MUP Advisory Board

MPL Advisory Board

The USC Master of Urban 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
Principal/Vice-President, AECOM

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.

Lawrence Baird
California Energy Commission

David Barsotti
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.

Amitabh Barthakur
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.

Linda Bohlinger
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.

Marty Borko

Marty Borko
Executive Director, Urban Land Institute Los Angeles

Marty Borko is the Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles. Borko left his post as Principal at Gensler in Los Angeles to command the day-to-day workings and long-range planning of one of ULI’s largest and most active regional chapters. As Executive Director, Borko pilots the organization as it confronts the most critical land-use challenges in the city, including the homeless and housing affordability crisis, as well as city planning, infrastructure, transportation, open-space and historic districts. In his tenure at the global design firm’s Los Angeles office, Borko grew the firm’s Planning and Urban Design, Entertainment, and Mixed Use practices and had been principal-in-charge on numerous international and Los Angeles projects. In addition to being a Sustaining Member of ULI’s Entertainment Development Council and member of the USC Price School Planning Program Advisory Board, Borko is: Associate Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA); Member, American Planning Association (APA); Member, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC); Member, International Association of Amusement Parks (IAAPA); Dean’s Council, University of Oregon College of Design; Board Member, Los Angeles Downtown Breakfast Club; Member, Southern California Development Forum; and Member, Central City Association.

Steve Brown
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.

Weijen Chen
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.

Susan DeSantis
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.

Cecilia Estolano
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.

Bill Fulton
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.

Clifford Graves
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.

Douglas Guthrie
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.

Emile Haddad
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.

Con Howe
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.

Bea Hsu
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.

Hasan Ikhrata
Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

Considered one of the preeminent transportation planning experts in the nation, Hasan Ikhrata is the Exe