New York, NY
    2014

    Jamie Alderslade leads communications, policy and research for Citi’s community development and inclusive finance divisions. His aim is to develop exciting new agendas in the areas of financial inclusion, asset building, inclusive finance and equitable urban growth. Prior to joining Citi, Jamie was deputy director of Social Compact, Inc., a national non-profit organization of business leaders committed to investing in low-income and underserved communities.

  • Kareeshma Ali

    Greater Good Studio
    Chicago, IL
    2013

    Kareeshma Ali is a Design Research Lead at Greater Good Studio, a social impact design agency based in Chicago. With over a decade of experience in place-based work, she has collaborated with grassroots organizations, residents, and city agencies on projects ranging from testing quick, tactical interventions to developing long-term master plans. Kareeshma continues to work in diverse contexts, while always striving to practice thoughtful community engagement and co-creating design solutions with local communities.

    Kareeshma holds a dual Masters in Architecture and Urban & Regional Planning, and a Post-Professional Certificate in Social and Environmental Design.

  • Michael Allen

    Preservation Research Office; Washington University in St. Louis
    St. Louis, MO
    2010

    Michael Allen serves as Director of the Preservation Research Office (PRO), a historic preservation and public history consultancy he founded in 2009, and serves as an adjunct faculty member and program coordinator in the American Culture Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Allen is one of the founding executive committee members of the Preservation Rightsizing Network.

  • Scott Allen

    Seven Valleys/ Soho China
    New York, NY
    2016

    Scott Allen is the Vice President of Design and Development for the family and private investment office of Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi (Soho China). Through a series of award winning projects and publications Scott has developed an international reputation for work that challenge the status quo pushing for new limits in design and innovation. His experience spans over fifty million square feet of new construction and has won over two dozen global design distinctions. He has spoken at events hosted by TEDx, The World Architecture Festival and the American Institute of Architect’s National convention to name a few.

  • Liz Allen

    Auckland Council
    Auckland
    2017 (Australia)

    Liz is a place making professional from Auckland, NZ with a background in design and urban planning. Passionate about transforming complex urban challenges into opportunities for innovation she leads development of vibrant and inclusive places, by connecting community voices with agencies who deliver infrastructure and built environment projects.

  • Trace Allen

    Propeller
    New Orleans, LA
    2019 (Sacramento)

    Trace Allen is a community builder, advocate, and intrapreneur committed to facilitating equitable, just ecosystems that support entrepreneurs and communities of color. Currently, he works as the Community Economic Development Program Manager at Propeller, where he manages an accelerator program supporting black-owned businesses located along a New Orleans commercial corridor.

  • Racheal Allen

    Marygrove Conservancy
    Detroit, MI
    2022

    Racheal Allen is an Operations Strategist who serves as COO for Marygrove Conservancy, a non-profit that stewards the 53-acre former Marygrove College in Detroit. Allen oversees P-20 partnerships, operations, external engagement, and programs. Allen is also CEO of Operations School, a firm that helps startups and nonprofits build operational capacity.

  • Carlee Alm-LaBar

    United Way of Acadiana
    Lafayette, LA
    2020

    Carlee Alm-LaBar was recently appointed President/CEO of United Way of Acadiana following a second-place finish for Mayor-President of Lafayette Parish. Returning to the nonprofit sector, she will leverage her previous roles in the public and private sector to bring community solutions to complex problems, particularly in the wake of COVID-19.

  • David Alpert

    Greater Greater Washington
    Washington, DC
    2009

    David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington, a website which advocates for a growing and inclusive Washington, DC region. He has a BA in Computer Science from Harvard University, worked as a Product Manager for Google, and now lives with his wife and daughter in Washington, DC.

  • Elysse Alvarado


    Dallas, TX
    2022

    Elysse Delia Alvarado is passionate about building healthier and more equitable cities by leading thoughtful community outreach and engagement as well as creating strategic partnerships to further community impact. In her most recent role as Program Manager at the Trust for Public Land, she led community engagement for the “Cool Schools Community Parks” program which aims to increase park access by transforming schoolyards into public parks across Dallas, TX. She holds a BA in International Relations from UT Austin.

  • Vanessa Alvarez Diaz

    COLLABO Planning + Design
    Chicago, IL
    2022

    Vanessa’s aspiration is to serve her cultural community through the design of shared spaces and experiences. Being a part of the COLLABO Planning + Design team, Vanessa aims to continue being a community steward, building relationships and sharing experiences with communities to create sustainable and equitable change.

