MPL Advisory Board
The USC Master of Planning program Advisory Board is an esteemed group of professionals who bring their career experience and leadership to our planning students. The board engages regularly with the program and with students by providing internships, assisting with job placements, mentoring students, advising on program strategy, and participating in student and program sponsored symposia.
Several advisory board members participate as guest lecturers or adjunct instructors, bringing their experience into the curriculum.
Bill Anderson, FAICP
Mr. Anderson, oversees the Economics practice for the western offices of AECOM. Previously, he was Director of City Planning & Community Investment for the City of San Diego, where he oversaw Planning, Economic Development, Redevelopment, Urban Form, and Facilities Financing. In this capacity, he directed the update to San Diego’s General Plan, which received APA’s Daniel Burnham Award for Excellence in Comprehensive Planning. Prior to his tenure at the City of San Diego, he was a Senior Vice-President with Economics Research Associates, where he worked on almost 300 assignments in twenty states and eight countries. From 1995-2003, he was a member and chair of the City of San Diego Planning Commission He currently serves on the Board of Directors of APA, co-chairs APA’s “Sustaining Places” initiative, and is a member of the California Planning Roundtable. Mr. Anderson is a Full Member of ULI’s Inner City Council, Lambda Alpha, and was President of C 3, San Diego’s oldest local planning and conservation advocacy group. He has a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College, and a Masters in City & Regional Planning from Harvard University.
California Energy Commission
CEO, European Motors, Ltd.
As President of European Motors, Mr. Barsotti leads the Barsotti Family’s Mercedes-Benz dealership that has been serving generations of Bay Area Mercedes-Benz owners and enthusiasts for the past 42 years. As one of the oldest family-owned Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Northern California, Mr. Barsotti has continued his company’s long-standing reputation of top-notch client treatment within the community for future generations. The company’s history is as follows: 1950’s – started out as a Studebaker dealer in San Francisco. 1958 – San Francisco Mercedes-Benz Dealer founded as European Motors San Francisco. 1967- Oakland Mercedes-Benz Dealer serving the entire East Bay founded as European Motors Oakland. Today the company is known as Mercedes-Benz of Oakland.
Partner, HR&A Advisors
Amitabh Barthakur brings 20 years of national and international experience along with a deep understanding of planning, policy and market issues pertaining to California and the Southwestern United States. Amitabh joined HR&A as a Partner in our Los Angeles office in December 2013. Amitabh’s core expertise is centered on economic evaluation of land use and environmental policy decisions. He assists developers and public agencies to balance land use strategies that are economically viable in the marketplace and fiscally sustainable in terms of their impact to public resources. Previously, he served as Vice President and Regional Director for the Planning, Design, and Development business line of AECOM in India. He also led AECOM’s economics practice in the US-West region and served as the global practice leader for the firm’s economic planning and real estate market sector.
Vice President, Parsons Brinckerhoff
Ms. Bohlinger joins Parsons Brinckerhoff following a 36-year career in both the public and private sectors. She was a VP with an international engineering firm, leading its national management consulting practice and prior to that she served as Executive Director of South Florida’s Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority (Tri-Rail), where she secured a $327 million federal full funding grant agreement for Tri-Rail’s double track program. During her 15-year tenure with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA), Ms. Bohlinger become LACMTA’s interim chief executive, with operational, construction, planning, and fiscal responsibility for a $3 billion budget, 8,000 employees, and a 13-member board. At LACMTA she secured more than $2.4 billion in federal full funding grant agreements for the Metro Red Line Subway. Ms. Bohlinger’s earlier public service career influenced major infrastructure programs across the state of California. As the Deputy Director for Transit Development for the California Transportation Commission, she started the Commission’s first five-year program of rail transit guideway projects and assisted in increasing state legislative support from $10 million to $100 million per year. As the Manager of Highway and Transportation Systems Management Programs for the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, she directed the development of the Commission’s $2.2 billion capital improvement programs for state highways, rail transit, and local roadways. She also held key management roles for the Sacramento Area Council of Governments and for the Southern California Association of Governments in systems planning and programming of regional and local projects. Ms.Bohlinger received a master of public administration degree from the University of Southern California and a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She serves as Chair of the North American Transit Services Association and is a former executive committee member of the American Public
Transportation Association (APTA), and immediate past chair of the APTA Foundation. She is a member of the California Transit Association and the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS). She has garnered leadership awards for her contributions to the industry including the Book of Leaders Award, Miami Today; Woman of the Year Award, Los Angeles Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar; Outstanding Leadership Award, California Transit Association; and Woman of the Year Award, Sacramento Chapter of WTS.
Executive Vice President, Fehr & Peers
Mr. Brown is a Senior Principal with 30 years of experience in transportation planning and engineering. In addition to his 25 years of consulting experience, Mr. Brown was the Director of Transportation Planning for the City of Sacramento. Mr. Brown is known and respected for his ability to communicate technical information to the general public and decision-makers, and he is very experienced in building consensus around difficult topics in communities. Mr. Brown earned a Master’s Degree in Transportation from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He is a licensed traffic engineer in California. Mr. Brown is a Licensed Traffic Engineer, State of California (TR1510). His professional associations include Member of Bicycle Sub-Committee of NCUTCD, 1995/96, Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE): Member, Northern California Section President 2000-2001 and Co-chair ITE District 6 Conference, 2004. Mr Brown received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with Honors, University of California, Berkeley, 1985 and his Master of Science in Transportation, University of California at Berkeley, 1987. He also earned a Master in Business Administration, Golden Gate University, 1998. Mr. Brown was either the project manager or principal-in-charge of more than 500 studies in eight states that include the following disciplines: transportation master plans, traffic calming, environmental impact assessments, parking and circulation studies, bicycle and pedestrian facility plans, new-urbanist planning, freeway interchanges, intersection/signal designs and corridor studies.
Principal, Urban Planner, The LCW Group, Inc.
Weijen Chen serves as Principal at LCW Group with focus on large scale master planning, site planning and city planning activities. Ms. Chen also oversees all financial and business management aspects of the company, as well as all company accounting, risk management, and human resource duties. In the three years prior to joining LCW, Ms. Chen served as Vice President, Project Manager at PCG (a land investment, entitlement firm) with focus on land investment activities. Ms. Chen was involved in all aspects of the planning, processing, development, and management of the company’s residential land projects. In addition, Ms. Chen played a key role in the firm’s economic and market due diligence analysis in support of the firm’s investment decision-making process. She was responsible for oversight of PCG’s unique market research capabilities and for identifying future growth patterns, and developing investment strategies and opportunities within target investment areas. In the six years prior to joining PCG, Ms. Chen served as a Project Manager at IHP Capital Partners where she was responsible for assessing market feasibility of housing and land development projects, urban growth policies, and entitlement processing activities within municipalities throughout California. In this area of responsibility, she worked intensively with planners/engineers and developers/builders in each market. Prior to joining IHP Capital Partners, Ms. Chen served as Senior Planner at the Comprehensive Planning Company, a leading Taiwan-based planning consulting firm, where her duties encompassed land planning, entitlement processing, feasibility analysis and Community/General Plan consulting.
Senior Associate, Arellano Associates
Susan is the principal and owner of SDS Associates, a firm which she established in 2001 to provide professional services to the public and private sectors bridging the gap between public programs and the communities they serve. Susan has been affiliated with Arellano Associates since 2008, where she is a consulting professional in public policy, urban planning, community outreach and communications. She specializes in the planning and implementation of integrated land use and transportation, sustainable communities and smart growth strategies. She has also affiliated with Cambridge Systematics and Productivity Apex on freight movement studies and demonstration projects. Susan served as Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development in the early 1980s where she was responsible for state housing programs as a Governor’s appointee. She served as spokesman for the Governor on all housing and community development related matters. Prior to starting her own consulting firm, Ms. DeSantis’ was a Principal of The Planning Center, a private sector urban planning firm. She previously served as Director of Government Services and Policy Planning for the California Association of REALTORS. Susan is a Past President of the California Planning Roundtable as well as a Founding Member and Past President of the Orange County Forum. She received her Bachelor of Arts and completed the Executive Management Program at the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles.
