Speakers

SECTION TWO // SPEAKERS

Speakers

The EcoDistricts Summit has earned a global reputation for convening an incredibly diverse selection of speakers from around the world, representing a wide range of perspectives and expertise within the urban regeneration industry.

SECTION TWO // SPEAKERS

Keynotes

Nathaniel Smith

FOUNDER AND CHIEF EQUITY OFFICER (CEqO/CEO),
PARTNERSHIP FOR SOUTHERN EQUITY
Nathaniel Smith serves as Founder and Chief Equity Officer (CEqO)/CEO of the Partnership for Southern Equity. Empowered by the unified vision and voices realized through its regional engagement efforts, PSE pushes for policies and actions that promote balanced growth and inclusive prosperity in metropolitan Atlanta and beyond. Before taking on the founding role of PSE’s Chief Equity Officer/CEO Mr. Smith served as Director of Partnerships and Research for Equitable Development at Emory University’s Center for Community Partnerships (CFCP). In this capacity Nathaniel facilitated engaged scholarship opportunities with external and community organizations to achieve balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth throughout the metropolitan Atlanta region. Nathaniel has also worked for the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, and was recently highlighted in the Huffington Post as one of the eight up and coming Black leaders in the Climate Movement and Grist Magazine as one of eight Black leaders reshaping the Climate Movement.

Doug Farr

PRESIDENT + FOUNDING PRINCIPAL,
FARR ASSOCIATES

Doug Farr (FAIA, LEED AP, CNU-A) is a visionary architect, urbanist, author, and passionate advocate for sustainable design thinking. Doug heads Farr Associates, a Chicago-based firm of optimistic architects and urban designers who plan and design lovable, aspirational buildings and places. With his first book Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature, as well as through his role as Co-Chair of LEED-Neighborhood Development, Doug helped to refocus the sustainability movement from the stand-alone building to the robust neighborhood. His second book, Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future, again shifts the conversation on sustainability to increasingly focus on people and democracy. Sustainable Nation will be available later this year. A native Detroiter and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Doug has served on the boards of urban sustainability organizations including the Congress for New Urbanism, Bioregional, EcoDistricts, and Elevate Energy. 

SECTION TWO // SPEAKERS

TED-Style Speakers

Tim Keane

COMMISSIONER OF PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT,
CITY OF ATLANTA
Tim Keane was appointed Commissioner of Planning and Community Development by Mayor Kasim Reed on July 1, 2015. Tim is responsible for design, permitting, zoning, preservation, housing, community development and transportation planning in this role. Prior to this appointment Tim was Director of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability for the City of Charleston, South Carolina for 11 years. Tim worked for Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. on all matters related to planning, urban design, preservation and economic development. Tim was also the first Planning Director for the Town of Davidson, North Carolina, and was a Knight Fellow at the University of Miami School of Architecture.

Duriya Farooqui

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
ATLANTA COMMITTEE FOR PROGRESS

Duriya Farooqui is Executive Director of Atlanta Committee for Progress (ACP), a coalition of 40 corporate CEOs, Atlanta leaders and the Mayor, working on the most critical investments for Atlanta’s future. She is also a Board Director of Intercontinental Exchange Inc. and Advisor to Engage Ventures. Before joining ACP in 2016, Duriya was a principal at Bain & Company and has served as COO for City of Atlanta. She was responsible for all city operations with a $2 billion budget and over 7,000 employees. Duriya holds an M.P.A. in International Development from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Hampshire College. She is a Trustee of the Woodruff Arts Center and Agnes Scott College.

April De Simone

CO-FOUNDER + PARTNER,
DESIGNING THE WE

April De Simone grew up within the socio-spatial complexities of a 1970s Bronx neighborhood. Her lived experience continues to inform her work as a transformation designer in understanding the interaction between design, the built environment, and society. In 2015, she co-founded designing the WE, a for-purpose research and design studio that facilitates participatory design processes to co-create sustainable outputs within the built environment that progressively change behavior and form of individuals, systems, and organizations. April serves on the board of the American Sustainable Business Council, The Aparecio Foundation, No Longer Empty, and other organizations where she continues to work closely on issues of high road businesses, new economies, housing, and structural racism.

SECTION TWO // SPEAKERS

Session Speakers

Chris Appleton

CO-FOUNDER + EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
WONDERROOT

Elaine Aye

ASSOCIATE/REGIONAL MANAGER,
GREEN BUILDING SERVICES

Damon Bailey

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ADVISOR,
PURPOSE BUILT COMMUNITIES

Kevin Bacon

ATLANTA CITY STUDIO ASSISTANT DIRECTOR,
CITY OF ATLANTA

Abigail Baum

SENIOR ASSOCIATE - HEALTH IMPACT PROJECT,
PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS

Keith Bowers

PRESIDENT,
BIOHABITATS

McCaela Daffern

SUSTAINABILITY MANAGER,
CAPITOL HILL HOUSING

Jimmy Dills

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE,
GEORGIA HEALTH POLICY CENTER

Jennifer Dowdell

PROJECT MANAGER,
BIOHABITATS

Rhonda Fischer

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER,
EAST LAKE FOUNDATION

Art Frazier

ARCHITECT / DIRECTOR OF FACILITIES,
SPELMAN SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE

Derek Goring

VICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT,
FIRST GULF

Ismael Guerrero

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
DENVER HOUSING AUTHORITY

Peter Habib

EMORY UNIVERSITY

Sarah Heinicke

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
LLOYD ECODISTRICT

Jennifer Hirsch

DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR SERVE-LEARN-SUSTAIN,
GEORGIA TECH UNIVERSITY

Ciannat Howett

DIRECTOR OF SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES,
EMORY UNIVERSITY

Liz Kramer

PUBLIC SERVICES ASSOCIATE,
UGA EXTENSION

Christine Mondor

PRINCIPAL,
EVOLVEEA

Warren Neilson

LEAD STRATEGIST + PARTNER,
STOK

Suzanne Neinaber

PARTNERSHIPS DIRECTOR,
CENTER FOR ACTIVE DESIGN

Na'Taki Osborne Jelks

CHAIR + CO-FOUNDER,
WEST ATLANTA WATERSHED ALLIANCE

Bob Salvatelli

DIRECTOR OF SALES,
SUSTAINABLE WATER CONSULTANTS

Dan Slone

PARTNER,
MCGUIREWOODS

Alex Trachtenberg

PROJECT MANAGER COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITY SERVICES + POLICY,
SOUTHFACE

Molly Urbina

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
COLORADO RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY OFFICE

Ivy Vainio

CLIMATE AND CULTURAL RESILIENCY OFFICER,
AMERICAN INDIAN COMMUNITY HOUSING ORGANIZATION

Doug Webber

VICE PRESIDENT SUSTAINABILITY + ENERGY,
WSP

Andrew White

DIRECTOR OF PARK VISIONING,
PARK PRIDE

Alexandra Wiggins

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE,
PURPOSE BUILT COMMUNITIES

Mallory Womble

PRESIDENT,
MILLVALE LIBRARY

Jay Wozniack

GEORGIA URBAN PARKS DIRECTOR,
TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND

Cindy Wu

DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS,
CHINATOWN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION