Design Impact - Event Speakers

The Design Impact series brings together an outstanding roster of global leaders to share their work and vision, challenging us as a global community to use design as a tool for actionable, transformative change and healing.

 

ALICE KIMM

PRINCIPAL, JOHN FRIEDMAN ALICE KIMM ARCHITECTS, DIRECTOR, OPEN SOURCE HOMELESSNESS INITIATIVE (OSHI)

BASED IN LOS ANGELES, CA

Alice co-founded JFAK Architects in 1996 and Open Source Homelessness Initiative in 2020. Among other honors,  JFAK is a 2-time winner of The Rudy Bruner Silver Medal for Urban Excellence.  A longtime educator, Alice chaired USC’s undergraduate architecture programs from 2010-2014. She was named a 2004 Emerging Voice by The Architectural League of New York and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. A Fulbright Scholar, she was selected to deliver a TEDxFulbright talk in 2015. She lives in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles with her partner and husband John Friedman, their three children, and two cats.

Volume 2 Event Curator on 12.3.20 

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ANGELA HOWARD

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, REAL ESTATE AND FACILITIES, COVENANT HOUSE

BASED IN NEW YORK, NY

Angela has over thirty years of experience in the field of Real Estate and Construction Management. Prior to her tenure at Covenant House International, which serves youth facing homelessness, Angela was Managing Director of the Culture, Health and Education Practice of Jonathan Rose Companies. She has worked with public sector and nonprofit entities to strategically plan, program, design, finance, construct, and asset-manage civic, cultural, institutional, and educational facilities. She serves as a founding Board member of Academy of the City Charter School, is a board member at WIN NYC and TAWAH Tanzania and education advisor to the 14+ Foundation, and is also a Parish Council member at St. Augustine’s RC Church in Park Slope, NY.

Panel Speaker in SESSION 2 on 12.03.20 

 

BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

LEAD WRITER ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS FOR THE EDITORIAL BOARD OF THE NEW YORK TIMES

BASED IN WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Binyamin Appelbaum joined the editorial board of NYT in March 2019. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania, he was previously a Washington correspondent for the Times, covering the Federal Reserve and other aspects of economic policy. Appelbaum has previously worked for The Florida Times-Union, The Charlotte Observer, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. While at The Charlotte Observer he was part of a team that produced a series on a local subprime mortgage crisis, which won a Gerald Loeb Award for Medium Newspapers, a George Polk Award, and was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in public service.

Event Keynote and Panel Speaker in SESSION 1 on 12.3.20

 
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CLAIRE ELIZABETH WILLIAMS

CO-FOUNDER & CEO, FOUNDATIONS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

BASED IN VANCOUVER, B.C.

Claire Elizabeth Williams is the Co-Founder and CEO of Foundations for Social Change (FSC). Inspired to be a positive force for change, she is the driving force behind the New Leaf Project - North America’s first direct giving project with people experiencing homelessness. Claire holds a BA, High Distinction in Environmental Studies and Economics from Carleton University and a Master of Urban Planning with Distinction from Dalhousie University.

Panel Speaker in SESSION 3 on 12.3.20 

 
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DENISE GHARTEY

HARVARD LAW '20, JUSTICE CATALYST FELLOW AND ATTORNEY WITH THE COMMUNITY JUSTICE PROJECT

BASED IN MIAMI, FL

Denise Ghartey is a Justice Catalyst Fellow focusing on climate gentrification, community displacement, and racial justice work. Denise believes in liberation movements that are driven by the community and is deeply passionate about working with those who are directly impacted. Denise works to promote equitable development through the representation of tenants and community organizations in eviction and land use hearings, strategic litigation, policy advocacy, and the development of community land trusts. Before attending Harvard Law School where she was a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau and Harvard Defenders, Denise worked as a case manager, homelessness prevention advocate, and paralegal in Boston, MA.

Panel Moderator in SESSION 1 on 12.3.20 

 
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HANAN SCRAPPER

REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF PATH SAN DIEGO 

BASED IN SAN DIEGO, CA

Hanan Scrapper is the Regional Director of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) – San Diego. Driven by the desire to help others and the community, she has extensive experience in helping our most vulnerable populations overcome extreme adversities caused by homelessness, domestic violence, political torture, and human trafficking. With fourteen years of leadership experience for various non-profit entities, she currently leads a team of over 100 employees at PATH San Diego working towards a vision of a world where everyone has a home. Previously, she spent several years as the Program Director at Veterans Villages of San Diego, leading both their Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) and Veterans Homelessness Prevention Demonstration (VHPD) programs.

Panel Speaker in SESSION 2 on 12.3.20

 

HEIDI MARSTON

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LOS ANGELES HOMELESS SERVICES AUTHORITY (LAHSA) 

BASED IN LOS ANGELES, CA

Heidi Marston was selected as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) in June 2020, after serving as the Interim Executive Director since January 2020. She is entrusted to serve as a leader in the effort to reduce homelessness across Greater Los Angeles. She also sits on the Leadership Council for the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Heidi joined LAHSA in February 2019 as Chief Program Officer after serving at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in several roles, including Director of Community Engagement and Reintegration Services and Special Assistant to the VA Secretary under President Obama.

Panel Speaker in SESSION 2 on 12.3.20 

 
 
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JOHN FRIEDMAN

PRINCIPAL, JOHN FRIEDMAN ALICE KIMM ARCHITECTS, BOARD CHAIR, OPEN SOURCE HOMELESSNESS INITIATIVE (OSHI)

BASED IN LOS ANGELES, CA

John Friedman co-founded John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects (JFAK) in 1996, an interdisciplinary design firm that creates sustainable and joyful social spaces at all scales and for all people. John co-founded Open Source Homelessness Initiative, was one of The Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices in 2004, and was elevated to AIA Fellowship in 2007. He has taught design studios at USC, SCI-Arc, and University of Texas at Austin, and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Architecture from MIT and Harvard, respectively, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Balliol College, Oxford University.

Volume 2 Event Curator on 12.3.20 

 
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KEVIN HIRAI

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF FLYAWAYHOMES

BASED IN LOS ANGELES, CA

Kevin Hirai is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of FlyawayHomes, which is working with its partners - The People Concern, Gensler, and CBRE - to establish and scale an integrated production model of supportive housing delivery from land acquisition to master leasing and tenanting. The organization recently won a $1 million grant from LA County's Housing Innovation Challenge and has been allocated $19.5 million from the City of Los Angeles' HHH Bond Measure to advance its efforts to end chronic homelessness in Los Angeles. Kevin is a graduate of USC, holds an MBA in finance, and graduated from Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s AMDP in 2018.

Panel Speaker in SESSION 3 on 12.3.20 

 
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KOFI AKAKPO

CO-CHAIR OF AFRICA GSD

BASED IN PROVIDENCE, RI

Kofi Akakpo is a designer and writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. He is currently a final-year Master of Architecture candidate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Ohio State University. Kofi has worked for Architecture firms both in his native Ghana and the US, contributing to several projects on four continents.

Panel Moderator in SESSION 3 on 12.3.20 

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LEILANI FARHA

FORMER UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE HOUSING, GLOBAL DIRECTOR OF THE SHIFT

BASED IN TORONTO, ON

A lawyer by training, Leilani Farha has tirelessly advocated for the realization of the right to housing throughout her career. She is the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing; in that capacity she traveled to Serbia and Kosovo, India, and Chile to investigate and comment on the state of the right to housing. In addition, Leilani started The Shift, a global movement that calls for everyone to approach housing as a human right. She is the current executive director of the NGO Canada Without Poverty and previously served as Executive Director of the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, where she helped launch a historic challenge to government inaction in the face of rising homelessness. She was a founding member of ESCR-Net, an international network of actors committed to economic, social and cultural rights.

Panel Speaker in SESSION 1 on 12.3.20 

 
 
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MICHAEL LEHRER

FOUNDING PARTNER, LEHRER ARCHITECTS

BASED IN LOS ANGELES, CA

Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA was educated at Berkeley and Harvard and founded Lehrer Architects LA in his native Silverlake district of Los Angeles. His work, grounded in the idea that beauty is a rudiment of human dignity, is designed for community and rooted in Los Angeles, a deeply non-judgmental and open city of seamless indoor/outdoor living. Lehrer Architects LA has won over 140 major design and sustainability awards, including 3 Institute Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Michael is Chairman Emeritus of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design Alumni Council, Past President of Homeless Health Care Los Angeles, and Past President of the AIA’s Los Angeles Chapter (AIA/LA). In 2020, AIA/LA awarded Michael its highest honor, the Gold Medal.

Panel Speaker in SESSION 1 on 12.3.20 

 
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NITHYA RAMAN

COUNCILMEMBER-ELECT, LA CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4

BASED IN LOS ANGELES, CA

Nithya Raman is Councilmember-elect to LA City Council, District 4, after running an historic 15-month, volunteer-powered campaign. Nithya has a master’s degree in urban planning from MIT and founded separate nonprofit organizations in India and Los Angeles focused on urban poverty issues. In 2019, Nithya served as Executive Director of Time's Up Entertainment. Nithya lives in Silver Lake with her husband and twin preschoolers.

