1.5°C
1.5°C SPEAKER BIOS 2021


Alex Gamble, AIA
Architect/Sustainability Coordinator, Indian Health Services

Alex D. Gamble, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is a registered Architect from the State of Texas. Alex has specialized experience in sustainable design, is responsible for conducting sustainable design charrettes, evaluating sustainable design criteria, methodologies, strategies and technologies, and making determinations regarding the best approach and solution for construction projects both in the healthcare and residential environments. Alex also develops and writes agency level sustainable design policies and procedures to be adopted and implemented by the agency in new construction programs. In coordination with project stakeholders, Alex performs reviews of building plans, specifications, and construction work in place for compliance with building programs, codes and standards, and the implementation of the six Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings. These principles were developed based on fundamental sustainable design practices and reflect progress in building design, construction, and operation best practices as well as ensuring efficient operations; protecting occupant health, wellness, and productivity; and promoting resilient buildings. One effort Alex is focused on at this time is occupant health and wellness. To this end he is exploring design solutions improving building occupants physical health and wellness through evidence-based design utilizing scientific research linked to Biophilic Design, a design philosophy for purposefully reconnecting humans and nature through the built environment. In addition to Federal sector work, Alex has also served in the local public sector as an Owner’s Representative for the City of San Antonio Transportation & Capital Improvements Department-Vertical Division. Prior to relocating his family from Texas to Washington, Alex completed the newly renovated four-acre Yanaguana Garden Park within the historic district of Hemisfair Park to construct an active play space for residents and visitors alike in the heart of downtown San Antonio, Texas. Alex being a former U.S. Armed Forces dependent (Go Army) growing up in multiple regions in Germany for over 18 years, studied architecture at Prairie View A&M University a Historically Black College and University (HBCUs) in Texas where he earned his Bachelor of Science and Masters Degrees in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Alex is an American Institute of Architects member and is an active volunteer coach for various local city organizations in the community. In addition to architecture, His interests include sharing his knowledge of sustainable living and implementing best practices to better improve the quality of life in the community through design. Alex believes sustainability not only encompasses environmental concerns but also opportunity and inclusivity.

 

Amy Rider
Principal Consultant, Archamy Consulting

Amy Rider is the Principal Consultant for Archamy Consulting who, since 2019, has been the Local Government and Policy Lead for the Building Decarbonization Coalition. She has held positions with local government agencies and consulting firms for more than 15 years, working to optimize local climate change response through education, behavior change and technology implementation. 

 

Anthony Brower, AIA
Global Sciences Practice Area Leader, Gensler

Anthony is a LEED Fellow focused on Gensler’s sustainable design practice, within which he champions the craft of high-performance and net zero energy building solutions. His work spans all of Gensler’s market expertise, and includes a primary focus on office buildings, education, civic and culture, mixed-use, sports, and media projects. As a co-author of Gensler’s Impact by Design publication, Anthony has the unique ability to see the big picture while working through the details. Anthony is currently on the board of directors for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Los Angeles Chapter and Los Angeles METRO’s Sustainability Council. He is also a content editor for Green Building & Design magazine. He is driven to expand his impact by sharing his unique point of view, on ethical and responsible architecture, out to a broad and diverse audience. He focuses on education and mentoring to lead others to a better understanding of how to integrate sustainable design into our work. He has shared his approach to sustainable design through more than fifty speaking engagements at local and national conferences that include the AIA Los Angeles 2dC Symposium, Dwell on Design and others. He is also a contributing writer for Metropolis Magazine among other periodicals with more than thirty published and re-published works. His voice has also been requested for feature articles in the (Australia) AIA’s Architecture Bulletin.

 

Dr. Bhavna Sharma
Assistant Professor, USC School of Architecture

Dr. Sharma’s research focuses on low carbon materials and how they can be optimized and adopted in construction. Her research includes development of characterization techniques to improve manufacturing methods and use in structural applications. To increase the resilience of the built environment, she has explored the use of engineered bamboo in a variety of applications from shells to multi-story construction. Dr. Sharma’s research spans the micro to structural scale, with focus on design, engineering and testing of non-conventional materials.

 

Bill Walsh
Founder, Healthy Building Network (HBN)

Bill Walsh is the Founder of the Healthy Building Network (HBN).  Since 2000 HBN has been defining the leading edge of healthy building practices that increase transparency in the building products industry, reduce human exposures to chemicals in building materials, and create market incentives for healthier innovations in manufacturing.  He has been Visiting Professor at Parsons The New School for Design, is a Fellow of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts, and a founding board member of the Health Product Declaration (HPD) Collaborative.  Bill and HBN have been awarded the Design for Humanity Award by the American Society of Interior Designers (2019);  WEACT for Environmental Justice Leadership Award (2018); Healthy Schools Network Hero (2013); US Green Building Council’s Leadership In Advocacy Award (2012). Previously he served as a national campaign director at Greenpeace USA, and held staff attorney positions with the US Public Interest Research Group and the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center.  He holds a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and LLM in Public Interest Advocacy from Georgetown University.

 

Brendan Edgerton
Director of Circular Economy, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Brendan is the Director of Circular Economy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. He co-developed and oversees Factor10, WBCSD’s flagship circular economy project, convening 35+ companies from over 15 industries. Since joining WBCSD, Brendan has authored or contributed to over 15 publications, contributed to the establishment of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and oversaw the delivery of the Circular Transition Indicators. Brendan has an MBA from the Yale School of Management, a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment and a B.A. in Ecological Design from the University of California Santa Cruz.

 

Carla Mays
Co-Founder and Head of Global Research, #SmartCohort & ULI Pathways to Inclusion Fellow

Carla Mays has advised corporations and government agencies on planning and building equitable and disaster resilient regions and states. In the last 7 years of operations at Mays Civic Innovation (5 years with #SmartCohort, a joint nonprofit R&D joint venture with Capelli Cities on Equitable Smart Infrastructure, Disaster Resilience and Recovery Planning) , she has advised clients in 28 US States & territories, Canada, UK and Singapore on equitable smart and disaster resilient funding, policies, planning and insurance. Current research and application is on “Equitable COVID Reset of ESG Portfolios, Digital and Transportation Infrastructure Investments” at #SmartCohort Project currently based at the UC Berkeley, Center for IT in Interest of Society (CITRIS) Foundry. Specific focus area: Asian (Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Japan) best practices in SAR CoV – 2 (COVID-19) learned in SARS 1, MERS (pandemics) and infrastructure advancements after natural disasters to help the United States in economic recovery and future cities planning. Mays is a currently a San Francisco Urban Land Institute (ULI) Pathways to Inclusion Fellow (2020-21), an Francisco Jewish Federation Fellow (2020-21), and was most recently a San Francisco Resiliency CORO Fellow (COVID-19) and Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) Fellow and is a current Board Member of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) DEI National Committee and the San Francisco (JCRC) Jewish Community Relations Council. 