  • Alen Amini

    Jamshid Rug Gallery
    Cincinnati, OH
    2015

    Alen Amini operates Jamshid Antique Rugs, LLC in Cincinnati, and is the Director of the Corps Member Education Foundation, a nonprofit working to provide educational opportunities for low-income students. Alen served as a TFA member and assistant principal at Lakeside High School in Arkansas, as the ED of the Southeast Arkansas Community Foundation, and worked with the Mayor’s Office in Greenville, Mississippi to establish the Go Greenville! Program.

  • Dave Amos

    University of California, Berkeley
    Sacramento, CA
    2019 (Sacramento)

    Dave teaches city planning through educational videos posted to his YouTube channel, City Beautiful. Dave has experience as a planning practitioner and is currently earning a doctorate in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Priya Ananthanathan

    New York City Economic Development Corporation
    Brooklyn, NY
    2019 (Newark)

    Priya is an Assistant Vice President and Chief of Staff for the Funding Agreements Department at NYCEDC. She specializes in implementing projects that require managing multiple stakeholders, coordinating different types of funding and leveraging in-depth knowledge of city policy in support of nonprofit clients pursuing important neighborhood development projects.

  • Christine Appah

    New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
    Jersey City, NJ
    2019 (Newark)

    Christine Appah is a senior staff attorney at NYLPI where she specializes in children’s environmental health. Christine has served as a regional director at the NYS Division of Human Rights and as an attorney at The Legal Aid Society of New York. Christine is a graduate of Duke Law School.

  • Camille Applewhite,  PLA, ASLA

    Project Manager, chicagocompletestreets.org     In-House consultant to Chicago Dept of Transportation (CDOT)
    Chicago, IL
    2020

    With almost 8 years of professional experience, Camille has worked in planning offices as well as private landscape architecture firms. As the co-founder of BlackSpace Chicago and chair of the ILASLA Service committee she enjoys spending her time collaborating and advocating.

  • Daniel Arnow

    The Actors Fund
    Brooklyn, NY
    2019 (Newark)

    With a background in arts, culture and urban planning, Daniel Arnow is committed to building sustainable communities in the arts. Daniel currently works as Director of Affordable Housing Initiatives at The Actors Fund and holds an MS in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute.

  • Marc Asnis

    City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
    Portland, OR
    2018

    Marc Asnis is an Urban Designer with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. He advises on long-range strategic planning projects, focusing on ecological urbanism and telling the story of future cities using emerging forms of media. Marc is LEED accredited and holds degrees in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and University of Oregon.

  • Laila Atalla

    California Air Resources Board
    Sacramento, CA
    2019 (Sacramento)

    Laila is an environmental scientist and economist who develops tools to guide investments in housing and transportation. In her current role at the California Air Resources Board, she provides technical expertise to support programs that mitigate climate change, promote inclusive economic development, and advance environmental justice.

  • Ashley Atkinson

    Los Angeles Housing Department
    Los Angeles, CA
    2017

    Ashley Atkinson is a senior manager in the Los Angeles Housing Department. There, she is implementing a historic settlement agreement to ensure fair access to affordable housing for Angelenos with disabilities. Previously, as a performance manager for Los Angeles City Planning, she developed metrics for planning, incorporated them into the Department’s functions, recommended strategic enhancements based on data analysis, and shared outcomes with stakeholders. From 2013-2017, as Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Senior Planning & Development Manager during his first term, Ashley worked with the departments of City Planning and Building & Safety to implement mayoral directives and achieve priority outcomes on land use, development, and housing issues. She is serving as president of the American Planning Association’s California Chapter for 2021-2022.

  • Rotem Ayalon

    Quebec en Forme
    Montreal
    2017

    Rotem works as a food and planning consultant for Québec en Forme. She advises, creates, and implements strategies, action plans, programs and policies to encourage healthy eating and physical activity in cities in Québec. Recently, she has been helping with the development of a food strategy in Montréal.

  • Mallory Baches *

    www.mallorybaches.com  
    Savannah, GA
    2013

    Mallory Baches is an urban designer with over twenty years of experience working at the intersection of urban planning and community development. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Sustainable Urban Development from the University of Oxford. She is accredited with the American Planning Association (AICP), the U.S. Green Building Council (LEED-AP), and the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU-A). Her research on historic preservation and social sustainability can be found in New Urban Research.

