The LAF Board of Directors is a diverse group who bring experience and insights from landscape architecture practice, academia, industry, allied professions, and the nonprofit sector.
James Corner Field Operations
New York, NY
Lisa Switkin is a Senior Principal at James Corner Field Operations where she leads many of the practice’s complex and transformative projects. With a background in urban planning and landscape architecture, Lisa is committed to improving cities through the innovative, holistic and resilient design of the public realm, informed by the ecologies of place, people and nature. Lisa’s 20 years of professional experience includes the design and delivery of the High Line in New York, Tongva Park in Santa Monica, Domino Park in Brooklyn, and the Race Street Pier in Philadelphia, as well as the master plans for Staten Island’s Freshkills Park, Seattle’s Central Waterfront and The Underline in Miami.
Lisa is on the LAF Board because she believes in the urgency of smart, deep, and responsible design that engages citizens, reconnects people to nature in the city, builds value, and supports ecological, social, and economic resilience. Lisa was a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome in 2007-2008 and has taught graduate-level design studios and lectured at universities, symposiums, foundations, and institutions around the world.
Global Market Director
Monte Wilson is Global Market Director for the Built Environment and Global Vice President of Jacobs where he works to create an integrated and expanded Built Environment strategy for architecture, interiors, building systems, and cities and places.
In addition to his leadership role in defining the strategic direction for the practice, Monte serves as a Project Principal and Senior Designer on a range of project types including new towns, mixed-use development, transit-oriented development, revitalization studies, as well as university, research, and corporate campus master plans.
Much of his career has focused on issues associated with community building, urban redevelopment, and sustainability. Since 2008, Monte has worked to integrate Biomimicry into the practice of community planning and city building. Along with a number of current and former colleagues, he is engaged in educating clients and informing design through a bio-inspired planning framework and a systems approach based on life’s principles.
Monte is passionate about city-scale sustainability and is focused on applying systems thinking to a range of urban and regional projects. He has worked on projects throughout the world, including China, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Columbia, Panama, Israel, North Africa, Canada, and Mexico. Monte is a graduate of the Landscape Architecture program at Texas A&M. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and a charter member of the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU). He speaks globally on planning and design issues affecting our cities and communities.
Immediate Past President
Professor and Department Head
Kansas State University
Stephanie Rolley, FASLA, AICP, is Professor and Head of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning at Kansas State University. Visualizing possibilities, whether in community designs, scholarship, or organizational change has shaped Stephanie's career in academic and private practice. A dedicated educator, she has been named to the DesignIntelligence list of 25 Most Admired Educators twice.
LAF’s support of new knowledge and leadership in landscape architecture inspires Stephanie to serve on the Board. Stephanie has led the development of the first non-baccalaureate MLA degree in the U.S. and she is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.
Vice President of Education
North Carolina State University
Kofi Boone is a University Faculty Scholar and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at NC State University in the College of Design. His work is in landscape architecture and environmental justice with a focus on democratic design and cultural landscapes. Kofi has worked professionally and academically for over 20 years. Kofi is on the LAF board because he wants to play an active role in implementing The New Landscape Declaration with an emphasis on advancing social equity through landscape architecture.
Kofi is engaged in many multidisciplinary efforts including Homeplace: Conversation Guides for Six Communities Rebuilding from Hurricane Matthew, 2018 ASLA Professional Honor Award Winner in Communications.
Vice President of Research
Florida International University
Roberto Rovira is principal of Studio Roberto Rovira, Associate Professor, and former chair of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design at FIU. His research interests include ecological system visualization, landscape ecology as an element of contemporary urban environments, and art in landscape architecture. Roberto has been recognized nationally and internationally for his work as an educator and professional.
