Mayu Takeda

Co-President

Hometown:
Aurora, Colorado

Academic Background:
BA in Political Science, University of Texas at Dallas

Favorite City/Place:
Barra Grande (in Bahia, Brazil)

What were you doing before Harvard?
I was working at think tanks in Washington, DC and Rio de Janeiro. My work was focused on violence prevention.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Using planning to leverage resources for communities in productive and equitable ways.

Lena Ferguson

Co-President

Hometown:
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Academic Background:
BA in Growth and Structure of Cities, Bryn Mawr College 2013

Favorite City/Place:
Copenhagen, Denmark

What were you doing before Harvard?
After a brief GIS fellowship at Azavea in Philadelphia, I worked for 2.5 years as a research analyst at Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, an inner city economic development nonprofit in Boston’s Dudley Square.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
I’m concentrating in urban design, and am most interested in neighborhood and site-level physical planning and implementation, particularly when it comes to parks, open space and the public realm, downtown revitalization, and small-scale small business and industry cluster development. My MUP summer internship is in NYC with HR&A, a real estate and economic development consultancy.

Casey Peterson

Treasurer

Hometown:
Fairfield, Connecticut

Academic Background:
BA in Architectural Studies, Middlebury College

Favorite City/Place:
New York City or Vermont, depending on the day

What were you doing before Harvard?
Working in NYC at New York Restoration Project and in Washington, DC, at the Urban Land Institute

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Resilience, open space, public realm, implementation

Aubrey Germ

Events Co-Chair

Hometown:
Cleveland, Ohio

Academic Background:
Environmental Health Science major, Marine Biology minor, UNC-Chapel Hill (Go Heels!)

Favorite City/Place:
Boston so far! Love the coastal geography and the intricate history of the city

What were you doing before Harvard?
Leading outdoor/environmental education programs for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Urban climate resilience, urban ecology, adaptive reuse and remediation of urban land, sustainable transportation, outdoor recreation and green spaces

Simone Hodgson

Events Co-Chair

Hometown:
Toronto, Canada

Academic Background:
BA in Geography (Urban Studies), McGill University

Favorite City/Place:
Too many to name

What were you doing before Harvard?
I was working on a political campaign and traveling in South America.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
All of it! But if I had to choose: community/stakeholder engagement and negotiations

Matt Genova

Communications Chair

Hometown:
Fox River Grove, Illinois

Academic Background:
BA in History and Public Policy, Vanderbilt University

Favorite City/Place:
Picking favorites is hard! Nashville, Barcelona, and Chicago all have a place in my heart, and I’m quickly falling in love with Boston too.

What were you doing before Harvard?
I worked full-time for 3 years at an independent radio station in Nashville, TN doing community engagement and non-profit relations. I also had a research fellowship on the side with the Nashville Civic Design Center, a planning advocacy organization.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Placemaking, transit, and understanding how cities develop (and redevelop) in ways that are environmentally and socially sustainable.

Edward Lamson

APA & Community Outreach Co-Chair

Hometown:
Toronto, Canada

Academic Background:
BA, University of Toronto; JD, Osgoode Hall Law School

Favorite City/Place:
Vancouver, Mexico City, Barcelona

What were you doing before Harvard?
Lived in Mexico City working on sustainability projects for an engineering firm and public space research for an urban agriculture studio. Prior to that, clerked as a lawyer for the Attorney General of Ontario at the land use and environmental planning tribunal.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Intersections between law/justice and planning; applications of urban analytics in real estate development and transportation planning; freight and logistics; POPS – privately owned public spaces

Alifa Putri

APA & Community Outreach Co-Chair

Hometown:
Bandung, Indonesia

Academic Background:
Business/Finance

Favorite City/Place:
Petak Sembilan, Jakarta.

What were you doing before Harvard?
Field Office Coordinator at a research project on urban flooding in Jakarta

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Transport and urban design

Justin Rose

Loeb Liaison

Hometown:
Durham, North Carolina

Academic Background:
Sociology, Civil Engineering, and French, N.C. State University

Favorite City/Place:
Paris – 14e Arrondissement

What were you doing before Harvard?
Community organizing with low-income senior citizens in Boston

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Community/participatory planning & design processes, urban politics, transportation & mobility

Mariana Pereira Guimaraes

University Outreach Co-Chair

Hometown:
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Academic Background:
Concurrent degree in 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 place I’ve ever been.

What were you doing before Harvard?
After 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.

Jessica Liss

University Outreach Co-Chair

Hometown:
Oyster Bay, New York

Academic Background:
Brown University, 2013

Favorite City/Place:
Rome

What were you doing before Harvard?
Post college I worked as a Program Associate at the Architectural League of New York, a non-profit dedicated to creating and promoting dialogue about architecture, urbanism and related disciplines and as a Junior Designer at SHoP Architects. The summer before graduate school I interned at the New York City Department of City Planning and SITU Studio, a Brooklyn-based design practice.

What aspects of planning are you most interested in?
Community design and development strategies that empower people; the intersection of arts, culture and urban development