  • Demelza Baer

    The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
    Newark, NJ
    2017

    Demelza Baer is a Policy Counsel for the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, where she directs the Economic Mobility Initiative. She previously worked as a Policy Counsel for the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union, and as an Assistant Counsel for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

  • Dan Baisden

    City of Fort Wayne
    Fort Wayne, IN
    2022

    Dan Baisden is the Director of Neighborhood Planning and Activation for the City of Fort Wayne and facilitates neighborhood plans and projects. Prior to joining the City, he was a Main Street Director, and Public Art Manager, and spent twenty years in radio. He is also Chair of CNU Midwest.

  • Paul Baker Prindle

    University of Nevada, Reno
    Reno, NV
    2015

    Paul Baker Prindle is the director of University Galleries, the University of Nevada, Reno’s museum of art. He clarifies, through museum practice, how the visual arts make communities stronger, safer, more resilient, more dynamic and more innovative. He supports the next generations of artists as they transition into professional practice, through mentorship, critique and exhibition opportunities.

  • Jimmy Baldwin

    TRG
    Dallas, TX
    2022

    Baldwin’s a brand creative director. His creative magic helped turn Motel 6 into an iconic brand and made Corona a #1import. Jimmy is also a top-40 Americana artist with three first round Grammy nominations. His song “Peace, Love, and Chicken Fried Steak” made him a part of Texas history.

  • Nisha Baliga

    Hester Street
    Brooklyn, NY
    2019 (Newark)

    Nisha is an urban planner and life-long city dweller driven to making cities more equitable. She has 15 years experience working with city agencies, community organizations and private institutions locally and internationally. She is Co-Executive Director at Hester Street, an urban planning, design and development nonprofit that works to ensure neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live in them.

  • Stonly Baptiste

    Urban.Us
    San Francisco, CA
    2016

    Stonly Baptiste is co-founder and principal at Urban.Us, the venture fund for startups that make cities better. Stonly also helped create and teach the first Urban focused Entrepreneurship course at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Stonly previously founded 5 companies, speaks 3 languages, and programs in 2.

  • Tim Barnes

    Shiftspace Design LLC
    Philadelphia, PA
    2019 (Newark)

    Tim Barnes is a multi-disciplinary designer based in Philadelphia. He is the Creative Director at Shiftspace, an award-winning architecture, interiors, urban design, and industrial design studio, where he oversees the creative team. In addition to his work at Shiftspace, Tim designs products for the furniture brand Shift.

  • Mike Barsotti

    Director of External Relations at the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative
    Philadelphia, PA
    2020

    Mike Barsotti is the Member Services and Outreach Manager for the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative, leading programming for sports-based youth development nonprofits and outreach to support the growth of the SBYD ecosystem.

    A Philly native, Mike played professional baseball and worked in politics and government before joining the nonprofit sector.

  • Sruti Basu

    FutureHeights Community Development Corporation
    Cleveland, OH
    2017 (Australia)

    Sruti is the director of community programs at FutureHeights Community Development Corporation. In her role, she aims to merge civic engagement and development with the end result of conscious development and human-scale design to meet the needs and values of residents, while addressing blight and disinvestment.

  • Westley Bayas III

    Urban League of Greater New Orleans
    New Orleans, LA
    2013

    Westley Bayas III is the principal owner of Magnolia Strategies, a mission driven public affairs & policy consulting firm. Bayas currently works with the City of New Orleans and the Justice & Accountablity Center of Louisiana on a variety of endeavors. A New Orleans native, Bayas is involved in numerous local organizations and boards.

  • Colette Beaupre

    New Economics Foundation
    London
    2017 (Australia)

    Colette is a Senior Consultant with NEF Consulting, the consultancy arm of the New Economics Foundation. She was previously Chief Advisor (Strategy & Governance, HR and Finance) and Principal Advisor in the Office of the Chief Executive at Wellington City Council, where she led the development of partnership-based growth programs. She previously worked in the UK at HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office and in a Government Minister’s office.