 

Charles Marshall
Partner, DIALOG

Charles has over 15 years of experience as a sustainable design professional assisting building owners, developers, and designers to realize their goals for sustainability and energy efficiency. He is experienced in all phases of green development including integrated design, engineering, construction, optimization, and retrofits. Charles has been responsible for delivering several large projects including LEED® certification, energy retrofits, and renewable energy systems. Charles is an Associate at DIALOG, an integrated firm where architects, engineers, and planners collaborate to design some of Canada’s greenest buildings and communities. Located in the DIALOG Toronto Studio, although he is regularly working on projects across Canada where there is a focus on demonstrating a high level of performance and sustainability. He is a Licensed Engineer and a LEED® Accredited Professional with a specialty in Building Design and Construction. Charles is adept in facilitating the Integrated Design Process, working with project teams to set targets for energy performance, ecological impact and contribution to health and wellness. With a background in Mechanical Engineering he always has a foot planted in technical details while striving to achieve the highest level of sustainability.

 

Colin Skinner
Executive Director, San Diego Green Building Council

Colin Skinner is an energy modeler on the Los Angeles sustainability and physics team and is focused on delivering analysis on energy conservation measures including passive and active design, façade optimization and controls strategies. Colin also has expertise in compliance modeling for LEED v2009 and v4 and California Energy Code (Title 24, Section 6). He is driven by complex building physics problems and aims to provide valuable input on sustainable design features by incorporating in-depth computational analysis. His project portfolio at BuroHappold spans across sectors to include cultural, higher education, and transportation projects.

 

Colleen FitzSimons
Executive Director, San Diego Green Building Council

Colleen FitzSimons is the Executive Director of the San Diego Green Building Council. With a technical background in green building codes and rating systems, she helps San Diego Green Building Council provide educational and experiential opportunities to community members. Her passion for sustainability in the built environment informs her work and volunteer activities. She holds a degree in Architectural Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and is both Living Future Accredited and a GreenPoint Rater for Existing Single Family Homes.

 

Daniele Horton
Founder & President, Verdani Partners

Daniele Horton brings over 23 years of experience in corporate sustainability, real estate and project management. Her expertise, dedication and passion are central to her leadership of the company. Daniele is a licensed architect, a LEED Fellow and a Certified Energy Manager. She is currently leading the Verdani team in sustainability efforts for 10 national and international real estate firms with over 4,000 properties managed across 720 Million SF of diversified real estate portfolios, representing over $350 Billion AUM.  Most of Verdani’s clients rank among the top ten on GRESB, which speaks to the success of Verdani’s sustainability and ESG programs. In the 2019 GRESB Assessment, Verdani clients earned top ranks – 1st, 2nd and 3rd in their peer groups, and 1st globally, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd in their peer groups in the Resilience Module. As the head of sustainability for Thomas Properties Group for almost a decade, Daniele led the LEED certification of TPG’s nationwide portfolio of office buildings in house and was ranked as the highest environmental performer on GRESB in the Americas in the Office category (2011, 2012 & 2013).  Daniele is a Harvard graduate with a master’s degree in Sustainable Development and holds degrees in architecture, urban planning and construction management. She is an adjunct Professor at the University of San Diego where she has taught Sustainable Real Estate at their MSRE program since 2013. For almost a decade she has actively participated on national sustainability committees such as the GRESB Benchmark Committee, ULI Greenprint Performance Committee and has served on USGBC’s Advisory Council, USGBC-LA, SDGBC Boards and the BOMA Sustainability Committee. For her leadership in the industry and with over 70 speaking engagements on her roster since 2008, Daniele was named one of the “Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Sustainability” in 2014. Daniele recently started a non-profit organization called the Verdani Institute for the Built Environment (VIBE) to advance global sustainability adoption in the built environment.

 

Dave Intner
Architect & Certfied Energy Manager, Southern California Edison

Dave Intner, with Southern California Edison’s Building Electrification and Codes & Standards team, is a Licensed Architect, LEED AP, and Certified Energy Manager. A graduate of Cal Poly SLO, Dave provides education and outreach around Building Decarbonization and Energy Code Compliance Improvement. He is a board member with USGBC Los Angeles and has served on the LEED Energy and Atmosphere Technical Advisory Group (EA-TAG). He is a Past President of the AIA Ventura County, and serves on the statewide AIA Committee on the Environment. 

 

David Capelli
Co-Founder & Director, #SmartCohort

David Capelli is Founder and CEO of Capelli Cities, a Midwest based management consulting and advising firm. Capelli serves as Co-Founder and Head of Global Partnerships for #SmartCohort, a global research non-profit joint venture with Mays Civic Innovation that enables equitable and disaster resilient regions through action research, curated programs and capacity building. Capelli serves as immediate past Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Millennial Policy Board, is a World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Shaper, and was a 2018 Global Climate Action Summit Delegate. 

 

David Wachtel
CallisonRTKL

David is a licensed architect in California. with a B.Arch from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He has been working at CallisonRTKL in multiple projects in different parts of the world and has experience in areas of sustainable design such as daylight and embodied carbon. David is a co-founder of the Los Angeles hub of the Carbon Leadership Forum.

 

Denise Braun
CEO/Founder, All About Waste

Denise Braun is a TRUE Advisor, GreenPoint Rater, LEED and WELL AP. She is also a Fitwel Ambassador and ENVISION SP. She brings over twenty years of experience in the sustainability field, working both in South America and the United States. She has worked in various capacities on over 170 LEED certification projects, many of which have achieved the highest level of certification – these projects include: 1st LEED project in Rio de Janeiro, the 1st LEED McDonalds in South America, 1st LEED world cup stadiums in South America, several commercial buildings, schools, fire stations, residential buildings, hospitals and other types of buildings. Denise is also working on over a dozen WELL certification projects. Denise has developed and analyzed technical waste management solutions for various enterprises: residential, commercial, stadiums, banks, offices, shopping centers, warehouses, hospitals and hotels. As the head of All About Waste, Denise has led her team in performing waste audits for over 37 million square feet of buildings in the US. Denise has presented at numerous lectures, workshops, and conferences, including MGBCE, ULI, GreenBuild International Expo & Conference, and other events. She has also been involved with numerous charitable causes related to the environment since 2001. Denise sits as a board member at the USGBC-LA and has been deeply involved with the USGBC National and with their TRUE zero waste certification. Denise and her team have been leading the zero waste certification for commercial buildings, including the 1st TRUE zero waste building in San Francisco. The 1st TRUE project in Los Angeles, and the 1st multi-tenant and residential building in the world to pursue the TRUE zero waste certification. Denise is also responsible for the 1st beta pilot construction site to pursue the TRUE zero waste certification. 

