Sidra Fatima

Co-President

Hometown:
Corona, CA

Academic Background:
B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning / Minor in GIS from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Favorite City/Place:
My favorite place is the beach. I can’t pick a favorite city, but I love New Orleans.

What were you doing before Harvard?
I was working as an environmental planner for road and highway improvement projects in Southern California.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
I’m really interested in how planning can be a tool and methodology to build resiliency, and the intersection of climate justice, migration, and urban governance.

Jennifer Kaplan

Co-President

Hometown:
Irvine, CA

Academic Background:
Smith College, Major in English Literature and Minor in Landscape Studies

Favorite City/Place:
Yokohama, Japan

What were you doing before Harvard?
Marketing at a design + planning firm, teaching urban planning to Japanese high schoolers, community engagement consultant

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
How to engage communities in planning and building for climate change and natural disasters

Catherine McCandless

Treasurer

Hometown:
Durham, NC

Academic Background:
BA in Architecture and Biology
Wellesley College ’14

Favorite City/Place:
In the US: I’ve fallen in love with Boston after living here for several years! Abroad: Venice, Italy, but I’m dying to visit Tokyo, Copenhagen, and Singapore.

What were you doing before Harvard?
I worked for the Director of Planning at the Boston Planning and Development Agency on a wide variety of planning initiatives and development projects. Prior to that, I worked on affordable housing projects at a nonprofit called the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Climate adaptation and resilience, parks and open space, post-industrial reclamation, public health, transportation, waste reduction/management, urban design

McKayla Dunfey

Communications Chair

Hometown:
Cape Elizabeth, ME

Academic Background:
Environmental Policy, Hamilton College ‘13

Favorite City/Place:
I quickly fell in love with the Pacific Northwest while living in Seattle after college, but New England will always feel like home.

What were you doing before Harvard?
Active transportation advocacy for a non-profit in Seattle, WA

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
I’m interested in socially just and environmentally sustainable policies and urban design, specifically around housing, climate resiliency, and transportation. 

Maura Barry-Garland

MUP Class Liaison

Hometown:
Fairbanks, Alaska

Academic Background:
BA in Economics, Columbia

Favorite City/Place:
Juneau. Also partial to Richmond and Atlanta.

What were you doing before Harvard?
I had an AmeriCorps position at a rapid re-housing program for youth experiencing homelessness in Austin, Texas

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Affordable housing preservation and development (ask me about the Affordable Housing Development Competition!), local economic development, food systems planning, planning cities with and for people with mobility and/or sensory impairments, homelessness.

Jeremy Pi

MUP Class Liaison

Hometown:
San Jose, California

Academic Background:
BA in Anthropology, Urban Studies, UC Berkeley

Favorite City/Place:
Copenhagen

What were you doing before Harvard?
Working for the City of San Francisco at the Public Utilities Commission

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Integrating cultural practices and values with urban design, especially in the public realm. Basically, I love streets and plazas.

Laura Lopez Cardenas

GSD + Loeb Liaisons

Hometown:
Panama City, Panama

Academic Background:
B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University

Favorite City/Place:
After living in Texas for almost eight years, I have a soft spot for Austin and the Hill Country. However, the Casco Viejo in Panama City will always be magical for me.

What were you doing before Harvard?
I worked in Houston, TX for WSP, an engineering consulting firm, as a transportation engineer and planner.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Mobility and transit in developing world contexts, particularly in Latin America.

Eamon O’Connor

GSD & Loeb Liaison

Hometown:
Worcester, Mass.

Academic Background:
In college, I majored in Government, French and Arabic, but considered myself a student of the liberal arts.

Favorite City/Place:
Three-way tie: Mexico City, Montréal, Chicago

What were you doing before Harvard?
I worked in design strategy consulting, and led a neighborhood economic development nonprofit in San Francisco, focused on corridor revitalization.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
I’m interested in the intersection of equity and inclusion, economic development, and urban design.

Ciara Stein

GSD & Loeb Liaison

Hometown:
London, UK

Academic Background:
Urban Studies and Fine Arts

Favorite City/Place:
My bed right after I’ve changed my sheets…

What were you doing before Harvard?
I worked in New Orleans for a non-profit focusing on affordable housing policy and advocacy.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
I am interested in the intersection of community development, affordable housing and climate change planning.

Eleni Macrakis

Community Outreach Liaison

Hometown:
Cambridge, MA

Academic Background:
Vassar College- Science, Technology, and Society

Favorite City/Place:
That’s tough. I could see myself living in most places in New England and pretty much anywhere that has seasons and some sort of large body of water.

What were you doing before Harvard?
I was working for a series of public health studies looking at how to improve mental health outcomes for low-income women in Boston and how to improve early childhood developmental outcomes for low-income and minority children. I also was working on A People’s Guide to Greater Boston, an alternative historical guidebook that explores issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the Boston Area.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
I am most interested in how to improve the everyday life of the most vulnerable people in our communities through good housing policy as well as how to encourage community interactions in our cities.

 

Mariana Pereira Guimaraes

Community Outreach Liaison

Hometown:
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Academic Background:
Concurrent degree Architecture, Urbanism and Civil Engineering (University of Sao Paulo)

Favorite City/Place:
So hard! I love Sao Paulo’s nightlife, but, definitely, Morro de Sao Paulo in Bahia (Brazil) is the most beautiful I’ve ever been.

What were you doing before Harvard?
Before coming to the GSD I had spent a year in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies doing research as a Fox International Fellow from the University of Sao Paulo, where I was pursuing a Master’s Degree in Water Resources.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Environmental Planning, Environmental Justice, Public Health and Planning and Urban Ecology.

 

Andy Lee

Alumni Liaison

Hometown:
Bethesda, MD

Academic Background:
Architecture

Favorite City/Place:
My Bed

What were you doing before the GSD?
I was working in Germany for an architecture firm, on the side working on coastal resiliency in New Orleans with my professor from undergrad.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
People, places, and things