Gregory C. Devereaux
CEO, County Administrative Office-County of San Bernardino
Mr. Devereaux has served in state and local government for more than 35 years, holding various administrative leadership positions in several California cities, including city manager in the cities of Fontana from 1993 to 1997 and Ontario from 1997 to 2010. He now serves as Chief Executive Officer for the County of San Bernardino where he has helped the Board lead the County in a new direction, emphasizing fiscal responsibility and proactive solutions. He worked with the Board and San Bernardino Associated Governments to develop a vision for the entire county, seeking input from residents, employers, educators, community and faith‐based organizations, and elected leaders. The Countywide Vision Statement was adopted by the County Board and SANBAG on June 30, 2011. Mr. Devereaux then immediately worked with the Board and County officials to establish County government’s role in the realization of the Vision. During his tenure in Fontana, Mr. Devereaux worked with the Mayor and City Council to stabilize the city’s finances, increase infrastructure maintenance, and restore community programs. In Ontario, he worked with the Mayor and City Council to embark on an aggressive program that grew the city‘s economy and restructured the city’s staff to better serve its residents and the business community. The development of substantial financial surpluses allowed Ontario to undertake the most aggressive investment in community facilities in the city’s history. Mr. Devereaux is a member of the Advisory Board of the graduate programs in planning at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC. In 2014, Mr. Devereaux was a presenter at the Ethics and Governance Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Goldman School of Public Policy. He is a Past President of the California Redevelopment Association and has served on multiple California League of Cities committees. He is a member of the advisory board for the Department of Public Administration, California State University, San Bernardino, and is the visiting resident at the West Virginia University Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Division of Public Administration. He is also a past member of the advisory committee for the Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure at USC. In 2009, Mr. Devereaux was appointed by the California Air Resources Board to the Regional Targets Advisory Committee on greenhouse gas reduction under SB 375. In 2014, Mr. Devereaux received the Southern California Association of Governments President’s Award for Public Service Leader of the Year. He was also the recipient of the American Society for Public Administration Inland Empire Chapter’s 2008 Outstanding Senior Administrator Award and the Building Industry Association Baldy View Chapter’s 2007 Good Government Award. In 2005 he received the James S. Thalman Memorial Public Services Award from the League of California Cities Inland Empire Division, and in 2000 was named “Management Leader of the Year” by the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Riverside.
Member, ELP Advisors
Cecilia V. Estolano is an expert in sustainable economic development and urban revitalization. The many projects she has directed as co-founder of ELP Advisors include advising local governments, non-profits and foundations on redevelopment dissolution and economic revitalization; overseeing research on green infrastructure and job creation in Philadelphia; and managing complex multi-stakeholder processes, including the creation of economic development implementation plans and the LA 2050 visioning project for the Goldhirsh Foundation. Prior to co-founding ELP Advisors, Ms. Estolano was Chief Strategist of State and Local Initiatives for Green For All, a national organization that advocates for broad access and opportunity in the clean-energy economy. Ms. Estolano oversaw Green For All’s State and Local Initiatives and the Capital Access Program and was charged with spearheading the organization’s effort to scale public-private partnerships as a means to grow family-supporting jobs in energy efficiency, water and transportation infrastructure, green manufacturing and other green sectors, particularly in under-served communities. Ms. Estolano previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). Under Ms. Estolano’s tenure, CRA/LA was the largest redevelopment agency in California, with an annual budget of over $726 million and a work program covering 32 project areas. Ms. Estolano redefined the role of CRA/LA, developing and implementing the CRA/LA five-year Strategic Plan. She rebuilt the organization’s housing department, shepherded CRA/LA’s adoption of a landmark policy on local hiring in construction jobs, directed the adoption of a Healthy Neighborhoods policy, and created a $42 million Land Acquisition Fund to jumpstart development in underserved markets like South Los Angeles. Prior to joining CRA/LA, Ms. Estolano was Of Counsel in the Los Angeles office of the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She represented developer, private equity fund and lender clients in land use, zoning, redevelopment, environmental, real estate, energy and telecommunications matters. Ms. Estolano was the Deputy Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency Review Team, Energy and Environment Group for the Obama Presidential Transition Team. Her career includes service as a Special Assistant Los Angeles City Attorney, as a Senior Policy Advisor with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as Environmental Policy Advisor to former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. She also served on the California Coastal Commission. Ms. Estolano is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law and holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA. She received her undergraduate degree in Social Studies with honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges. Ms. Estolano has taught urban planning at UCLA and UC Berkeley. She serves as Vice President of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and sits on the boards of directors of Manufacturing Renaissance and the National Employment Law Project.
Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research Rice University
William Fulton is Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. He is a former Mayor of Ventura, California, and Director of Planning & Economic Development for the City of San Diego. In his career, Mr. Fulton has also served as Vice President for Policy at Smart Growth America, Principal in the California-based urban planning firm now known as PlaceWorks, and Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. He is the founding editor and publisher of California Planning & Development Report [www.cp-dr.com] and author of five books, including Guide to California Planning, the standard urban planning textbook in California, and The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles, which was an L.A. Times best-seller. At the Kinder Institute, Fulton coordinates Rice’s research partnership with the City of Houston and its involvement with the MetroLab Network. Rice and Houston are currently exploring ways to use Smart City technology to improve both the city’s operations and its policymaking process. He holds master’s degrees in mass communication from The American University and urban planning from UCLA.
Naima Greffon Ganaba
General Manager, Greater Watts Development Corporation
S. Gail Goldberg
Executive Director, Urban Land Institute
Since May 2011, Ms.Goldberg has served as Executive Director for The Urban Land Institute where she is responsible for leading the District Council’s program of work, including developing and executing strategies that manage the Los Angeles District Council and Institute resources, expertise, and leadership to constructively impact local, state and regional development issues and land use policies. This includes developing and managing an annual plan and long range plans for the District Council, and hands-on management of sponsorship, membership, programs, conferences, key alliances, committee meetings, technical assistance panels, and collaborative public ventures. From 2006 to 2010, Ms. Golberg was Director of Planning for the City of Los Angeles where she was responsible for organizing and directing the policies and activities of the City’s Planning Department, including the development, maintenance and implementation of all elements of the City’s General Plan as well as a range of other special zoning plans. From 2001-2005, Ms. Goldberg was Director of Planning for the City of San Diego where her responsibilities included all Long Range and Community Planning activities, Housing, Facilities Financing, Transportation Planning, the Multiple Species Conservation Program, Historic Resources Programs, Special Projects and all land use policy development; Support City Planning Commission, several boards and more than 40 Community Planning Groups. Ms. Goldberg also served as Assistant Director, City Planner as well as Program Manager for the City of San Diego. Additionally, Ms. Goldberg was the Reuse Project Director for the San Diego Naval Training Center (NTC) where she created and implemented multifaceted work program to implement reuse plan for NTC; Supervised several full-time employees and directed the activities of Citywide NTC team; Negotiated, acquired and managed almost $2 million in federal grants; Directed and managed $1.5 million in consultant contracts; Successfully negotiated with the Navy the return of an 18-acre hotel site worth $15 million to the redevelopment of NTC; Successfully negotiated with the local BRAC office for almost two million square feet of NTC buildings for interim reuse; Facilitated a $7.5 million agreement with homeless assistance providers to meet federal requirements.
Former Community Development Department Director, City of Carson
Cliff specializes in managing change. His 40+-year career includes developing university campuses, turning around troubled agencies, financing infrastructure and housing, permitting environmental management facilities and regional resource conservation. He is a recognized expert on urban development policy and program management.
CEO and President, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA)
Mr. Guthrie was appointed the President and CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) in April, 2012. In this capacity he oversees one of the largest housing authorities in the country responsible for the nearly 10,000 public and assisted housing units and management of 58,000 Section 8 vouchers with total annual revenues of $1 billion. Prior to this position he held the position of General Manager of the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD). This was an office of 600 employees with responsibilities for managing the City’s primary affordable housing development programs which address priorities for affordable housing, housing preservation, transit oriented development, and permanent and supportive housing for the homeless; systematic code enforcement of LA’s rental housing stock of nearly 760,000 housing units, and oversight of the rent stabilization program that manages rent adjustments on 620,000 rental housing units.
Chairman & CEO, Five Point Communities
Emil Haddad is FivePoint’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Haddad leads the executive team that manages FivePoint’s communities. Haddad cofounded FivePoint in 2009 and has headed it since then. Previously, Haddad served as the Chief Investment Officer of Lennar, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, where he was in charge of the company’s real estate investments and asset management. In this capacity, he led the acquisition, capitalization an development of Great Park Neighborhoods, Newhall Ranch and The San Francisco Shipyard. Haddad serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees at the University of California, Irvine Foundation. He sits on the Real Estate Advisory Board of the University of California, Irvine and the University of California Berkeley. He is also a member of the University of Southern California’s Price School Planning Program Advisory Board and the University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate Executive Committee. In addition, he currently serves on the boards of PBS So-Cal and Claremont Graduate University.