He is on the LAF board because of its leading role in shaping the dialogue in landscape architecture and for its steadfast commitment to cultivating and supporting research and scholarship in higher education and beyond. Roberto has completed over 30 exhibits and presentations of research, creative and professional work and exhibited his work in over 20 cities and 15 universities worldwide. Fast Company magazine recently selected his EcoAtlas ecosystem visualization project as a 2018 World Changing Ideas finalist, and he earned the Emerging Voice award from the Architectural League, one of the most coveted awards in North American Architecture, which spotlights individuals and firms based in the U. S., Canada, and Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism.
Vice President of Leadership
Director of Planning
San Francisco, CA
Brian Jencek is the Global Director of HOK’s Planning practice, leading 75 city planners, urban designers, landscape architects and environmental scientists in studios located around the world. His experience spans numerous award-winning projects nationally and abroad, including the 2012 London Olympics, Stanford University’s School of Medicine campus, 2020 Dubai World Expo, and planning for new cities in Panama, Brazil, China, and India. Brian’s work with communities around the world, on issues of environmental justice, equity, and climate change, draws inspiration from the LAF New Landscape Declaration (NLD) call-to-action. Leveraging HOK’s global reach, Brian actively incorporates the NLD externally to inform project missions and success indicators as well as internally to mentor and onboard the next generation of landscape architects.
Educated in Landscape Architecture and Planning at Cornell University, Brian is active professionally and academically with the ASLA, ULI, SPUR, and the Clinton Climate Initiative, is a Landscape Architecture Foundation Board Member, and teaches graduate-level design studios on topics of climate change resiliency and environmental planning at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design.
Vice President of Communication
Co-Founder and Design Principal
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Rebecca Bradley is one of the founding Principals of Cadence, a Landscape Architecture firm based in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Rebecca leads strategic development for the firm, directs day to day operations, and performs as project design lead for a variety of project types. Rebecca has practiced Landscape Architecture since 2001 after graduating from LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture. Rebecca is passionate about mentoring youth to join our profession and in daily practice works toward the triple bottom line success of the projects Cadence encounters.
Rebecca is on the LAF board because she wishes to further influence how our profession communicates our unique skill set to solve environmental and social issues in tandem. Locally, Rebecca serves as the Technical Advisory Director for Mockingbird Trail, a Cadence led urban cultural trail initiative that is advocating to transform the way citizens of Fort Lauderdale traverse downtown.
Vice President of Finance
Po is the Vice President of BrightView Landscapes. His corporate leadership skills and 20+ years’ business and strategic planning experience in the design and construction industry have proven instrumental in the rapid and profitable growth of the country’s top landscape design/build practice. Po holds dual Liberal Arts degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA focused in Organizational Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He is a member of Critical Mass and a director on several boards including the Orange County Great Park Neighborhoods, the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and Veloce Motors.
Vice President of Development
Director of Marketing
Daniel Martin is Director of Marketing at Permaloc Corporation, the world’s premium manufacturer of edging and restraint solutions for landscape and green build applications. During his time at Permaloc, Daniel has increased the company’s brand recognition, as well as gained a passion for serving the landscape architecture community, with an emphasis on students and emerging professionals. Daniel is also a Partner in Land8 Media, one of the profession’s leading destinations for information and collaboration.
Daniel enjoys his work on the LAF board, helping the organization with its support of students and emerging professionals through scholarship and fellowship opportunities, as well as raising awareness of the importance of landscape architecture in today’s world.
Sr. Principal & Managing Director
MASS Design Group
Sierra began work with MASS in 2008 focusing on landscape architecture and joined full time in 2009 to finalize the design and oversee implementation of the Butaro Hospital, MASS’s first project. Currently, Sierra directs the ongoing design and implementation of MASS’s planning and architectural projects. Prior to joining MASS, Sierra worked for four years at James Corner Field Operations, primarily in design and oversight of the implementation of Section 1 of the New York City High Line. Sierra has taught graduate-level studios at various universities and from 2010-2012, Sierra served as Head of the Architecture Department at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in Rwanda.
Sierra received her Bachelor of Arts in Art and Architectural History from Smith College and her Masters of Landscape Architecture and Masters of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.
