Founding Member, Emeritus Past President
Founding Member, Emeritus Board Member
MAUREEN ABI GHANEM
ANA MARIE ARGILAGOS
MEGAN STERLING CHUSID
CHRISTINE SCHLENDORF *
James McCullar, FAIA, has served as President and Vice President of the CSU. He is the founding principal of James McCullar Architecture. Since its formation, the studio has engaged in the design of new housing and adaptive reuse of urban sites that have contributed to the revitalization of their communities. As 2008 President of AIA New York, he organized the response to Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC2030 in collaboration with UN GAID for the first UN Forum on Sustainable Urbanization in the Information Age, which led to formation of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization. From 2003 to 2006 in response to the Mayor’s housing initiatives, he led a forum that showcased housing design at the Center for Architecture. His work has been recognized through election to the AIA College of Fellows for significant contributions to urban housing and community design, the Andrew J. Thomas Pioneer in Housing Award, and a national AIA Honor Award for Urban Design. He has taught at Kansas State University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Fontainebleau, France. He received a BA and BArch from Rice University, a Fulbright Fellowship for Urban Design in Paris, and a MArch from Columbia University where his thesis was on the New York region.
Urs P. Gauchat, Hon. AIA, is Dean Emeritus of the College of Architecture and Design (1991-2016) and Professor of Architecture at New Jersey Institute of Technology. As Dean, Professor Gauchat transformed the school into an internationally recognized leader in two areas: Digital Media in Design and the Design of Communities. Prof. Gauchat is committed to linking the considerable resources of universities to the needs of communities worldwide. His prior appointments included: Professorship at Harvard Graduate School of Design (1971-1985), Visiting Professor ETH Zurich, president of the Boston Architectural Center (1972-1976) and president of Gauchat Architects (1973-1998). He has served as a consultant to private and private sectors focusing on planning and design issues. Professor Gauchat holds degrees from the University of Sydney (B.Arch.) and Harvard University (M.Arch.). He has been a Board member of numerous organizations and nonprofit entities. Prof. Gauchat sees his role primarily as an agent of change and an instigator. He believes that inspired planning and design plays a critical role in shaping communities and allocating resources; and strategies for successful sustainable urbanization must be flexible, able to change and adapt to evolving contexts. Good Design can make the difference between spending money and spending money wisely; it is a prerequisite to a better future.
Maureen Abi Ghanem is an architect and urban strategist. As a consultant for the Center for Active Design (CfAD) in New York City, she promotes healthy communities through Fitwel design strategies. In 2016, her role at UN-Habitat NY supported the Urban October events, where partners met to discuss the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development (Habitat III). Previously, she was a Shelter Coordinator at UNHCR-Lebanon (2014-16), ensuring Syrian refugees gain access to affordable urban housing and safe schooling structures in one of the most densely populated governorates in the country. Her role included managing the adaptive reuse of sub-standard buildings as well as coordinating neighborhood and water infrastructure development in vulnerable communities affected by displacement. Between 2010 and 2014, she was a member of one of the largest real estate developing firms in the Middle East, Solidere, and worked on conceptualizing large-scale master plans of mixed-use projects intended for the regeneration of city quarters in the Gulf region. She is currently building an Instagram account entitled “@cities.and.me”, an online photographic investigation of successful public spaces. She received a B.Arch and a M.UD from the American university of Beirut, and the German Academic Exchange Service Scholarship (DAAD, 2012-13) for urban design and regional planning in Berlin.
Courtney Prince is interning for the CSU this fall where she is seeking experience in the field of planning and architecture. Mrs. Prince attended the United Nations International School and holds a B.A. in psychology from Duke University, as well as a minor in environmental science and policy. With experiences in healthcare as a medical researcher and EMT and an immense interest in environmental issues, she is passionate about combining these disciplines to improve quality of life in a sustainable manner. Mrs. Prince hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree in Architecture in the near future in order to have an impact of her own.
Emre Ozdemir is an architect and designer. He worked in high profile architectural practices in Istanbul such as Karabey Limited and Tabanlioglu Architects. During his professional practices, he also performed as a researcher, lecturer and guest juror at the top architecture and design schools in Turkey. He participated and won prizes in numerous design competitions and experienced in designing various scales including urban scale master plans, office buildings, educational and cultural buildings, architectural renovations and urban furniture. Emre holds a Master of Science degree in Architectural Design from Istanbul Technical University, and Bachelor of Architecture from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University as a recipient of the first prize of Archiprix Turkey. Currently, he is studying at Pratt Institute GAUD.
Matthew Shufelt is serving as a Youth Representative for CSU. Currently a graduate student at the Spitzer School of Architecture at CCNY, he continues to seek experience in the realm where design meets social responsibility. With a BA in environmental design and urban planning from the University at Buffalo, he has experience working with not-for-profit design and planning initiatives. Matthew also works at SLCE Architects, where he is lucky to focus on affordable and supportive housing throughout New York City. Matthew plans to use his experience to blur the line between good and just design.
Ashley Simone is a New York City based writer, educator, designer and photographer. She holds an M. Arch from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University and teaches at Pratt Institute, School of Architecture. In 2016, she became a member of the GSAPP/NEW INC Incubator, an initiative of Columbia University and the New Museum. Her photography focuses on the built environment and has been exhibited in New York and London, and published in journals and magazines that include Architectural Design and Interior Design. She is the editor of A Genealogy of Modern Architecture: Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form by Kenneth Frampton (Lars Müller Publishers, 2015), Absurd Thinking Between Art and Design by Allan Wexler (Lars Müller Publishers, 2017), and the monograph, Michael Webb: Two Journeys.