  • Karen Beck Pooley

    czbLLC
    Bethlehem, PA
    2010

    Karen Beck Pooley is a Senior Associate at czbLLC and teaches at Lehigh University. She was previously the Executive Director of the Allentown (PA) Redevelopment Authority and a Deputy Director with New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. She has a Ph.D. in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Ian Beniston

    Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation
    Youngstown, OH
    2014

    Ian Beniston is the Executive Director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation. He has spent the past fifteen years building capacity for neighborhood revitalization in Youngstown, Ohio. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, NDC Housing Development Finance Professional and lives in Youngstown with Krista, his wife and retired racing Greyhound, Bird.
    Twitter: REVITALIZEorDIE Instagram: revitalizeordie
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YtownNDC

  • Dana Bernard

    Citi
    New York, NY
    2016

    Dana is an experienced community development and housing professional, currently serving as Vice President for Citi Inclusive Finance. Prior, she worked as a Program Specialist for the DC Department of Housing and Community Development. She has a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.A. in Political Science from University of Delaware.

  • Emma Berndt

    Urban Energy and Environment Lab, University of Chicago
    Chicago, IL
    2010

    Emma Berndt is the Executive Director of the Energy and Environment Urban Lab at the University of Chicago. Previously she served as Director of Regulatory Affairs at Opower, a software company leveraging data management, analytics and behavioral science to transform the way utilities relate to their customers.

  • Matthew Bernstine

    Washington University in Saint Louis
    Saint Louis, MO
    2016

    Matt is an Urbanist, Designer, and Lecturer. He is passionate about creating sustainable urbanism[s] in both practice and research. Matt is a Senior Urban Designer at Washington University in Saint Louis where he focuses on projects that engage civic and institutional partnerships in the St. Louis region. As a lecturer, Matt lectures in the Urban Design Graduate program at the Sam Fox School and Brown School of Social Work on sustainability, informality, and community development. Previous to WashU, Matt worked in the private sector as a Designer and Planner in St. Louis, New York City, San Francisco, and Charlottesville. Most recently, Matt was the project manager for one of the winning designs in the Van Alan Changing Course International Design Competition.

  • Cara Bertron

    City of Austin
    Austin, TX
    2012

    Cara Bertron uses historic preservation tools for displacement prevention at the City of Austin. She has completed preservation-based planning and revitalization projects around the country, including inclusive community engagement, creative heritage projects, innovative historic resource surveys, and citywide preservation plans. Cara co-founded the Preservation Rightsizing Network and also edits Pocket Guide.

  • Tsedey Betru

    Community L.I.F.T.
    Memphis, TN
    2015

    Tsedey Betru’s experiences immigrating to Memphis from Ethiopia led her to study Urban Development at Cornell University where she earned her B.S. She went on to obtain her Masters in Nonprofit Management & Urban Policy Analysis at The New School, and has since held positions that range from Director of the DMI Scholars Program at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, to Project Manager for the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team–an initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

  • Rajesh Bhardwaj

    99 Aha!
    Sydney
    2017 (Australia)

    Rajesh is a Sydney based Urban Data Architect and founder of the Australia-wide “Sustainable Travel living lab” series. He is currently working on an Open Data platform that will give Local Council, Businesses and Residents tools to better access, nurture and value their common green spaces and local biodiversity.

  • Imron Bhatti

    US Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Chicago, IL
    2017

    Imron Bhatti is a Presidential Management Fellow at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. His career has focused on how urban planning can ameliorate or exacerbate inequities in access to opportunity.

  • John Bilderback

    Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department
    Chattanooga, TN
    2014

    John Bilderback is Program Manager for Step ONE and the Chattanooga project director for a grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Under John’s leadership, residents, partner organizations and government agencies have collaborated on more than $1.37 million of programmatic and infrastructural improvements.

  • Cid Blanco Junior

    Consortia Quanta Jaime Lerner
    Rio de Janeiro
    2016

    Architect and urban planner with 16 years’ experience in governmental institutions at local and national levels, especially in housing and urban development public policies, governance, strategic planning, social inclusion and citizen participation; more than 5 years of international experience (UK, Latin American and the Caribbean), including an UN agency, with specific interdisciplinary skills, working with heterogeneous teams in the most diverse environments and cultures. Currently working as Project Director for the Urban Development Strategic Plan of the Metropolitan Area of Rio de Janeiro.

  • Jennifer Bolstad

    Local Office Landscape and Urban Design
    Brooklyn, NY
    2019 (Newark)

    Jennifer Bolstad is a landscape architect, educator, and community organizer. Her work aligns natural-systems-based infrastructure with social justice initiatives. She is Principal Landscape Architect at Local Office Landscape and Urban Design, Lecturer at Parsons/The New School, and boardmember of the Coastal Marine Resource Center of New York and Puerto Rico.

  • Brian Bonanno


    Albuquerque, NM
    2022

    Brian is a community development and sustainability professional with 14 years of experience working alongside neighborhood stakeholders to build relationships and strengthen communities.

    Brian lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he most recently worked with the City Planning Department’s Urban Design and Development Division. He is currently preparing to return to school, to pursue a Masters in Resilient and Sustainable Community from Prescott College, in Arizona.

  • Brandy Bones

    ICF
    Philadelphia, PA
    2017 (Australia)

    Brandy Bones is a Senior Manager at ICF where she works with communities across the country to design and implement affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization and disaster recovery programs. She is the Board President of a health center for the homeless and Board Treasurer of her civic association in South Philadelphia.

  • Tre Borden

    Principal, Tre Borden /Co.
    Sacramento, CA
    2017 (Australia), 2016

    Tre Borden is Principal of the placemaking and creative consultancy Tre Borden / Co. His team curates events, public art projects, community-based programming and space activations with an eye towards equity and engagement.

  • Frederic Bourrely

    SODER
    Montréal
    2017

    Frederic Bourrely is the General Manager of Soder, a family of 4 not for profit organization active in three fields: education to environment, supporting citizen in their local green projects and companies/States in their sustainable development.

  • Nick Bowden

    mySidewalk
    Kansas City, MO
    2014

    Nick Bowden is the co-founder and CEO of MindMixer. Nick is fascinated by the intersection of cities and technology, and is a recovering urban planner and proud downtown dweller.

  • Bryan Boyer

    Dash Marshall
    Brooklyn, NY
    2015

    Bryan Boyer is co-founder of Dash Marshall, a design studio working at projects from rethinking a single room to reimagining an entire city’s civic infrastructure. At Dash, Bryan leads the firm’s strategic design projects, with organizations including Google, The Museum of Modern Art and the Knight Foundation.

  • Will Bradshaw

    Green Coast Enterprises
    New Orleans, LA
    2009

    Will Bradshaw is the Co-Founder and President of Green Coast Enterprises. He also teaches real estate development at the Tulane University School of Architecture. He lives in New Orleans, LA, with his wife, Rebekah, and their two children.

  • Michael Brady

    Detroit Land Bank Authority
    Detroit , MI
    2012

    N/A

  • Derrick Braziel

    MORTAR
    Cincinnati, OH
    2018

    Derrick Braziel serves as a Founding Partner and Managing Director of MORTAR, an organization dedicated to helping under-represented entrepreneurs in Cincinnati. Derrick’s work has led to recognition from YES! Magazine, Next City, Politico, the Stanford Social Innovation Review and NBC Nightly News. He is an Echoing Green Fellow and was named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for Social Entrepreneurs and the Cincinnati Business Courier’s 2018 40 under 40 list..

  • Kirby Broadnax

    Western Reserve Land Conservancy
    Cleveland, OH
    2017

    Kirby is the Beam Fellow of Placemaking + Equity at Western Reserve Land Conservancy, working with residents to green and repurpose vacant lots and activate spaces in the community. She’s a former elementary school teacher, a trained mediator, and an organizer with her local “artivist” group called Bridging The Tracks.

  • Daniel Brook

    Author
    New Orleans, LA
    2012

    Daniel Brook is a journalist and author who writes about architecture and urbanism. His latest, A History of Future Cities, was published by W. W. Norton in 2013. He has also written for publications including The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Harper’s, Slate, Metropolis, and NextCity.

  • Brandy Brooks

    Self Employed
    Silver Spring, MD
    2009

    Brandy H. M. Brooks is a nonprofit professional with a design and planning background who has spent the last 10 years working on social and environmental justice. Her particular areas of focus include community engagement and empowerment; community-base design and land use planning; and just and sustainable food systems.

  • Marlon Brown

    City of Mason, MI
    Mason, MI
    2014

    Marlon I. Brown serves as mayor pro tem of the City of Mason, Michigan. He also works as a Budget and Policy Analyst for the State Budget Office of Michigan. Marlon holds a B.A. in Political Science from American University, a M.P.A. from the University of Delaware.

  • Sean Brown

    Media Mobilizing Project
    Camden, NJ
    2010

    Sean Brown is a full time graduate student and the founding director of Young Urban Leaders. Former Camden school board member. Father of two. Blogger.