Panel Speaker in SESSION 2 on 12.3.20 

RICHARD SENNETT

CHAIR, UNITED NATIONS HABITAT URBAN INITIATIVES GROUP

BASED IN LONDON, U.K.

Richard Sennett grew up in the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago. He attended the Juilliard School and then Harvard, where he worked with David Riesman and Hannah Arendt. Professor Sennett currently serves as Chair of the UN Habitat Urban Initiatives Group, is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University, and a Visiting Professor of Urban Studies at MIT. Previously, he founded the New York Institute for the Humanities, taught at New York University and at the London School of Economics, and served as President of the American Council on Work. His books on social life in cities, changes in labour, and social theory include The Fall of Public Man, The Corrosion of Character, The Craftsman, and Building and Dwelling. Among other awards, he has received the Hegel Prize, the Spinoza Prize, and the Centennial Medal from Harvard University. 

Panel Speaker in SESSION 1 on 12.3.20 

 
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ROSANNE HAGGERTY

FOUNDER OF COMMON GROUND COMMUNITY AND COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS

BASED IN NEW YORK, NY

Rosanne Haggerty is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Solutions. She is an internationally recognized leader in developing innovative strategies to end homelessness and strengthen communities. Community Solutions’ large-scale change initiatives include the 100,000 Homes and Built for Zero Campaigns to end chronic and veteran homelessness, and neighborhood partnerships that bring together local residents and institutions to change the conditions that produce homelessness. Earlier, she founded Common Ground Community, a pioneer in the design and development of supportive housing and research-based practices that end homelessness. Ms. Haggerty is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Ashoka Senior Fellow, Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur, and the recipient of honors including the Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cooper Hewitt/Smithsonian Design Museum’s National Design Award and Independent Sector’s John W. Gardner Leadership Award.

Panel Speaker in SESSION 3 on 12.3.20 

 
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SAMUEL GREENBERG

AB ’14, CO-FOUNDER OF Y2Y NETWORK

BASED IN NEW HAVEN, CT

Sam Greenberg is Co-Founder of Y2Y Network, an organization that is partnering with students, community based organizations, and youth experiencing homelessness to interrupt the cycle of homelessness for a generation of young adults. Y2Y Network operates Y2Y Harvard Square, the nation's first student run homeless shelter for young adults, and is currently working to launch its second site, Y2Y New Haven. Sam has been named Forbes 30 Under 30, one of The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 15 leaders changing the nonprofit world, and honorable mention for the Boston Globe Magazine’s Bostonian of the Year.

Panel Moderator in SESSION 2 on 12.3.20 

 
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SAM KLEIN

CO-FOUNDER OF UNDERLAY, A PROJECT OF THE KNOWLEDGE FUTURES GROUP

BASED IN SOMERVILLE, MA

Samuel Klein (AB ’00) is co-founder of the Underlay Project. His work includes the Innovation Information Initiative, which extends the knowledge graph of patents and scholarship. He served as a Trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation and a Director of One Laptop per Child, pursuing free universal access to knowledge and tools, and the development of an Internet-in-a-Box. He has a background in physics and engineering.

Panel Speaker in SESSION 3 on 12.3.20 

 

SHAUN DONOVAN 

 

AB '87, MArch '95, MPA ’95, NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE, FORMER SECRETARY OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE U.S. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

BASED IN NEW YORK, NEW YORK

NYC Mayoral Candidate Shaun Donovan was born and grew up in New York City. He holds a B.A. as well as Master’s degrees in Public Administration and Architecture from Harvard University. Deeply affected by the crisis of housing he saw around him as a youth, he volunteered in a homeless shelter during college and upon graduation interned for the National Coalition for the Homeless. After studying housing in graduate school, he returned to NYC to work for the nonprofit Community Preservation Corporation. 

 

A dedicated public servant, Donovan is currently working with residents and community organizations to deliver restaurant meals to families affected by COVID, revitalize public housing, and to ensure that every New Yorker is counted in the 2020 Census. He is a Trustee of the Urban Institute and serves on the Advisory Board of Opportunity Insights. Previously, he served in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet – first as the 15th Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and then as the 40th Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). There, he increased investment in key domestic and national security priorities that resulted in the expansion of our national economy and increased opportunity. His work reduced inequality, expanded health care, improved education, and fought climate change. Prior to becoming a member of the Obama Administration, Donovan served as Commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and under President Clinton was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing at HUD and acting FHA Commissioner.

Panel Keynote and Panel Speaker in SESSION 2 on 12.03.20 

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