 

Edward Mazria, FAIA, HON. FRAIC
Founder & CEO, Architecture 2030

Edward Mazria is an internationally recognized architect, author, researcher, and educator. His seminal research into urbanization, climate change, sustainability, energy consumption, solar energy, and greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment has redefined the role of architecture, planning, design, and building, in reshaping our world. He is the founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, a think tank developing real-world solutions for 21st century problems, and host of the AIA+2030 Professional Education Series, China Accord, the 2030 Districts movement in North American cities, the Zero Tool and Achieving Zero – a framework of incremental building sector actions to ensure a carbon neutral built environment by the year 2050. Mr. Mazria recently introduced the 2030 Palette, a revolutionary new platform that puts the principles behind carbon neutral and resilient built environments at the fingertips of architects, planners, and designers worldwide. This past year, he delivered the Roadmap to Zero Emissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a flexible approach to achieve zero CO2 emissions in the built environment by mid-century. He also issued the 2050 Imperative – a commitment to plan and design to carbon neutral standards – which has been adopted by the International Union of Architects and all regional professional organizations (representing over 1.3 million architects) in 124 countries worldwide. He is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, Fellow of the AIA, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and received an Honorary Doctor of Architecture degree from Illinois Institute of Technology.

 

Elizabeth Rhoades
Director of the Climate Change and Sustainability Program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Elizabeth Rhoades, Ph.D., is the Director of the Climate Change and Sustainability Program at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, where she works to bring a public health voice to decision-making related to climate change. She works across sectors to promote policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide public health benefits; implement strategies that protect the public from the health impacts of climate change; and build workforce capacity to address climate change. Elizabeth received her doctorate in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 

Elizabeth Timme
Co-Director, LA Más

Elizabeth is a third-generation architect born in Houston and raised in Los Angeles. Watching her parents build in remote locations and start a design school meant that Elizabeth grew to see the practice of architecture as a community-based profession. Growing up in Texas where land use planning and zoning is limited and California where exclusionary zoning practices are historic, Elizabeth is excited by the challenge of Los Angeles where rules are plentiful but often contradictory. Elizabeth co-founded LA-Más because she saw a need for a design approach to be integrated early on in public projects and civic planning. She believes designers can help create a unified vision, identify creative alternatives, and work in partnership with communities. Elizabeth provides leadership at LA-Más by ensuring all projects are thoughtfully designed and critically engage systemic problems. Elizabeth has extensive experience in architecture and construction administration having worked at MASS Design Group, Ball-Nogues Studio, and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca. Elizabeth has taught design-build studios at Woodbury University’s Agency for Civic Engagement (ACE) Center and serves on the Zoning Advisory Committee of Re: Code LA, a city-led effort to transform the city’s outdated zoning code. She holds a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Southern California.

 

Erin McDade, Assoc. AIA
Senior Program Director, Architecture 2030

Erin passionately believes in the power of the built environment to solve the climate crisis. As Architecture 2030’s Senior Program Director, she harnesses her background in architecture and her expertise in decarbonization policy to create scalable roadmaps for rapidly transforming our cities into more beautiful, livable, and equitable carbon positive environments. 

 

Farhana Yamin 
Lawyer, Author, Activist, Expert Adviser to Climate Vulnerable Forum

Farhana Yamin is an internationally recognised environmental lawyer, climate change and development policy expert. She has advised leaders and ministers on climate negotiations for 30 years, representing small islands and developing countries and attending nearly every major climate summit since 1991.  In addition to founding Track 0, she is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, a Senior Advisor to SYSTEMIQ and an FRSA. She was voted Number 2 on the 2020 BBC’s Power List with the judges describing her a “powerhouse of climate justice.” From 2013- 2018, she was an Advisor to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and has been Deputy Chair of the Expert Group of Advisors to the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a coalition of 48 of the world’s most vulnerable countries, that played a key role in the 2015 Paris Agreement negotiations. She is widely credited with getting the goal of net-zero emissions by mid-century into the Paris Agreement through strategic communications and behind the scenes coalition-building.  She has worked in private philanthropy as well as published numerous books and articles on the climate change law & social justice. She has taught in UK universities since 1995, including as a Visiting Professor at University College London. She stepped back from the world of academia and UN negotiations in 2018 to focus on non-violent civil disobedience and social justice movements challenging capitalism. As a Political Coordinator of Extinction Rebellion, she played a key role in XR April 2019 protests, gluing herself to the Shell HQ offices in London, alongside thousands of other activists. She is a champion of community based action and co-founded Camden Think & Do, where she is experimenting with radical inclusion & concepts of spatial justice by supporting communities create “pop up” actions hubs in high streets and public spaces. She also sits as an expert on various Commissions including Camden Renewal Commission and IPPR’s Commission on Environmental Justice. She serves as trustee or an advisor to a number of organisations working on the intersection of social, racial and ecological justice, including Greenpeace UK,  WWF-UK and Julie’s Bicycle an organisation working on supporting artists and the cultural sector. 

 

George Reilly
Associate Principal, BuroHappold Engineering

George Reilly has over 18 years of experience as an MEP engineer. He began his career in the UK and has worked in the California since 2009, gaining experience on projects across the globe, including Europe, US, Middle East and Asia. He has vast experience in the laboratory, cultural and higher educations sectors. His passion for engineering is rooted in a desire to better understand how mechanics work and can work more efficiently. He looks to add value to projects by maintaining client relationships and providing design solutions that are appropriate to the client’s aspirations and budget. He is most passionate about Net Zero Energy and how we as engineers can be part of the solution to the climate change issues that we are all facing. 

