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RCHI symposium speaker bios

Gabriella Carolini
Gabriella Carolini is an Assistant Professor at MIT, where her research centers on the interplay of internationally celebrated fiscal and administrative reforms and city planning for basic services and accompanying infrastructures, ultimately seeking to understand how public health is shaped in vulnerable urban and peri-urban communities. She is currently working on a book which explores how learning happens among urban development professionals in Mozambique, with a special emphasis on South-South Cooperation projects. Previously Gabriella taught at Rutgers and worked with the UN Millennium Project, UNFPA, UN-HABITAT, Rockefeller Foundation, Columbia’s Earth Institute, Oxford Analytica and a fixed income finance consultancy.

Miho Mazereeuw,
An architect and landscape architect, is an assistant professor of architecture and urbanism at MIT and is the founder of the Urban Risk Lab [urbanrisklab.org]. Working on a large, territorial scale with an interest in public spaces and the urban experience, Mazereeuw is known for her work in disaster resilience. Urban Risk Lab is a cross-disciplinary organization of researchers, designers and decision makers affiliated with MIT – operating at the intersection of risk and disaster, storms and earthquakes, floods and fires, ecology and infrastructure, research and action, addressing the most challenging aspects of contemporary urbanization.

Brent D. Ryan
Brent D. Ryan is Associate Professor of Urban Design and Public Policy at MIT. His research focuses on emerging urban design paradigms, particularly in postindustrial cities, and design’s engagement with pluralism. His first book Design After Decline: How America rebuilds shrinking cities, was published in 2012. He has worked as an urban designer in New York City, Boston, and Chicago, and has previously taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was also Co-Director of the City Design Center. Ryan holds degrees from Yale University, Columbia University, and MIT.

Shomon Shamsuddin
Shomon Shamsuddin is a postdoctoral research fellow at MIT, where he completed a Ph.D. in Urban Policy and Planning and received the Outstanding Dissertation Award. His research examines how social policy in housing and education influences urban inequality. His current work focuses on differences in institutional approaches to low-income housing policy and residential segregation, and the causes of income disparities in educational attainment. Previously, he has worked as an architect, housing developer, and policy analyst in city and federal government. He holds degrees from Brown University, Yale University, and MIT.

Lawrence Vale
Lawrence Vale is Ford Professor of Urban Design and Planning at MIT, where he served as Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning from 2002-2009. He holds degrees from Amherst, M.I.T., and the University of Oxford. Vale is the author of many books examining urban design and housing, including Architecture, Power, and National Identity (Spiro Kostof Book Award), From the Puritans to the Projects (Best Book in Urban Affairs, Urban Affairs Association), Reclaiming Public Housing (Paul Davidoff Book Award, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning) and Purging the Poorest (2013).

Robert Beauregard
Robert Beauregard is a Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. He is currently exploring actor-network theory’s usefulness for planning practice. His most recent articles include “In Search of Assemblages” (Crios, 2012), “The Neglected Places of Practice” (Planning Theory & Practice, 2013), and “Planning with Things” (JPER, 2012). Forthcoming are papers onactor-networks and informality (“Planning for a Material World”) and U.S. urbanism (“In Defense of a People Wrongly Accused of Anti-Urbanism”). Beauregard is also writing on research translation and policy transfer for the Vacant Property Research Network and completing a planning theory book tentatively titled The New Materialism of Planning.

Nicholas Dagen Bloom,
Nicholas Dagen Bloom, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the New York Institute of Technology, is the author of Public Housing That Worked: New York in the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008) and will be Guest Curator for a Ford Foundation funded exhibition at the Museum of City of New York in 2014, Affordable New York: Money, Power and Housing, surveying New York’s long history of subsidized housing construction. Bloom is also the Editor for an accompanying book to accompany Affordable New York to be published by Yale University Press. He is a co-editor of a forthcoming collection on Public Housing Myths (Cornell University Press) and a forthcoming study on JFK International Airport, JFK International: Exploring the Airport Regional Connection (University of Pennsylvania Press).

Mary Comerio
Mary Comerio is an internationally recognized expert on disaster recovery. She has been at the Department of Architecture at U. C. Berkeley since 1978 and served as Chair from 2006-2009. As an architect, she has designed numerous public and private facilities including market rate and affordable housing. Her current research focuses on post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, and loss modeling. She is the author of hundreds of scholarly articles and research reports, including the book Disaster Hits Home: New Policy for Urban Housing Recovery. In 2011, she received the Green Star Award from the United Nations for her work in post-disaster reconstruction. In 2013, she received the U. C. Berkeley Chancellor’s Award for Public Service for Research in the Public Interest and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Distinguished Lecturer Award.