  • Ajamu Brown

    L+M Development Partners
    Staten Island, NY
    2019 (Newark)

    Ajamu Brown is a former Peace Corps volunteer (Namibia 2000-2002), seasoned community organizer, and holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University, and a B.A. in Speech Communications from Ithaca College. He currently works a Community Relations Manager at L+M Development Partners.

  • Brytanee Brown

    City of Oakland Department of Transportation
    Oakland, CA
    2019 (Sacramento)

    Brytanee Brown is currently in the City of Oakland Department of Transportation as a Transportation Planner where she manages capital and planning projects that intersect with placekeeping, economic development, and housing.

    Brytanee holds a Masters in Urban Planning from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Arts from the UC Berkeley.

  • Aaron Brown

    Oregon Transportation Futures Project
    Portland, OR
    2022

    Aaron is a community organizer and political consultant working at the intersections of housing, climate, and transportation policy and politics in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He’s a co-founder of No More Freeways to oppose freeway expansions across the state of Oregon and most recently co-hosted the 2022 YIMBYtown conference.

  • Ginny Browne

    The Participatory Budgeting Project
    Oakland, CA
    2015

    Ginny Browne joined PBP in 2012 to coordinate the first city-wide PB process in the US, in Vallejo, CA, now managing the organization’s West Coast project. Ginny has worked as a community organizer with the grassroots New York organization Good Old Lower East Side, a researcher with the Service Employees International Union in the Bay Area, and an AmericorpsVISTA associate with Fifth Avenue Committee.

  • Raabia Budhwani

    US Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Washington, DC
    2016

    A planner and former diplomat, Raabia serves as an Innovation Program Manager at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development where she advances international and philanthropic partnerships to create sustainable and equitable communities. Previously, she led a federal place-based team to launch the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative engagement Macon-Bibb County, GA and support community goals through cross-sectoral and interagency collaboration.

  • Noah Budnick

    Together for Safer Roads
    Berkeley, CA
    2014

    Noah is the senior director of programs and operations at Together for Safer Roads, a global NGO that builds public-private partnerships to prevent crashes and save lives. In New York, Noah helped introduce Vision Zero to the U.S. and develop the city’s Vision Zero strategy, the first in the nation.

  • Brian Bulaya

    Simple Shift Studio
    SACRAMENTO, CA
    2019 (Sacramento)

    As a transportation planner, WeWork alum and community engagement consultant, Brian is interested in the design nexus between transportation systems, real estate development, and underused spaces to prompt new interactions between strangers.

    His experience lies in facilitating design processes to increase the quality of life at the neighborhood, city, and state levels. He has worked in transportation policy development, real estate acquisition, planning, and implementation, product design and development, strategic partnerships, space management, and team building.

    He holds a BA in Urban and Regional Planning from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a MA in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Brianna Bullentini

    RAWBRY
    Reno, NV
    2015

    Brianna Bullentini is a designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Architecture from Parsons the New School for Design in NYC, and has since worked in roles ranging from a junior designer for ABC, an experiential designer with ICRAVE in NYC, and the lead on a redevelopment project in Kenya and a water conserving project in Cambodia. Her latest project is a Reno-based eco-concious, cold-pressed juice bar, Rawbry.

  • Brian Burch

    Burch Partners
    Holland, MI
    2013

    Brian Burch has spent 15 years in public relations specializing in media, strategic positioning and crisis communications on behalf of consumer goods, startups, business services and venture capital; six years in public service on the Holland City Council, advocating for green housing, neighborhood engagement, urban design and municipal fiber infrastructure.

  • Evelyn Burnett

    Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
    Cleveland, OH
    2009

    Evelyn Burnett is Vice President, Economic Opportunity at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, an intermediary whose mission is to foster communities of choice and opportunity throughout Cleveland. Evelyn also consults with the Admiral Center, initiative of Living Cities. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Evelyn sits on the board of several organizations throughout Northeast Ohio and nationally.

  • Haley Burns

    Fund 17
    New Orleans, LA
    2018

    Haley Burns leads Fund 17, a nonprofit transforming hustles into sustainable livelihoods. Since founding the organization in 2012, Haley has led multiple community research projects and designed a variety of programs all focused on empowering informal entrepreneurship in the seventeen wards of New Orleans.