 

Grant Ervin
Chief Resilience Officer at City of Pittsburgh

Grant Ervin serves as the Chief Resilience Officer and Assistant Director for the Department of City Planning for the City of Pittsburgh. Grant oversees the integration of sustainability and resilience into City services, programs and policy. He works to make the City of Pittsburgh a smart, sustainable and resilient city by fostering partnerships, leveraging assets and finding creative ways to solve civic problems. Prior to joining the City of Pittsburgh, Grant served as the Regional Director for 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide sustainable development policy organization; and as Public Policy Manager for Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) – a community based organization serving Pittsburgh’s 90 neighborhoods. Grant serves as an integrator of city activities by working across departments, agencies and sectors to form public policy and market based solutions.  He brings deep experience, intersecting the worlds of environmental, community & economic development and infrastructure policy to create innovative and sustainable solutions for local governments, community development organizations and state agencies. In his role with the City of Pittsburgh, he oversees the development of the City’s energy transition strategy, climate policy, environmental social and governance (ESG) analysis, district scale sustainability and circularity. Grant has helped lead the development of a variety of innovative programs and decision support activities including: Pittsburgh’s participation with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), creation of the ONEPGH Resilience Strategy, Pittsburgh Equity Indicators, Pittsburgh Climate Plan, Pittsburgh’s inclusion in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative; the United States Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities Challenge, the creation of the Uptown Eco-Innovation District, District Energy Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh and Neighborhood Community Information System, participation in the Urban Transitions Alliance and the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative. Grant serves on the board of directors of Eco Districts, Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal (PACT) District Heating Company, American Institute for Architects (AIA) Pittsburgh Chapter and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He is a member of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN). Grant resides in the Morningside neighborhood of Pittsburgh with his wife and two daughters. 

 

Hasti Khodabakhsh, AIA
Architect

Hasti Khodabakhsh, RA, LEED AP BD+C & ND, Fitwel Amb, has been engaged in the built environment for more than a decade as an architect, urban designer, entrepreneur, project manager, and environmental steward. Her professional experience in the US includes working at HOK, SOM, and Gensler on a variety of local and international architecture and planning projects. She also helped establish DIG, a successful visualization studio, which has enabled her to explore and develop skills required for running a business. In addition to her design, technical and management skills and experience, Hasti seeks to improve the quality of life through sustainable built environments and is interested in the impact of architecture and design on health and well-being. She was an active member of AIA DC Design + Wellbeing Committee and organized, led and attended many educational programs and events on this subject. She continues to promote design strategies that are environmentally-friendly and improve occupants’ health and well being as a member of AIA LA COTE. She also served as the Design Resilience Co-Leader of Gensler LA office. Hasti received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Tehran and her Master of Architecture (Urban Design Track) from the Pennsylvania State University.

 

Heather Rosenberg
Associate Principal, Arup

Heather Rosenberg is an Associate Principal and Arup and leads its resilience discipline in the Americas. An ecologist by training, Heather is a USGB Ginsberg Fellow with 20 years of experience in sustainability and resilience in the built environment. Her practice focuses on a systemic approach to resilience to organizations, with a central focus on social justice. Before joining Arup, Heather was the founder and president of her own successful resilience strategy firm, Building Resilience Network. She created the Building Resilience-LA program, worked with GRESB to develop its Resilience Module and serves as resilience advisor to Enterprise Community Partners. She has served as a technical advisor to dozens of public, private and non-profit organizations, and served on a variety of commissions and boards.

 

Ismar Enriquez, AIA
Project Architect, Torti Gallas + Partners

Ismar Enriquez is a California Licensed Architect with a diverse background that includes Civil Engineering and Interior Architecture. Ismar has been practicing for over 15 years and he is currently a Project Architect at Torti Gallas + Partners and a LEED Accredited Professional. His work focuses on projects that create social, equitable, and sustainable opportunities for people to socialize, share ideas, and thrive. He has worked on education, civic, and housing projects that find synergies that balance private and public spaces where even a stair is an opportunity to transform any place and the person who uses it. Ismar has been a very active member of the community. He has served as past chair of the AIA LA 2×8 Student Exhibition Committee, an organization that has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships to different levels of education and backgrounds. Ismar has led discussions in past AIA conferences and has served with non-profits organizations that address the homeless and housing crisis. He has also bolstered many initiatives from the Mayor’s office that help small and minority-owned enterprises, such as First Street in Boyle Heights, to prevent gentrification and displacement. As the 2021 Chair of the AIA LA Committee On The Environment, Ismar is leading a program to address issues of carbon neutrality, resiliency, climate justice, and equity. In addition to the sustainability initiatives, Ismar is involved in government policy change and advocacy efforts across the state. 

 

Jan Jongert
Founding Partner, Superuse Studios

Jan Jongert (Amsterdam, 1971) is the cofounder of Superuse Studios in Rotterdam. He designs interiors and buildings and develop strategies to facilitate the transition to a responsible society. He focuses on developing tools and processes and realise tangible projects that empower local exchange and production, as an alternative to transporting and wasting our resources, products and components around the globe. Key projects are Villa Welpeloo (2009), Harvestmap (2012), Blue City (2016) and PulsApp (2018). He specializes in the behaviour of flows in interior, industrial and urban environments. His fascination lies with shortcutting and interconnecting flows as a means to create new value and support a society that takes responsibility.

 

Jill Edelman, AIA
Senior Project Architect, HDR

As a senior project architect in HDR’s Los Angeles studio, Jill brings a collaborative approach and deep commitment to sustainable design to uncover opportunities in every project with which she is involved.  Jill sees her role as integrating ever-advancing technical needs, client requirements, and placemaking that is beautiful, inspiring, and responsible through the lens of human health and climate change.  Jill is currently working on the Orange County Sanitation District Headquarters, a mass timber building targeting NZE operational carbon and 60% reduction in embodied carbon.  Believing that to effectively address the climate crisis to maintain a livable planet for all, an all-hands-on-deck mentality is required.  To that end, Jill is involved with sustainable design advocacy and education as an active member of the AIA|LA Committee on the Environment (COTE) and the Los Angeles chapter of the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF-LA) of which she is a co-founder. 

 

Johannes Kreissig 
Founder, German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB)

Johannes received his Master Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1993 at Stuttgart University. Successively he worked as a Research Assistant and from 1998 on as Director of the Life Cycle Engineering Department at the Stuttgart University. From 2001 on he was acting partner of thinkstep AG (former PE INTERNATIONAL AG). He developed thinksteps’s sustainable construction business including Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), green building certification services and construction materials databases. He has more than 25 years experience in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). In 2007 Johannes was co-initiator and founding member of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). He served as member of the Board of Directors until 2015. Since 2016 Johannes is CEO of DGNB GmbH, responsible for DGNB certification and DGNB Academy worldwide and since 2018 he is also CEO of the German Sustainable Building Council. Johannes joined the World Green Building Councils Board of Directors in 2020 again, he was previous member of WordlGBC’s Board of Directors from 2010 – 2016. He is member of the IBU advisory board, IBU is the German Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) system operator, he was member of the European Commission’s Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) Technical Advisory Board (TAB). 

 

Jose Luis Palacios, AIA
Design Director, SOM

José Luis Palacios is Design Director for SOM’s Los Angeles studio. With over three decades of professional experience his focus has been in the ‘making” of buildings, offering simple and artful solutions to complex problems that entail immense technical knowledge and a profound attention to detail. Through innovative design thinking and effective leadership, Jose’s role as a leader in the design of large-scale buildings and urban planning projects has been well recognized. His outstanding body of work extends over a broad range of building types including corporate offices, build-to-suit campus environments, transportation related projects, as well as an array of civic and government office and public safety complexes including the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse in Long Beach, California, the Police Administration Building for the Los Angeles Police Department and the new LEED® Platinum-certified Los Angeles Federal Courthouse, which won the AIA’s highest awards for design and sustainability.

 

Dr. Joshua Fisher
Climate Scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Joshua B. Fisher is a Climate Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Science Lead of the ECOSTRESS Mission. He focuses on terrestrial ecosystems, water, carbon, and nutrient cycling using a combination of supercomputer models, satellite and airborne remote sensing, and field campaigns throughout the Amazon to the Arctic. He has been named one of the world’s most influential researchers, in the top 0.1% of scientists for multiple papers that rank in the top 1% by citations. Dr. Fisher received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UC Berkeley and his postdoctoral work from the University of Oxford, where he also taught for a few years before coming to JPL in 2010.

 

Julie Hendricks
Director of Design and Construction Services, UCSB Facilities and Planning

Originally from Seattle Julie received her undergraduate degree in Art History from UCSB and double master’s degrees in Architecture and Building Construction from the University of Florida.  She has worked the majority of her career in Santa Barbara as the Senior Director of Facilities, Planning & Campus Development at Santa Barbara City College for 15 years and as the Director of Design & Construction Services and Campus Architect at UCSB since 2018. Julie is a licensed architect in the state of California and is a LEED accredited professional in Building Design and Construction. 

 

Dr. Katherine Kortum
Senior Program Officer, Transportation Research Board

Katherine Kortum is a Senior Program Officer at the Transportation Research Board where she creates and guides committees that provide recommendations on transportation policy, including the provision of Mobility as a Service, deployment of automated vehicles, regulation of new mobility options (including Uber and Lyft), future interstate funding options, evidentiary protection of transit data, and development of federal research plans. At TRB, she also leads a Forum on Automated Vehicles and Shared Mobility, a self-supporting initiative to provide the research questions needed for better public policy. In addition, Katherine often writes, speaks, and occasionally keynotes on the development of the next generation of the transportation workforce and on innovations facing the industry. Currently, she serves as a member of the MWCOG Transportation Planning Board Citizens Advisory Committee, which she chaired in 2018 and 2019. She is also a member of ASCE’s public policy committee, on the advisory board of the Street Justice news organization, and on the transportation committee of the District of Columbia’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6E. She serves with the DC Department of Health as a site leader for the District’s public COVID-19 testing. Previously, she has served as a member of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority’s Riders Advisory Council, which she chaired from 2017 through 2019. She has also served on the board of ASCE’s Transportation & Development Institute Board and was the Institute’s Development Council Chair. She served on ASCE’s transportation public policy committee and its diversity and inclusion committee. She was appointed chair of the Institute of Transportation Engineer’s Younger Member Committee in 2013 and served in this position through 2016. In 2015 and 2016, she was also a Robert Bosch Fellow, working with the Innovationszentrum für Mobilität und gesellschaftlichen Wandel GmbH (InnoZ) in Berlin, Germany, on shared and integrated mobility research projects. She holds an MS and PhD in Transportation Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MBA from the University of Illinois. She is a Professional Engineer in the District of Columbia.

 

Kathleen Hetrick
Senior Sustainability Engineer, BuroHappold Engineering 

Kathleen Hetrick is a senior engineer at Buro Happold and a WELL AP and LEED AP BD+C accredited professional. As part of the Buro Happold Los Angeles Sustainability team, Kathleen combines her passion for regenerative design with a technical background in Architectural Engineering. She leads the sustainable design process on a wide range of cutting-edge buildings including LEED Platinum, Zero Carbon and Living Building Challenge projects, historical adaptive reuse, LEED Neighbourhood Developments, and university sustainability plans. She is currently leading the Living Building Challenge process for the Santa Monica City Hall East, which aims to create a new precedent for Net Zero Energy and Water buildings in Southern California. She also co-facilitates Buro Happold’s Diversity and Inclusion Forum, spearheading the outreach initiatives to encourage local K-12 students to pursue sustainability-focused careers in STEM. She is currently a board member of USGBC-LA and is one of the founding instigators of Carbon Leadership Forum – Los Angeles.

 

Katie Ackerly, AIA
Principal, David Baker Architects

Katie Ackerly, AIA, LEED AP, CPHC, is a Principal at David Baker Architects, a top urban housing design firm based in San Francisco. Katie is DBA’s Sustainable Design Lead, an industry thought-leader, and an advocate for building decarbonization and housing resilience. Katie draws on a background in building science and energy-efficiency policy, including graduate studies with the Center for the Built Environment at UC Berkeley. She brings DBA into critical conversations about multi-family building performance within the firm and beyond, guided by the belief that good housing design is essential to a successful, resilient future.

 

Katrina Leni-Konig
Supervisor, Technology Scale-Up and Outreach, Energy Research & Development Division, California Energy Commission

As part of the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Energy Research and Development Division, Katrina Leni-Konig leads a team that develops technology scale-up and outreach initiatives to accelerate a just transition to a clean energy future. She and her team oversee the CEC’s design-build competitions to transform underserved neighborhoods into some of the most technologically-advanced clean energy communities in the world. Katrina is committed to bringing together diverse stakeholders to address the multifaceted challenges of achieving a regenerative society.  

 

Kira Gould, Allied AIA
strategist/writer, Kira Gould CONNECT

Kira Gould, Allied AIA, LEED AP, is a writer, strategist, and convener dedicated to advancing design leadership, climate action, and climate justice. Through Kira Gould CONNECT, she provides strategic communications for leaders designing, developing, and building the sustainable future. Kira is a Senior Fellow with Architecture 2030 and serves on the AIA Committee on the Environment national Advisory Group, a group she chaired in 2007. Prior to starting consulting work in 2016, Kira directed communications for William McDonough + Partners and Gould Evans and served as Managing Editor at Metropolis magazine. Kira is the co-host of the Design the Future podcast (Women in Sustainability platform) with Lindsay Baker. She co-authored Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design (2007) with Lance Hosey.