Natalia Beard is a Principal at the SWA Houston Studio. She has led design on large visionary planning projects and highly detailed installations in the US and internationally. Much of Natalia’s work focuses on the issues of urban resiliency and infrastructure. Focusing on the Gulf Coast region and Houston in particular, she leads teams that interface with multiple agencies to help plan and shape a built environment for the rapidly transforming region. Her projects become a dynamic confluence of industry, transportation networks, community, and ecological systems. Natalia is also passionate about elevating the cultural significance of places through the interpretive power of art. Be it an urban, industrial, or post-industrial context, she prioritizes maximizing the effects of design by grounding it in research of the cultural and historical heritage of sites and communities that inhabit them. Working in metropolitan regions in the US over the years, she has developed multiple approaches to incorporating art and cultural expression in large infrastructural environments.
Richard D. Centolella, PLA, FASLA, is a Principal at EDSA and manages EDSA’s Baltimore Studio. He specializes in resort design, community planning, and large-scale master planning. He holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He joined EDSA in 1985.
Los Angeles, CA
Connie is a Principal and practice leader in open space economics at HR&A Advisors, an economic development and real estate consultancy with four decades of experience contributing to the planning and development of urban open spaces. With a background in planning, economic development, and downtown revitalization, Connie is inspired by the ability of public space to strengthen communities and create equitable and inclusive access to nature and recreation.
Connie holds a Master's in City Planning from MIT and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School - University of Pennsylvania. Connie serves as the Managing Principal of the Los Angeles office of HR&A.
Hood Design Studio
Alma Du Solier is a Landscape Architect and Studio Director at Hood Design Studio, a cultural practice in Oakland, CA which merges landscape architecture, public art, and urban design. She is also a registered architect in her native country of Mexico. Alma’s design approach builds on her dual design background and her interest in the meaningful integration of design with site and culture. Alma is a recurrent guest lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning.
Alma joined the LAF Board because of her admiration for LAF’s mission which, recognizes the transformative effect and power of influence landscape has in our cities and beyond. This is all so much more relevant today, and she strongly believes the only way to steer our future towards the right direction is to be proactive as general citizens, but more specifically as landscape architects.
Kansas City, MO
Tim Duggan is Founding Partner of Phronesis with offices in Kansas City and New Orleans. Phronesis is a landscape architecture and urban design studio focused almost entirely on creating regenerative infrastructure and community systems within the public realm. His Landscape Architecture career began in the Midwest where he collaborated on a wide range of projects from post-disaster community planning initiatives to complex green infrastructure urban design strategies.
Most recently, Tim developed over 200 LEED Platinum Landscapes with his role as Director of Innovations for the Make it Right Foundation. He managed their transformative community projects based in New Orleans, Kansas City, Newark, and the Fort Peck Indian Reservation while working extensively with local community organizations and individuals. Tim was named a Metropolis magazine 2012 Game Changer for his ambitious experiments in landscape design. Duggan has served as a speaker and guest critic on sustainable site solutions for many organizations including ASLA, AIA, and GreenBuild, and has served as an adjunct professor and guest critic for Tulane University, Kansas State University, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Dorothy Faris, Principal at multi-disciplinary design firm, Mithun, is one of the design leaders of the landscape architecture practice. Her ability to think across scales — from master planning large sites to specifics of construction details — and collaborative approach makes her a valuable team member. With a background in ceramics and art history, Dorothy was attracted to landscape architecture as an art form that enhances our built environments. With over 14 years’ experience, her conceptually driven design approach and interest in ecological process have led to the creation of many successful and unique civic spaces.
Dorothy was inspired by the 2016 Summit and LAF’s focus on diversifying the landscape architecture profession to join the LAF board. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington and is a member of ASLA and a graduate of the ULI Center for Sustainable Leadership.