Managing Director, CityView Los Angeles Fund
Con Howe is Managing Director of CityView’s Los Angeles Fund, which has built or renovated 21 projects with over 2500 units in Los Angeles County. CityView is an institutional housing investment firm chaired by Henry Cisneros and active throughout California and the Southwest. Prior to joining CityView, Con was Director of Planning for the City of Los Angeles for 13 years, responsible for the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, the Downtown Housing Incentive Ordinance and zoning codes that incentivized mixed-use, infill, small lot and affordable housing. Previously he was Executive Director of the New York City Planning Department, working extensively on Times Square and Lower Manhattan. He holds degrees from MIT and Yale University and teaches a course in planning and redevelopment at USC.
Senior Vice President, Development and Forward Planning, Related California
Ms. Beatrice C. Hsu, also known as Bea, serves as Senior Vice President Development, Brookfield Properties. In her prior position she was Senior Vice President of Development & Forward Planning at Related California LLC where she worked across Related California’s affordable, market-rate, mixed-income and mixed-use development divisions and oversaw forward planning, acquisitions, project entitlements, government approvals and public/private partnerships. She also led Related California’s communications, marketing and public relations. At Related California, her major projects have included the $2 billion multi-phase Grand Avenue Project and Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles, along with the acquisition, entitlements and development of nearly 1,000 multifamily units throughout California with development costs in excess of $500 million. Ms. Hsu served as senior advisor to Eric Garcetti during his tenure as a Los Angeles City Councilmember, with particular focus on housing, economic development and budget policy. She also served as a policy advisor to former California State Controller Kathleen Connell. She has been a Commissioner at Los Angeles World Airports since August 2013. She was a member of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s transition team in 2013. She is also a member of the Planning Program Advisory Board of the University Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, a co -chair of the Central City Association’s Housing and Land Use Committee and a member of the Board of Directors for Larchmont Charter School in Los Angeles. Ms. Hsu holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and is a graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs and the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate at the University of Southern California.
Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)
Considered one of the preeminent transportation planning experts in the nation, Hasan Ikhrata is the Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the largest metropolitan planning organization in the United States. Appointed in January 2008, Mr. Ikhrata has over 25 years of public and private sector experience in Transportation Planning in Southern California. At SCAG Mr. Ikhrata implements the policies of an 83-member Regional Council and directs day-to-day operations of the agency. He is credited with being a transformational and unifying leader who has enhanced SCAG’s value to member agencies and fostered unprecedented levels of public input and participation in the development of regional transportation plans. Prior to joining SCAG in 1994, Mr. Ikhrata worked for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). Mr. Ikhrata holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Civil and Industrial Engineering from Zaporozhye University in the former Soviet Union; a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from UCLA and a PhD Candidacy in Urban Planning and Transportation from USC.
President, The Planning Center, Inc.
Throughout his more than 42 years of experience in planning and design, Randy Jackson has conceived and developed unique land use and design concepts for award-winning communities. He continues to focus his expertise on communities built around and integrating transportation, transit, open space, and park and recreation systems. He has overseen projects throughout the United States, as well as China, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia. He has taught Land Development in the Graduate School of Social Ecology at UC Irvine and serves as guest lecturer at UC Irvine and UC Riverside campuses for courses in planning and design programs. Randy recently completed a two-year term as Chairman of Urban Land Institute’s Community Development Council (Blue Flight), a national product council leading the discussion in the areas of suburban new communities, suburban large-scale (multi-use) communities, rehabilitation/reuse, asset management, and process. He currently serves as Director of ULI Orange County/Inland Empire’s District Council. Randy Jackson obtained his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, at Utah State University and his Graduate Studies at Pacific Urban Studies Center at the University of Hawaii.