  • Jacqueline Burton

    Ford Foundation
    New York, NY
    2016

    Straddling domestic and international work, Jackie designs strategy and acts as the coordinator of Ford’s New York City and New Orleans grant portfolios and also supports the foundation’s engagement in the UN SDG and Habitat III processes. She speaks Spanish and holds an MUP in International Development from NYU.

  • Sam Butler

    Michigan Community Resources
    Detroit, MI
    2010

    Sam Butler served as the Interim Executive Director for Creekside Community Development Corporation before joining Michigan Community Resources in July 2010. Since then, Sam has continued to hone his professional interests in housing program design, participatory planning, and creating alternative models for community revitalization in response to vacant land.

  • Efrem Bycer

    Code for America
    San Francisco, CA
    2013

    Efrem Bycer is the Director of Economic Development at Code for America. Previously, he was an Economic Development Manager at the San Diego Regional EDC where he led public policy efforts and EDC’s engagement with the Global Cities Initiative. Additionally, Efrem is on the Board of Directors for Next City and is the founder of BoardNEXT, an innovative program to prepare young professionals and underrepresented groups for and connect them with nonprofit board service.

  • Cassandra Caiger

    Intelligent Futures
    Calgary
    2019 (Sacramento)

    Cassandra is the Engagement Lead for Intelligent Futures. Cassandra has established herself as someone who artfully designs and delivers meaningful community conversations that influence decision-makers and build local capacity. She has led processes that explore issues as diverse as transit, social wellness, parks, affordable housing, urban agriculture and cultural vibrancy.

  • Tyler Caine

    DCP Architecture PLLC
    Astoria, NY
    2017 (Australia)

    Tyler is an architect and founder of DCP, a practice exploring the overlap between design, planning & development. After leaving Syracuse University with degrees in Architecture and Business, New York City has shaped him as both a designer and writer with sustainability serving as a cornerstone to his pursuits.

  • Caitlin Cameron

    City of Portland, Maine
    Portland, ME
    2015

    Caitlin Cameron is a first wave millennial having lived as a car-free planner and designer in five cities. Her recent projects in Portland include the India Street Sustainable Neighborhood Plan and Form-Based Code, Congress Square Redesign, Complete Streets Design Manual and improving immigrant community engagement methods.

  • Monica Campana

    Living Walls: The City Speaks
    Atlanta, GA
    2013

    Monica Campana, a native of Peru based in Atlanta, GA is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Living Walls: The City Speaks, Inc. Living Walls is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote, educate and change perspectives toward our public space in our communities via street art.

  • Natalie Campos Goodman

    AECOM
    Houston, TX
    2017

    Natalie is a Sustainability – Sr. Consultant, with a focus on Urban Resiliency, for AECOM in Texas. Natalie also co-founded Green Money Search to inspire sustainable city development by leveraging incentives to encourage citizens to implement sustainable practices on their projects. She also leads Advocacy for USGBC Texas Gulf Coast Region.

  • Megan Canning *

    The Constellation Collective
    Brooklyn, NY
    2010

    Megan is a communications strategist and visual artist. She has spent most her career leading external communications and brand strategy for New York-based nonprofit and philanthropic organizations in the art, civic, and design community, such as the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the Design Trust for Public Space. In 2018 she co-founded The Constellation Collective, a two-woman strategic communications consultancy focused on clear, compelling, and accessible communications.

  • Chase Cantrell

    Building Community Value
    Detroit, MI
    2018

    Chase L. Cantrell is the executive director and founder of Building Community Value, a Detroit-based non-profit dedicated to implementing and facilitating real estate development projects in underserved Detroit neighborhoods. In collaboration with academic and community partners, Building Community Value serves as a catalyst for sustainable social and economic development that engages distressed communities in creating impactful, resident-led change.

  • Toni Carey

    Self-Employed
    Arlington, VA
    2019 (Sacramento)

    Toni Carey co-founded Black Girls RUN!, a national movement empowering black women to live a healthy lifestyle. Today, Carey is Founder Emeritus of BGR!, a marketing consultant, a freelance writer, and yoga instructor. She considers herself a lifestyle architect empowering and inspiring others to find balance in their own lives.

  • Sharon Carney

    The Urban Institute
    Washington, DC
    2009

    Sharon Carney serves as chief of staff to the president of the Urban Institute, Sarah Rosen Wartell. Carney is responsible for supporting and advising the president on strategic matters, coordinating executive office initiatives, serving as a liaison between the president and external parties, and overseeing the president’s schedule. She also serves as assistant corporate secretary to the Urban Institute board of trustees.