Silvia Vercher is an architect who specializes in urban design with eight years of international experience. Trained in architecture, urban design and urban planning, Silvia draws from her interdisciplinary experience to create culturally rich and ecologically relevant projects from the infrastructural scale to the site level. Silvia is works as a designer at Perkins Eastman in New York City. Silvia´s design approach is characterized by a critical balance of context, culture, and program. Key to her methodology is the intense investigation of each site´s relationship to its environment, history, and future changes. Silvia´s work can be found across North and South America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia, and recent projects include: co-author at the side event in Habitat III, Ecuador; the ambitious masterplan in Brooklyn, NYC, together with SCAPE; the winning international design competition and construction of the Rike Park in Tbilisi, Georgia, together with CMD; and the collaboration of the Zurich tower in Mexico City with FR-EE. Silvia holds a Master of Architecture and Urban Design with Distinction from Columbia University, Master of Urban Planning from the University of South Australia, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University Polytechnic of Valencia, Spain, and Aarhus Arkitekskolen in Denmark.
Ana Marie Argilagos is currently President of Hispanics in Philanthropy. Ana Marie was previously a senior advisor to the Ford Foundation's Just Cities initiative. Her work focuses on urban development strategies to reduce poverty, expand economic opportunity, and advance sustainability in cities and regions across the world. Ana Marie is also currently an adjunct professor of international urban planning at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. Before joining the foundation in 2014, Ana Marie served as deputy chief of staff and deputy assistant secretary at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). There, she created the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation (IPI) to deepen and scale collaboration between the public and philanthropic sectors. The IPI model of sourcing innovation and leveraging partnerships from broad global networks is now being successfully replicated at other federal cabinet agencies and cities across the US. Earlier, Ana Marie spent eight years as a senior program officer at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, where she spearheaded the foundation’s work in rural areas, indigenous communities, and in the US-Mexico border region. With experience in both the public and non-profit sectors—serving as educational programs manager at the National Association of Hispanic
Thomas G. Dallessio AICP/PP, RSA, is an Independent Consultant at Thomas G. Dallessio AICP/PP/CPM/FRSA. Thomas was previously President, CEO & Publisher of Next City, Inc. – a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities through media and events. The Next City Daily and Weekly electronic newsletters are read widely around the world by people in the know, and the Vanguard conference for urban leaders under 40 has become the premier program to advance urban interests. Tom was the founder and Director of the Center for Resilient Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and has lectured widely on resilient design, including at the United Nations in celebration of World Cities Day, in Medellin, Colombia at the World Urban Forum 7, and at the makeCalgary Resilient International Symposium. An Adjunct Instructor at NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design, Tom teaches Land Use Planning and Infrastructure Planning Policy to graduate and undergraduate students in the Master of Infrastructure Planning program. A licensed professional planner, member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce, Tom is an Honorary Council Member of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization.
Yamina Djacta is the former Director of the New York Office of the United Nations Settlements Programme. She joined UN-HABITAT in 1996. Ms. Djacta holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA). She has been working in the field of economic and social development for more than twenty years. She has also worked with the UN for numerous years both at headquarters and field level in the areas of policy, planning, program development, management, capacity development, monitoring and evaluation.
Megan Sterling Chusid, AIA, is a seasoned professional with over sixteen years of experience in the New York City Architecture/Engineering/Construction/Real Estate industry. Megan is currently the Senior Facilities Project Lead, Global Design and Construction at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Megan was previously responsible for the administration of all owned and leased properties, space utilization, capital planning and project management for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum. Prior to joining the Guggenheim, Megan oversaw the daily operations of a boutique construction Management firm and practiced as an architect with a focus on high rise residential and mixed use developments in and around NYC. Megan has served as Co-chair of the Emerging New York Architects Committee-AIA NY Chapter from 2007-2009, served on the Board of Directors of the AIA NY Chapter (2010-2012) and was Co-Chair of the Greensward Circle Young Leadership Committee of the Central Park Conservancy. Megan grew up attending the United Nations International School in NYC and received her Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University School of Architecture.
Christine Schlendorf, AIA, is a principal and member of the board of Directors at Perkins Eastman. She is the Principal in charge of the Primary and Education practice for the New York office. For more than 20 years, Christine has created beautiful and innovative educational spaces that shape the way students identify, absorb, and retain knowledge. Prioritizing the needs of students, teachers, and administrators is central to her approach. Striving to incorporate the unique core goals and mission of the client’s school, organization, or district, she works collaboratively to ensure curriculum and program drive efficient and functional spaces. Christine is committed to embracing the regional and cultural aspects that make up a school’s unique ethos, while designing relevant and inspiring learning environments. She has been responsible for numerous public and private school projects in the United States as well as overseas. Christine is adept at creating educational environments that respond to the changing needs of students. Christine’s work has been recognized by industry awards and featured in numerous publications. She has a BARCH from Syracuse University and has been named in “ENR’s Top 20 under 40,” and “40 under 40,” by Building Design & Construction.
Lea Felluss was born and raised in the Philippines, now a long time resident of New York City. The move sparked her passion for international development after witnessing firsthand the stark contrast between her home and adopted home countries. Prior to her current role, she was with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in various capacities focusing on mobilizing the private sector to engage in multiple intergovernmental processes including Rio+20, Financing for Development, Post-2015/Sustainable Development Goals - guided by the belief that business has a constructive role to play in society. In March 2016, Lea joined Philip Morris International to support the company’s business transformation efforts. She holds a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from the New School’s GPIA program with a concentration in economic development.