Executive Director/President, Community Resource Talent Development
Senior Vice President, The Irvine Company
Steven is a Senior Vice President at the Irvine Company in Newport Beach California. He leads all master planning efforts for the company for new community and redevelopment projects in Irvine, San Diego and Northern California. Steven has over 25 years of experience in master planning large complex new community and mixed use projects in the US, Middle East, Asia and South America. His projects have won 2 ULI Awards of Excellence and 6 PCBC Gold Nugget Awards. He pioneered development of the Sustainable Systems Integration Methodology (SSIM) which allows optimization of energy, water, ecology and transport systems resulting in reduced carbon and resource footprints at the lowest possible economic impact. As a sideline he has developed two Conservation Development project in the Sierra Foothills as models to reduce rural sprawl while conserving valuable ecological systems. Steve has co-authored two books on planning and sustainability with ULI and written and spoken extensively. He has served two terms in leadership of ULI Community Development Councils. He continues in his 16th year teaching at USC Master in Real Estate Program in addition to his other pursuits.
President, MK Planning
Michael R. Kodama is an urban planner with a background in transportation planning, funding, and policy issues. He has also worked on economic development, environmental and land use issues. During the past fifteen years, Mr. Kodama has worked on a wide variety of projects involving highway, rail (passenger and freight), transportation demand management, traffic safety, goods movement, parking management, waste management, park and recreation, special event centers, foreign trade zones, e-government, community transportation issues, environmental justice and downtown revitalization. This includes working with businesses and stakeholder groups on transportation needs assessments in downtown areas and working with residents in local communities on transportation-related issues.
Director of Planning, Principal, WHA Inc.
Todd Larner has over 22 years of experience in master planning and implementation of new communities, policy planning documentation and international design. As a principal and studio director his portfolio includes project management and design directives for large-scale master planned communities, commercial / mixed-use, urban infill, site-specific neighborhood design, education facilities, resorts and theme parks. Todd has focused his practice of master planning to include the integration of architecture, planning and landscape architecture to create memorable places within the built environment. He understands the importance of a cohesive story-line and incorporating brand identity when creating communities. By seamlessly incorporating marketing and visioning into design, his projects have thrived in an incredibly competitive marketplace. Todd is active in numerous professional and academic organizations. He has spoken multiple times at Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) and The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) lending his experience and insight to panelist discussions. He founded the ULI-Orange County young leaders and served as the president for 4 years, and is a contributing full member.
Arthur T. Leahy
CEO, Los Angeles Metropolitan Authority Transportation (MTA)
Art Leahy was appointed as Metrolink’s Chief Executive Officer and began in April 2015. He brings more than 40 years of public transportation leadership and experience to Metrolink. Arthur also served as chief executive officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) for six years. During that time, he guided implementation of one of the largest public works programs in United States history, securing billions in federal and state dollars to help finance construction of dozens of transit and highway projects. Prior to his tenure as Metro CEO, Leahy led OCTA (20012009) and served as the general manager of Metro Transit (1997-2001) in Minneapolis-St. Paul. While at OCTA, Leahy led efforts to secure reauthorization of the $12 billion Measure M sales tax proposal, which gained 70 percent approval from Orange County voters in November 2006. Measure M led to the expansion of the county’s rail and bus systems, along with numerous enhancements of streets, highways, and traffic management systems. Growing up in Highland Park community in Los Angeles, both of Leahy’s parents worked in transit and he followed in their footsteps. He started as a bus operator for the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) in Los Angeles in 1971 and rose through the ranks to become chief operations officer before taking the position in Minneapolis. Prior to earning a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California in 1982, Leahy completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Los Angeles in Political Science (1974) and certificate in Transportation Management (1973) from University of California, Los Angeles.
Barbara Lichman, Ph.D.