As Partner and Director of Research at OLIN, Skip Graffam, RLA, FASLA, LEED AP leads design and planning projects as well as research initiatives that support the studio’s contribution to the practice of landscape architecture, urban design, and planning. OLIN’s research initiative is historically grounded in academia and explores how landscape architecture can positively enhance life and the environment in the 21st century.
Skip serves on the LAF Board to collaborate with some of the most innovative thinkers in landscape architecture to address global challenges in the built environment and advance the knowledge of the profession. In addition to his award-winning project work, Skip is a frequent critic and lecturer at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, and Temple University.
Lake Tahoe, CA
Stephanie Grigsby is a Principal and Board Member of Design Workshop. Design Workshop’s Legacy Design® methodology is aligned with the mission of LAF as it seeks to imbue every project with a balance between environmental sensitivity, community connection, artistic beauty, and economic viability. This commitment facilitates comprehensive, measurable, and innovative results. As evidence of the methodology’s value, Stephanie has led a number of award-winning community, parks and recreation, and transportation-related projects over the past two decades and has participated in LAF case studies to document project results. Her work with the Nevada Department of Transportation set the national standard for context-sensitive design and addressing both aesthetics and the environment along highway corridors. Her recent work focuses on to promoting active transportation and addressing issues associated with tourism-related impacts along the nation’s most sensitive and scenic roadways and has led to over $50 million dollars in funding for communities.
Michael is the Chair of Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Ecology and sits on the Board of Directors at Sasaki, a global design firm with offices in Boston and Shanghai. Leading much of the firm’s work in Asia, he offers unique insight into the unprecedented transformation and urbanization of the region. Michael is a fierce advocate for the vital role that landscape architects play in shaping contemporary cities. Informed by a rigorous inquiry of economic, ecological, and cultural influences, he believes that the role of the designer is to make cities more livable, equitable, resilient, and just.
His work has been recognized with numerous awards from the American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute, Fast Company, and other professional organizations. Michael is on the board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation because he is interested in spreading the mission of LAF to a global audience.
Richard Heriford is President of Landscape Forms, the global premium brand of site furniture and lighting. Richard has a passion for design, company culture, and American craft. At Landscape Forms, he has helped fine-tune the company’s go-to-market strategy, strengthen brand awareness, and expand new product development.
Richard joined the LAF board with a mission to assist the organization with Leadership Development and to increase LAF’s recognition among design professionals. Mr. Heriford graduated from Kansas State University, College of Architecture and Design and studied Brand Management at Southern Methodist University. Mr. Heriford spent his early career in Architecture.
Co-Director of Urban Design
Ann Arbor, MI
Michael Johnson is the Co-Director of Urban Design at SmithGroup. Michael’s ability to understand and distill complex urban challenges spans catalytic landscape architecture and urban design projects in major American cities, innovative campus plans for top urban research universities and Fortune 500 companies, and international large-scale mixed-use development efforts.
Michael is proud to continue legacy involvement of SmithGroup (and JJR) in LAF as a member of the research committee where he is advancing the measurable role that placemaking and urban design can play in fostering healthy cities and supporting landscape and streetscape performance. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Ball State University, and a Master’s in Urban Design from the University of Michigan.
Principal Landscape Architect
New Orleans, LA
Diane Jones Allen is currently the Program Director for Landscape Architecture, in the College of Architecture Planning, and Public Affairs, at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is Principal Landscape Architect with DesignJones LLC in New Orleans, Louisiana which received the 2016 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Community Service Award. In Baltimore, Maryland, during the period from 2006-2014, Diane was a member of the Urban Design Architecture Review Panel, providing design guidance on major development projects in the City, and a tenured professor in Landscape Architecture, at the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University. In 2017, she participated as a member of the ASLA Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change and Resiliency. Diane also serves on the Board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), contributing to the diversity and climate change sub-committees, and believing strongly in LAF’s efforts to create a healthier, equitable and sustainable world.