 

Kristen Torres Pawling
Sustainability Program Director, Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office

Kristen Torres Pawling is the Sustainability Program Director at Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office, where she co-led the effort to author the nation’s most ambitious regional sustainability plan. Prior to joining the County, she advocated on climate and urban planning issues at the Natural Resources Defense Council. While at the Southern California Association of Governments, she crafted the 2016 Sustainable Community Strategy.  Kristen began her career serving at California Air Resources Board as the Executive Fellow for Mary D. Nichols and later returned to the Air Board to work on regional planning issues. Kristen earned a Bachelor of Art degree in geography/environmental studies and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from UCLA.  Twitter: @torreskristen Twitter: @CSO_LACo Instagram: @pawlingkristen

 

Lance Collins, AIA, NOMA
Director, Partner Energy

Lance Collins is a Director at Partner Energy, in charge of the Sustainability team for projects pursuing green certification. He is a licensed architect with over twenty years of experience in architecture, urban design, and sustainable design consulting. In addition to his professional experience, Mr. Collins is the President of the Southern California Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects, a member of the AIA-LA committee on Affordable Housing and was the founding Co-Chair of the US Green Building Council Long Beach Branch. He is also a guest lecturer at the USC, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Cal Baptist University, and an adjunct professor at Long Beach City College and other local colleges.

 

Laura Karnath, AIA
Senior Technical Designer, Walter P Moore Enclosure Practice

Laura Karnath is a registered architect and senior enclosure technical designer at Walter P Moore’s Los Angeles office.  She is a leader in computational design and has experience working with globally distributed project teams delivering highly complex projects on four continents. She brings her expertise and passion to the problem of decarbonizing the built environment through high performance, low embodied carbon facades and is a co-founder the Los Angeles chapter of the Carbon Leadership Forum. She was a contributor to Walter P Moore’s 2020 stewardship report Embodied Carbon: A Clearer View of Carbon Emissions and has spoken on the topics of computational design and embodied carbon at AEC industry events including Tech+, Facades+, and Zak World of Facades.  She holds a Master’s degree from SCI-Arc and a BS in Architecture from SUNY Buffalo.

 

Lindsay Baker
Senior Fellow, Rocky Mountain Institute

Lindsay Baker is a sustainability and impact executive and expert in the intersection between humans, buildings and technology. She is a Senior Fellow of the Rocky Mountain Institute, sits on several non-profit and corporate boards, and is currently launching a non-profit organization around climate action for the building industry. She was previously the Global Head of Sustainability and Impact for WeWork, serving as its first leader in that realm. Prior to WeWork, she was a founding team member and President of the venture-backed smart buildings software company Comfy, which was acquired by Siemens in 2018. She has also held roles at the US Green Building Council, Google, and other organizations working on the intersection of sustainability and buildings. Lindsay is co-host of the Design the Future podcast (Women in Sustainability platform) with Lindsay Baker. 

 

Luke Lombardi
Project Engineer, Thornton Tomasetti

Luke Lombardi joined Thornton Tomasetti’s (TT) Los Angeles office as a structural engineer in 2015 after completing his studies at Stanford University. Luke is an office “Green Champion”, organizing events around Earth Week and office wellness. As a CORE “rep” for TT’s R&D group, Luke has demonstrated CORE’s open-source embodied carbon calculator, Beacon, to show engineers and architects how to easily extract embodied carbon from Revit. Since joining the SEI Sustainability Committee in 2019, Luke has actively participated in the SE 2050 program planning and launch in 2020. He also volunteers locally with the USGBC-LA Legacy project, ACE Mentorship programs, and is a co-founder of the Los Angeles hub of the Carbon Leadership Forum.

 

Matt Jungclaus
Manager, Rocky Mountain Institute

Matt Jungclaus is a professional engineer, a manager with Rocky Mountain Institute’s buildings program, and a researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His work drives the adoption of low embodied carbon, net-zero energy, and grid-interactive buildings. Matt’s recent efforts have focused on the economics of low embodied carbon buildings, grid-interactive energy-efficient buildings, and creating the “Zero Over Time” approach for moving real estate portfolios to net-zero energy. Matt has also spent time developing city-level policy and co-authoring “The Carbon-Free City Handbook” and “The Carbon-Free Regions Handbook” to synthesize city and regional policy best practices. Matt’s past work at RMI includes developing a net-zero energy strategy for the McDonald’s Corporation and delivering integrative design workshops for federal and private sector clients. Prior to joining RMI, Matt worked for CEG Solutions as a technical analyst and a project manager for federal energy efficiency projects.

 

Mikhail Davis
Director of Technical Sustainability, Interface

Mikhail Davis is Director of Technical Sustainability at Interface, the global flooring manufacturer committed to showing industry how to make a profit in a way that is restorative to the planet and creates a climate fit for life. Mikhail is responsible for building internal leadership capacity, providing technical assistance to customers on their sustainability efforts, and creating external partnerships in sustainability. He served as 2016-19 Chair of the LEED Materials & Resources TAG and co-authored the chapter on Plastics for Bruce King’s 2017 book, The New Carbon Architecture: Building to Cool the Climate. Previously, he served as manager to environmental icon David Brower and spent five years with Blu Skye Sustainability Consulting building sustainable business strategies for Fortune 500 companies including Walmart, Staples, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. He holds a B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University and is a certified Biomimicry Specialist.

 

Mingyuk Chen
Senior Associate, Michael Green Architecture

Born in Hong Kong, Mingyuk is a graduate of McGill University School of Architecture. With over 15 years of project experience, Mingyuk is a Senior Associate at MGA and has worked on several innovative and award-winning mass timber residential, commercial and airport projects. As Project Manager, Mingyuk led the detailing, specifications and Contract Administration for the ground-breaking Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, Canada, which was the world’s tallest modern all-timber structure at time of completion. Most recently she has worked on mass timber projects at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, the Catalyst Building in Spokane, and two mass timber office buildings in California. She also mentors grade 10-12 students in British Columbia “Green Collar” Career Conferences.

 

Miranda Gardiner, Assoc. AIA
Vice President and Sustainable Design Leader, HKS, Inc.

As a part of HKS’ DesignGreen team, Miranda Gardiner is a vice president and sustainability leader in the firm’s Los Angeles office. She manages multiple sustainability projects out of various offices and curates educational content on topics such as energy modeling and material selection for her region. In addition to her commitment to AIA-LA COTE, this past year she spoke at the CarbonPositive Summit and California Energy Commission’s EPIC Virtual Forum, served on the Greenbuild Advisory Board, and volunteers with USGBC-Los Angeles. A San Francisco native, her career and studies have afforded her multiple international experiences such as field work on an excavation site in Greece, a research fellowship in Germany, and a secondment with the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. Prior to her role at HKS, Miranda managed the technical development of LEED rating systems at USGBC National, including the launch of the LEED for Healthcare system and the LEED Pilot Credit library in 2010. With a passion for the environment and bringing people together to improve sustainable practices, she believes that caring for oneself resonates in one’s ability to care for the greater good (she is an avid runner and outdoor enthusiast). In May 2021, Miranda is tackling her first ultramarathon with the Climate Ride organization – she will be running 42-miles on Oregon’s trails and has raised over $5000 for environmental non-profits such as Architecture 2030 and the LA County Bicycle Coalition. Miranda serves on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Green Building Council and on the LEED Advisory Committee with USGBC. She holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in English Literature and Fine Arts from Georgetown University.