  • Antionette Carroll

    Creative Reaction Lab
    St. Louis, MO
    2017

    Antionette D. Carroll is the Founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a civic engagement and design social enterprise addressing building healthier and more inclusive cities. Throughout her career, Antionette has worked for social justice, human rights, and diversity and inclusion nonprofits. She is AMEX/Ashoka Emerging Innovator.

  • Calli Cenizal

    Nelson\Nygaard
    San Francisco, CA
    2018

    Calli Cenizal is an advocate for sustainable mobility and equitable urban development. With seven years of experience in multimodal planning and transportation policy development, she currently works as the West Coast Transportation Policy Manager for Lyft. Previously, she worked for Nelson\Nygaard, helping cities and agencies advance creative transportation solutions.

  • Jonathan Cha

    University of Montreal
    Montreal
    2017

    Jonathan Cha is an Urbanologist, Landscape Architect and Doctor in Urban Planning. He teaches at the University of Montreal, UQAM and McGill. Specialist of public space, he is co-founder of MTL ville en mouvement, vice-president of the Association of Landscape Architects of Quebec and member of a several Boards of Administration.

  • Aimee Chambers-McKay, AICP

    City of Hartford Department of Development Services - Planning Division
    Hartford, CT
    2019 (Newark)

    With a focus on the intersection of people in neighborhoods, race, class, and creativity, Aimee has recently returned to her hometown, Hartford, CT, to serve as its Director of Planning. Aimee has background in foster care case management and affordable housing development. She obtained a Masters in Urban Planning at University of Maryland-College Park.

  • Ivory Rose Chambeshi

    Director of Neighborhood Initiatives, Watts Rising Collaborative, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti
    Los Angeles, CA
    2020

    Ivory is a South Central L.A. native and equity-focused urban planner. She serves as Director of Neighborhood Initiatives for Watts Rising, a place-based, sustainable community development initiative currently implementing State and Federal community transformation grants, and anti-displacement programs, in concert with the $1B Jordan Downs public housing redevelopment. Ivory has a passion for animating the genius and promise of Black and Brown people in community design, and hopes to cultivate environments of opportunity for children like her two daughters, whom she is blessed to mother.

  • Marvin Chaney

    Texas Water Development Board
    Austin, TX
    2010

    Marvin Chaney is an Austin Native working with the Texas Water Development Board (state agency) which finances water and wastewater infrastructure. His primary responsibility is financial reporting. He is a Cornell alum (2009) with a degree in Urban and Regional Studies.

  • Nupur Chaudhury

    New York State Health Foundation
    Brooklyn, NY
    2019 (Sacramento)

    Nupur Chaudhury is an urbanist committed to building a just city for all. Trained in Urban Planning and Public Health, she believes in the power of place in our lives and has worked as a bridge builder and translator in both fields. For more than fifteen years, she has developed and implemented strategies to support residents, communities, and neighborhoods challenge power structures to build just, strong and equitable cities. At the New York State Health Foundation, she serves as a Program Officer, leading the Building Healthy Communities initiative across New York State and identifies and nurtures opportunities for affecting positive systemic change within communities.

  • Marco Chavarin

    Citi
    San Francisco , CA
    2019 (Sacramento)

    Marco Chavarín is a community and economic development professional with over twelve years of experience leading cross-sector partnerships to address financial inclusion and economic justice for low-to-moderate income communities. Working alongside municipal, nonprofit and community partners, he co-develops and supports programs that enable greater financial access, housing affordability, small business development and resiliency for under served communities.

    Marco currently works as Vice President of Community Development for Northern California at Citi.

  • Amy Cheung

    Harvard Graduate School of Education
    Quincy, MA
    2010

    Amy Cheung is a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research broadly explores Asian American youth civic engagement and the roles of culture and place in constructing civic identities. Previously, she launched a youth development program for Asian American teens, and managed a pop-up library in Boston’s Chinatown.

  • Kelvin Cheung

    Good Lab
    Hong Kong
    2018

    Kelvin studied international development, started a charity FoodCycle in the UK that is in 34 cities, ran a social enterprise incubator and now is CEO of Good Lab, a service innovation training and project consultancy. After years in development, he sees integrated change with government is essential for our future.

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