Diane received the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Environmental Design, University of California at Berkeley. Her research and practice are guided by the intersection of environmental justice, identity, and sustainability in cultural landscapes, including “Nomadic” responses to “Transit Deserts,” places of increasing transportation demand and limited access, as discuss in her book “Transit Deserts; Race, Transit Access, and Suburban Form”. Diane, recently co-edited “Design for Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity”, published by Island Press, which provides tools for trans-active engagement and design.
San Antonio, TX
Van Alen Institute
New York, NY
As Executive Director of the Van Alen Institute, Deborah holds extensive experience in mobilizing professionals across various sectors to take an interdisciplinary approach that effects positive change. Prior to joining the Van Alen Institute, Deborah worked as the Executive Director for the New York Restoration Project, overseeing NYRP's work transforming and managing open space in underserved communities to create a greener, more sustainable New York City. She lectures widely on various topics, including green space and public health, open space management structures, and urban equity.
Deborah received a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. As an LAF board member, she hopes to encourage landscape architects to be effective leaders and to bring their broad perspective on environmental and social resilience to all spheres of power.
Vice President of Sales
Landscape Products, Inc.
Steve McCarter, PLA, ASLA serves as the Vice President of Sales for Landscape Products, Inc. the manufacturing division of Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply. Steve is delighted to have the privilege of serving on the LAF board of directors and to foster the development of the next generation of Landscape Architects. Bringing more than 30 years of experience as a Landscape Architect and Sales Manager in the irrigation and building materials industry, he is dedicated to the conservation of precious water resources. With a commitment to education, Steve continues to provide water efficiency product training expertise to a wide spectrum of design professionals, university students, contractors, and distributor personnel.
He holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Kansas State University. Steve is a registered Landscape Architect in Texas & Oklahoma, a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and an Irrigation Association Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor.
New York, NY
Signe Nielsen, FASLA, is a principal of MNLA (formerly known as Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects), located in New York City. Founded in 1994, the firm focuses on advancing resilience and equity across a spectrum of public and not-for-profit projects, primarily in the northeast. Ms. Nielsen is particularly engaged in projects that seek to change outmoded policies through advocacy, design, and research. Outside of her practice, Ms. Nielsen is the President of NYC’s Public Design Commission, an agency of city government that reviews all projects and artworks built on city property. Over the past ten years, Ms. Nielsen has served on multiple panels initiated by the US Green Building Council and Mayor’s Office on Sustainability to recommend changes to existing codes to promote environmental responsibility and to create guidelines for critical facilities based on climate change predictions. In addition, Ms. Nielsen is a full professor at Pratt Institute where she has taught for nearly 40 years. In Ms. Nielsen’s role as a founding partner of MNLA, she is driven by the intersection of design and policy and how these two different drivers of action can be aligned to harness stakeholder endorsement and public benefit.
Ms. Nielsen’s interest in joining the Board of LAF is a clear outgrowth of her years of commitment to advocacy and change as well as to advancing the reach of landscape architects. LAF is a small but mighty organization with long arms in terms of its reach within the profession and beyond. It is my honor and pleasure to contribute to the goals, principles, and advocacy of this exemplary organization.
New York, NY
Kate Orff is a landscape architect envisioning new forms of public space that reveal and revive the hidden ecological systems underlying our built environments and encourage urban residents to become active stewards of their natural surroundings. As founding Principal of SCAPE, a landscape architecture and urban design studio, Orff’s work ranges from large-scale coastal infrastructure initiatives to the design of city parks, as well as book-length publications, museum exhibitions, and self-guided podcast tours that invite city dwellers to explore the natural histories of their regions. Kate Orff received a B.A. (1993) from the University of Virginia and an M.L.A. (1997) from Harvard University. She is the author of Toward an Urban Ecology (2016) and co-editor of Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park (2011). She is an associate professor and director of the Urban Design Program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University.
McKenzie is a Senior Designer at MKSK Studios in Columbus, Ohio, a design practice driven to create innovative and impactful work in the public realm throughout the Midwest. She has contributed to a range of complex urban projects both in the Midwest and across the country as a past designer at Reed Hilderbrand and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in Boston, Massachusetts. Her project portfolio includes The Alamo World Heritage Site in San Antonio, Pier 4 in Boston's Seaport District, and ongoing resiliency and connectivity development along Columbus's riverfront. McKenzie was the undergraduate 2013 National Olmsted Scholar, beginning her engagement with LAF.
LAF's mission to amplify the urgency of topics like sustainability and resilience through landscape architecture became a lightning rod that synthesized McKenzie's emerging love for the profession and deep-rooted desire to serve her community. There were urgency and agency in the call for landscape architects to elevate our skills and better the world which continues to drive her professional work. One of the things she is most passionate about is LAF's work to identify and mentor young leaders in the profession. Understanding the criticality of supporting and elevating emerging designers as they discover their potential for positive impact, as well as the importance of forward motion on issues like climate change and inclusion, McKenzie, recognizes her position on the Board as a pivotal opportunity to broaden scope and dig into important work.
Founder and Principal
site design group
Ernest C. Wong, Founder and Principal of site design group, ltd. (site), has been
instrumental in the development of both the firm and the landscape architecture
profession in the City of Chicago. In managing the firm for over 29 years, site has
established a reputation for creative design solutions, and thoughtful, community-oriented urban spaces. An advocate of contextually designed public open spaces and urban parks, Mr. Wong has directed numerous acclaimed projects including Mary Bartelme Park, Henry Palmisano Park (formerly Stearns Quarry), and Argyle Shared Street. Recent projects include Positioning Pullman, the McCormick Square development, the River Edge Ideas Lab, the Old Chicago Post Office redevelopment, and the new Riverwalk East.
Through professional and service leadership, Mr. Wong has advocated for and helped shaped Chicago’s Chinatown community through transformative, community-oriented projects including the multi-phased Tom Memorial Park, the Chinatown Vision Plan, the Chinatown Branch Library, Cermak Road Streetscape, Wentworth Avenue Streetscape, Cermak Green Line Station, and the ongoing Wells and Wentworth Connector. A strong proponent of civic and community engagement, Mr. Wong sits on the board of numerous service organizations and professional juries including the Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Near South Planning Board, and the Chicago Landmarks Commission. In addition, Mr. Wong is a frequent speaker at universities as well as design, business, and diversity conferences, including serving as the keynote speaker at the National Minority Supplier Development Council in 2016.
New York, NY
Andrew Zientek is a landscape architect, artist, and dry-laid stone waller. His work spans in scale from held object to inhabitable place and oscillates between art, craft, science and design. In all endeavors, the focus of work is the connection and displacement between people and their local environments. Local environment is meant to include natural systems, urban spaces, cultural history, and interpersonal interactions. Andrew leads the landscape architecture effort at Weiss/Manfredi, a multidisciplinary firm at the forefront of design practices that are redefining the relationship between architecture, landscape, and urban design. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Harvard’s GSD. Andrew has served as Associate Professor at CCNY and Columbia GSAPP as well as lecturer at Harvard’s GSD.
Andrew is on the LAF board because he believes we, as a profession, need to prepare for an increasingly complex and uncertain future and wants landscape architects to shape this potential new frontier before it shapes us.
Ex Officio Representatives
Immediate Past President
American Society of Landscape Architects
Williams Bay, WI
Shawn T. Kelly, FASLA was President of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2018-2019.
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
Dr. Galen D. Newman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University (TAMU). At TAMU, he also serves as Associate Department Head, Coordinator of the Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning Program, Associate Director of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, and Discovery Lead for Community Resilience for the Institute for Sustainable Communities.
Dr. Newman currently serves as the CELA Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship. Dr. Newman graduated from the Planning, Design, and the Built Environment PhD program at Clemson University in 2010.