Counsel, Buchalter Nemer
Barbara E. Lichman, Ph.D. has an extensive and successful record representing airports, municipalities, developers, and other public and private clients in litigation and administrative proceedings under Federal Aviation statutes such as the Airline Deregulation Act and Airport Noise and Capacity Act; the California Public Utilities Code governing land use in airport environs (Aeronautics Act); and federal and state environmental statutes including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Federal Clean Air Act, the Federal Clean Water Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, and the California Coastal Act. She has also successfully represented clients in litigation involving land use issues such as inverse condemnation, development agreements and specific plan amendments. Dr. Lichman holds a doctorate in urban and regional planning. Dr. Lichman’s experience is both national and international. As a Registered Federal Lobbyist, Dr. Lichman successfully lobbied and testified before Congress on behalf of aircraft owners and operators on issues including the grant of investment tax credits for noise reduction of aircraft engines. She also served as counsel to Air AAA Group, a consortium of international architectural, engineering and construction companies in their airport development activities at Pudong Airport, Shanghai, China. Dr. Lichman served as managing partner of Chevalier, Allen & Lichman, LLP, for sixteen years. Dr. Lichman’s clients include public entities, airport owners/sponsors, land developers, major power generating companies, airport fixed-base operators (FBOs) and aircraft owners.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, PATH
John Molloy joined the PATH Family of Agencies as the Executive Director of PATH Ventures in 2009, a position he retains in addition to serving as PATH’s Chief Operating Officer starting in January, 2011. In his capacity as the ED of PATH Ventures, John focuses on residential developments for formerly homeless and lower income families and individuals. John is a 30 year veteran of planning, development, redevelopment, financial management and policy development. He previously served as CEO for the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency and as Executive Director for LA’s Community Redevelopment Agency. As head of the Housing Authority in Sacramento, he managed a 4,000+ unit inventory of public housing and more than 5,000 Section 8 rental contracts. He has overseen the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation and financing of over 22,000 units in the Sacramento and Los Angeles areas. John studied Biology and Chemistry at the University of Connecticut. He earned Master of Public Administration and a Masters in Urban and Regional Development, as well as a Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. In his free time, John likes to ski and travel.
Susan O’Carroll, Ph.D.
President, Pareto Planning and Environmental Services
Susan is a CEQA expert with 23 years of experience working on CEQA projects, which include writing EIRs and Negative Declarations, commenting on/criticizing CEQA documents, and training staff on CEQA. Ms. O’Carroll played a key role in the Malibu Parks Public Access Enhancement Public Works Plan (PWP) and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and MRCA. She has also worked on a number of other related projects with the MRCA including the Marsh Park Mitigated Negative Declaration. She is experienced in preparing EIRs for controversial projects and for projects where development and evaluation of a range of alternatives is key to clarifying the environmental issues facing decision-makers. Ms. O’Carroll received her Ph.D. and MPL from USC.
Cities Leader, Arup
Katherine Aguilar Perez-Estolano is an expert in urban planning, transportation, and stakeholder engagement. With her background in community development, private real estate development, transportation policy and urban planning, she is recognized as a leader in the planning field and speaks at conferences throughout the country. As the Cities Leader for Southern California, she is responsible for implementing the cities strategy in the LA market. In this position, she also has a role in developing the Transaction Advice/Business Services and Planning centers in Los Angeles. In 2016, Katherine ran for California State Senate, District 25 in an open seat which covers 22 cities including Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale. Before running for State office, she co-founded Estolano LeSar Perez (ELP) Advisors. ELP Advisors is a DBE/WBE minority woman owned company that provides integrated solutions to public agencies, foundations, business associations and other stakeholders seeking to grow thriving, healthy and vibrant communities. ELP Advisors services include strategic planning; design and implementation of stakeholder engagement processes; sustainable economic development;community planning; business cluster and sector strategies; business development and retention strategies; transit-oriented development planning, real estate development; green workforce development strategies and project management. At ELP Advisors, she served as the lead and project manager on numerous transportation planning, development and community engagement projects. Prior to that, Katherine was the Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles District Council (ULI LA), and was formerly the Vice President of Development for Forest City Development where she focused on transit-oriented development and mixed-use, mixed-income projects in emerging markets. Before joining Forest City, Katherine was the co-founder and Executive Director of the Transportation and Land Use Collaborative (TLUC) of Southern California, a nationally recognized non-profit that promoted greater civic involvement in planning and development. In 2009, she was listed in the “Top 100 Influential Hispanics” by Hispanic Business Magazine. Katherine is an Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Planning and Development. She co-designed and teaches public participation in planning and land use decision making. In addition, she has served as an instructor for the National League of Cities, Leadership Training for Local Officials program as well as a Lecturer for the Ford Fellowship, Regional Sustainable Development series. Katherine received her Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Transportation from UCLA and her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from California State University Northridge.