Toni L. Griffin
Toni L. Griffin is Professor and Director of the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York, while also maintaining an active private practice, Urban Planning and Design for the American City. The practice recently completed the award winning Detroit Future City Strategic Framework Plan. Recently, Toni was an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Director of Planning and Community Development for Newark, New Jersey. She has also served in senior leadership positions at the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, DC Office of Planning, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Ms. Griffin received a Bachelor’s of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and a Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Johann Jessen
Johann Jessen is Professor for Local and Regional Planning at the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning of the University of Stuttgart (Germany) since 1992. He got his diploma degree from the university of Darmstadt and his PhD from the University of Oldenburg, where he also started his career as an urban researcher. His research activities focus on comparative studies in an European scale. He is author and co-author of several books and many articles on urban planning and urban policy. Main fields of research interests are changes in urban governance, urban regeneration and housing. In 2008 Johann Jessen was Visiting Professor at the Metropolitan Institute of Virginia Tech, Alexandria (USA).

Mark Joseph,
Mark Joseph, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Jack, Joseph and Mort Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Director of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities, and a Faculty Associate at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. He received his Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. His current research focuses on mixed-income development as a strategy for addressing urban poverty.

Anuradha Mukherji
Anuradha Mukherji is an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at East Carolina University. She holds a doctoral degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research looks at recovery, adaptation, and resilience to catastrophic events through the lens of housing and land use. Her previous work has examined equity and affordability in the provision of post-disaster housing in India and the mobilization and use of community capacities for shelter needs in Haiti. Her ongoing research, funded by the Japan Foundation, assesses local land use adaptation initiatives among urban coastal communities after catastrophic events in Japan and the United States.

Martin Murray
Martin Murray is Professor of Urban Planning in the Urban and Regional Planning Program, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan.He is also Adjunct Professor of African Studies in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan. He previously held the position of Professor in the Department of Sociology, State University of New York at Binghamton. He has held academic fellowships at Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies and Department of History, Princeton University. He has also held invited lectureships at the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Cape Town, Colgate University (Hamilton, New York), and the African Studies Center, Universitāt Basel (Basel, Switzerland).Recent books include: Commemorating and Forgetting: Challenges for the New South Africa (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013); City of Extremes: The Spatial Politics of Johannesburg (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2011); Taming the Disorderly City: The Spatial Landscape of Johannesburg after Apartheid (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2008); and Cities in Contemporary Africa: Place, Politics, and Livelihood (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) (co-edited with Garth Myers).

Garth Myers
Garth Myers is the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. He teaches in the International Studies and Urban Studies programs. He is the author of 3 books and co-editor of 2 others, and of more than 50 articles and book chapters, the vast majority of which focus on cities in eastern and southern Africa. His primary research interests reside with the historical, political, environmental and comparative geographies of urban planning and urban development in eastern and southern Africa. Solid waste management, sanitation, and peri-urban land use planning have been his primary emphases.

Robert B. Olshansky,
Robert B. Olshansky, Ph.D., FAICP, is Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has taught land use and environmental planning for 24 years. He and collaborators have researched disaster recovery in Kobe, Japan; Los Angeles; New Orleans; Sichuan Province, China; Tamil Nadu, India; Taiwan; Indonesia; and Niigata Prefecture and Tohoku, Japan. He spent the 2004-05 and 2012-13 academic years as a Visiting Professor at Kyoto University. His co-authored research report, Opportunity in Chaos: Rebuilding after the 1994 Northridge and 1995 Kobe Earthquakes, is available online. His current work focuses on developing theory and researching the processes of recovery following catastrophic disasters. He researched and advised the post-Katrina planning process in New Orleans, and his book, Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans, co-authored with Laurie Johnson, was published by APA Press in April 2010. He is currently the lead investigator for a multi-university NSF-funded study of the process of rebuilding after the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China.

Jota (José) Samper
Jota (José) Samper has done research, art, planning and architectural projects in seven countries. His work has won more than 6 national (U.S.) and international awards, including an exhibit in the (Museum of Modern Art) MoMA in New York City. His work dwells on the intersection between urban informality (slums) and urban violent conflict. His research seeks to understand if policies and practices that have both political and physical implications in the urban context are directly related to the reduction of violence. He is co-founder and co-director of DukeEngage Medellin, Colombia and medellín mi hogar, an alternative video archive and mapping with marginalized communities in Medellin since 2007.

Emily Weinstein
Emily Weinstein has over 15 years of experience working in affordable housing, community development and political organizing. With a dual degree in City Planning and Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she has managed large scale real estate projects and strategic community engagement initiatives in underserved communities in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles. In her current position at BRIDGE Housing Corporation she is the Director of Community Development for the Rebuild Potrero initiative, engaging Potrero stakeholders in a long term strategy to transform the social and physical environment of the community. Ms. Weinstein is also a Planning Commissioner for the City