 

Nalleli Cobo
Co-Founder, South Los Angeles Youth Leadership Coalition

At age nine, Nalleli Cobo engaged in community activism for the first time. Her journey began when she noticed she was often ill. Her frequent headaches, stomach pains, nosebleeds, and body spasms worsened to asthma and heart palpitations. Soon after, Nalleli learned others in her community were also having similar problems. Nalleli lived in an apartment complex in South L.A. across from AllenCo’s oil drilling operations. Terrible odors would take over her community every day. After calling regulatory agencies, Nalleli noticed the smells from the oil well only getting worse. Nalleli and her neighbors took action. Creating a grassroots campaign called People Not Pozos (People not Wells). Through grassroots organizing, Nalleli uplifted her community’s voice by fighting AllenCo who has been poisoning her neighborhood for years and making them temporarily close in Nov 2013. Her community continues to fight to close it this oil well permanently.  Currently, Nalleli is a co founder of the South Los Angeles Youth Leadership Coalition. This group, along with Communities for a Better Environment Youth from Wilmington, sued the City of Los Angeles for Environmental Racism and violation of CEQA. Nalleli is also a member of STAND LA (Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling Los Angeles) who works tirelessly to establish a 2500 ft buffer between oil extraction, homes, and sensitive land. In her free time Cobo attends dance classes at Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles, a professional Mexican folklorico group.

 

Natalie Teear
VP, Sustainability and Social Impact, Hudson Pacific Properties

Natalie Teear is Vice President, Sustainability and Social Impact of Hudson Pacific Properties (NYSE: HPP), a Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust focused on owning, operating and developing office and studio properties along the West Coast. Teear is responsible for advancing the company’s corporate responsibility platform, Better Blueprint, which serves as the foundation for the company’s environmental, social and governance initiatives and amplifies its vision to create sustainable, healthy and equitable communities. Since Teear joined Hudson Pacific in 2019, the company has achieved numerous sustainability milestones including converting to 100% renewable electricity, increasing ENERGY STAR and LEED certifications across the portfolio and most recently, meeting its net zero carbon goal five years ahead of schedule. Prior to Hudson Pacific, Teear was a leader in PwC’s Sustainability Services team, where she counseled businesses on strategies for sustainable growth, which included addressing environmental and social issues related to climate change, housing insecurity and homelessness, hunger and malnutrition, water scarcity, deforestation and human rights. Prior to PwC, Teear was an environmental consultant with URS Corporation (now AECOM), focused on large water infrastructure projects in the West Coast and Pacific territories. Teear serves on the Executive Committee for the Los Angeles Sustainability Executives Roundtable and is a frequent speaker at sustainability conferences and events around the country. Teear earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Dartmouth College and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Yale University.

 

Nicole Acaron-Toro, AIA
Associate | Project Architect, HKS, Inc.

Nicole Acarón-Toro is a Project Architect for the HKS Los Angeles Place sector, specifically within the hospitality and interiors practices.  Her responsibilities are to carry on projects from concept to completion by being the main communicator between project team, designers, consultants, client, and contractor to ensure coordination, implementation, documentation, detailing and construction administration result in a successful project delivery.  She is also a licensed architect in the state of California, a NOMA member and the HKS Los Angeles office champion for Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion.  In her 10+ years of experience, Nicole’s work ethic has always been guided by a motto engrained in her subconscious since the beginning of her education in her native Puerto Rico: “the role of an Architect is to creatively facilitate contributions to the collective culture with sustainable interventions that provide a rich built framework for people’s daily lives.”

 

Roberta Kowalishin
Chief Information and Technology Officer, DIALOG 

Roberta has been a DIALOGer since 2018 and leads our technology team. She oversees our information technology group (the IT plumbing of our business), design technology (the processes and automation of our design-build work), and the seamless integration of technology into our built environments. Roberta brings an impressive range of strategic technology leadership and innovation experience to our team. Her experience spans many industries. She’s worked in consumer news media as the CIO of NY-based Hearst Newspapers, and in cybersecurity and records management as director of privacy and forensics practices for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Roberta was also VP of technology at CapRock Communications, a venture-backed satellite network service. She uses her vast experience from other industries to help us learn and adapt to new and disruptive technologies. Roberta is passionate about community wellbeing. She challenges people and companies to re-think how technology interacts with their environments and work. Roberta helps her fellow DIALOGers create trusted solutions and new models of practice. Her work is key to our design process, as it allows us to collaborate and serve clients across geographies, disciplines, and project teams. Roberta holds an MBA from MIT, a BCom in Economics from McGill, and Harvard’s Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity. She has been cited as a next-generation CIO by the Wall Street Journal and has been quoted in Business Week, Wall Street and Technology, and Information Week. She is also a regular contributor to Design Intelligence Quarterly.

 

Robyn Eason
Senior Sustainability Planner, City of West Hollywood

Robyn is a fun-loving, challenge-seeking professional who strives for excellence in the profession, while enjoying the diversity of people, places, and things that makes the built environment so fascinating and unique. Joining the City of West Hollywood, CA in April 2016 as their first sustainability planner, she currently manages a diverse set of citywide sustainability projects, including electrical vehicle charging readiness, clean energy initiatives, water efficiency and conservation, climate action planning, and green building. Prior to West Hollywood, Robyn served as Group Manager for the GBCI Certification Team at the US Green Building Council in Washington, DC, directing certification activities for the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) and the LEED Building Design and Construction (LEED BD+C) Rating Systems. Robyn holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from The Catholic University of America in Northeast Washington (DC) and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from Clemson University in Clemson (SC). She is currently an active member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, Green Cities California, and serves on the Board of Directors at USGBC-Los Angeles.

 

Sabrina Bornstein
Associate Principal, Head of Climate Resilience, BuroHappold Engineering

Sabrina has over of 15 years of experience in local government, policy development, and the built environment. She is a technical expert and thought leader whose work has spanned climate change policy, infrastructure planning, and community economic development. To each position and project Sabrina brings a broad skillset in policy analysis, project management, and critical thinking. After over a decade working on sustainability and climate strategy, policy, and planning in the Los Angeles region, Sabrina joined Buro Happold to lead the climate resilience practice for the Cities team. Her recent work includes project management for Los Angeles County’s Climate Action Plan, technical advisory services for the Global Covenant of Mayor’s Regional Climate Leaders program, and climate adaptation lead for West Hollywood’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Prior to joining Buro Happold, Sabrina served as Deputy Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Los Angeles, where she helped develop and execute the City’s first resilience strategy. In this role, she represented Los Angeles in the 100 Resilient Cities Network and the C40 Cool Cities Network, collaborating with climate resilience leaders across California and the globe. Sabrina also worked in the Mayor’s Office on energy policy with the Department of Water and Power, the largest municipal utility in the country, and led climate action planning work for the South Bay Cities Council of Governments.

 

Sandra S. Gramley, AIA
President, Platt/Whitelaw Architects

As co-owner and President of Platt/Whitelaw Architects and 2020 President of AIA San Diego, she works tirelessly to further the architecture and design communities. Her goal now is to establish the Center for Design in downtown San Diego which will be an incredible resource for design and development in San Diego. She has dedicated her career to improving communities, collaborating with peers, and training the next generation of leaders.

 

Saurabh Shrestha
Sustainability Consultant, DIALOG

Saurabh Shrestha is a sustainability consultant at DIALOG’s Toronto studio with experience in collaborating with project teams to realize their sustainability goals through an integrated design process. Saurabh also has wide-ranging skills in building performance analysis, including early-phase energy and daylight simulations, and has delivered LEED certification for several projects in the mixed-use/residential, commercial, healthcare, sports, and education sectors.
Before joining DIALOG, Saurabh worked as a sustainability consultant in California for five years. Saurabh has a background in Architecture and is a LEED® Accredited Professional with a specialty in Building Design and Construction and a WELL Accredited Professional.

 

Simone Barth-Auster, Assoc. AIA
Project Manager, Omgivning Architecture/Interiors

With over seventeen years of professional experience and a strong interest in craft and innovation, Simone’s talent lies in the synthesis of management, strong design sensibility and uncompromising attention to detail. Simone is an advocate for environmental stewardship. She leads Omgivning’s sustainability task force to forge coalitions between clients and city leaders as they seek solutions that revitalize urban cores through the upgrade and preservation of existing buildings. She was recently invited to join the AIA California COTE Steering Committee and co-chairs the Advocacy committee. As past chair of the AIA|LA COTE (Committee of the Environment) and WIA committee member Simone maintains strong connections with the design community at large. She is an active member of the AIA Los Angeles Chapter as well as the USGBC – LA Chapter.

 

Srividya Unni
Sustainable Design Leader, HKS, Inc.

Srividya Unni is a Sustainable Design Leader for the HKS Dallas Corporate & Mixed Use practice. Reporting to HKS’ Chief Sustainability Officer, her responsibilities include establishing and managing annual ESG objectives as well as leading green building certifications and high-performance design for Corporate Office Campuses, by providing thought leadership regarding sustainable strategies. Sri has over 14 years of experience in sustainability consulting at top firms including Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting, high performance design, life cycle cost analysis, stakeholder, and people management. Along with a Master’s degree from New York Institute of Technology in Urban Planning, she is a certified LEED AP BD+C (v4) and Project Management Professional (PMP). 

 

Tamara Streefland
Cities Program Lead, Metabolic

Tamara Streefland leads Metabolic’s Cities Program, connecting urban professionals around the world with high-impact circular economy strategies. Tamara has worked on a wide range of urban resilience projects, focused on urban natural ecologies, waste systems, renewable energy, and happy and healthy communities in cities including Amsterdam, Krakow, and New York City. Her background as an earth scientist, coupled with experience in collaborative urban design processes and systems thinking, allows her to integrate knowledge on ecological impacts with creative solutions that engage novel technologies and are sensitive to social issues. She also enjoys teaching on the topic of complex contemporary urban challenges.

 

Thomas Knittel
Design Director, HDR

Tom is HDR’s design director for sustainability and a design principal in the Seattle studio. He actively leads the design direction of projects and our global efforts on low-carbon solutions. His current mass timber projects on the U.S. West Coast and Asia use our carbon-balancing methodology, targeting net-zero emitted carbon on day-one for structure, core and shell. His recent mass timber projects include collaborating on the Orange County Sanitation District HQ and the recently completed CLTree kiosk at the University of Montana. He leads our mass timber working group; projects include a mass timber lab in Braunschweig, Germany, the CNL campus in Canada, and several tall buildings in British Columbia. He’s a frequent lecturer on design innovation, and the potential for long-term carbon sequestration of buildings at-scale, to reduce the climate impact of urbanization. He has practiced architecture in Kansas City, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and now calls Seattle home. Tom earned a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and is a recipient of over 25 design awards.

 

Victor Olgyay, AIA
Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute

Victor Olgyay, AIA is a Principal in Rocky Mountain Institute’s Buildings Practice where he promotes widespread adoption of net zero district developments, low embodied carbon materials, and comprehensive building energy retrofits. From 1993 to 2000 Victor was an Associate Professor and Director of Research at the University of Hawaii School of Architecture and was Chairman of the AIA Honolulu Energy and Environment Committee. Victor has served on the Board of Directors for the American Solar Energy Society and is currently on the University of Colorado Design Review Board, the AIA National COTE AG, and the GSA Green Building Advisory Committee. 

 

Vikas Shrestha, AIA
Associate Principal / Director of Sustainability, Steinberg Hart

Vikas Shrestha received PhD in Architecture with a focus on Sustainable Design from UCLA in 2001. Originally from Nepal, he combines practical design experience with technical expertise in sustainable design. For the last 19 years, he has been leading the sustainability initiatives within Steinberg Hart. As the Director of Sustainability, he leads CoLab, the firm’s Sustainability Team that provides sustainable design analyses including energy modeling, and daylight analyses to inform design. In addition to providing guidance to design teams, he has completed a number of award-winning green building projects. He also leads the firm’s educational programs on sustainable design.

 

Zoe Elizabeth
Senior Energy Consultant, Silicon Valley Clean Energy

Zoe Elizabeth serves as Snr. Energy Consultant for Silicon Valley Clean Energy where she leads the Community Energy Resilience Program and several transportation electrification initiatives. Zoe has over a decade of experience in the fields of decarbonization and resilience. She has held leadership positions at the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA, the Center for Resource Efficient Communities at UC Berkeley, the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability , and recently at the County of Santa Clara’s Office of Sustainability. Her passion is building diverse coalitions to solve tough problems while creating tangible community benefits.