Professor of the Practice of Public Administration, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Mark Pisano is a Professor of the Practice of Public Administration at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. For 31 years, he served as executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation’s largest regional planning agency. The association consists of a voluntary group of local governments that focuses on dealing with many vital local issues, including aspects of environmental conditions, transportation, housing and development. As Executive Director, he contributed greatly to the implementation of the Alameda Corridor Plan, which involved the construction of a 22-mile rail line running to and from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in order to improve freight container capacity. The plan contributed largely to making port operational methods and the overall transfer of goods throughout California more effective. Before joining SCAG, Mark Pisano served as director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Quality Planning Division. He has also co-founded and held positions at various not-for-profit and governmental associations, such as the California Center for Research and Development, California Federation for Energy and the Environment, California Hazardous Waste Management Authority, LINC Housing, and California Leadership. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgetown University.
Marsha Rood, Ph.D.
Principal, Urban Reinventions
Marsha V. Rood, FAICP, is Principal of Urban Reinventions, a company devoted to creating mixed use, pedestrian and transit -based livable communities. Ms. Rood served as the City of Pasadena’s Development Administrator from 1982 – 2000 and was responsible for a nationally recognized program of redevelopment, housing and economic revitalization for Pasadena. She more recently served as the Community Development Director of the City of Culver City. In 2003, the California State Senate, the State Assembly and the Pasadena Museum of History honored her as a “Living History Maker” in the City of Pasadena. As part of her community work, Ms. Rood serves as Vice President of Women At Work. She also is a member of the Pasadena General Plan Update Advisory Committee, various revitalization committees for the Playhouse District Association and the Rotary Club of Pasadena’s program committee. Ms Rood serves as a Trustee for the Pasadena Presbyterian Church and is a recent Board member of Mothers’ Club Family Learning Center. Ms. Rood holds a B. A. degree from Stanford University, a Masters in Planning degree, and has completed PhD course work at the University of Southern California.
Jonathan F. Shepherd
Planning Division Manager, Community Development Department, City of Thousand Oaks
President, Barrio Planners
Frank Villalobos is a co-founder and current head of Barrio Planners Inc. Started in 1971, the architecture and urban planning firm is dedicated to including the needs and ideas of the community in its projects and completing projects that improve the quality of life in Los Angeles. Frank Villalobos was raised by a Mexican American family in Boyle Heights. He attended the local Catholic schools and is a graduate of the Salesian Boys High School. Frank grew up in an area where many influential Chicano artists were living, including figures like Frank Romero, Magu, and Gronk. He is the 7th generation of architect. Frank also is influenced by the modern Mexican architecture movement, by his Southern California surfer-youth culture, and his strong community ties. Frank has lead Barrio Planners to greater involvement in the city of Los Angeles, most notably the design of the Eastside Gold Line Extension that opened in June 2010. Frank has helped erect some of the most notable landmarks such as the Whitter Blvd Arch and the Mariachi Plaza metro station and Kiosco. He’s helped redesign the campus of the White Memorial Hospital in the heart of Boyle Heights. There are many corners and buildings that have Barrio Planners Inc.’s touch throughout East Los Angeles; they were part of the redesign of the Pico Aliso housing unit rehabilitation, and the building of the new Menendez High School as well as the Kaiser East LA building on Pomona.
Eddie S. Wang
President, TDC China, a member company of F&T Group
Mr. Wang is President of TDC China, a F&T Group company. The F&T Group is a vertically integrated American real estate development company active in the U.S. and Chinese markets with comprehensive expertise in all aspects of the industry – from finance, site acquisition and design to construction, marketing and property management. Based in New York with satellite offices in China, the company has built an over 30-year reputation of excellence represented by a diverse portfolio of highly successful, large-scale projects both in the U.S. and abroad. With strong investments in both the USA and China, F&T Group is uniquely positioned to become the go-to resource for high profile development projects that bridge East and West.
Assistant City Manager, Riverside, CA
Al Zelinka, FAICP, CMSM, is currently an Assistant City Manager and was previously the Community Development Director for the City of Riverside, California. Al served as Community Development Director with the City of Fullerton and, before that, Vice President with RBF Consulting and served as Principal of RBF Consulting’s URBAN DESIGN STUDIO. For the past twenty-five years, Al’s practice has upheld his original planning and urban design career objective: to “make a difference” in communities and the profession. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, is a Certified Main Street Manager, and is certified in Community Economic Development.
Jack H. Knott
Dean; C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Chair and Professor, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Associate Dean for Development and External Relations, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Professor and Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy