As the former Principal Urban Designer for NYC Parks, Charles McKinney led the preparation of Master plans for flagship parks and new acquisitions. Under his direction, the Department explored responses to the design imperatives of the 21st century, web based planning tools and communication, as well as the role of planning in creating community.
Previously the Chief ofDesign at Parks, he provided design direction for landscape and architecture projects throughout New York City. The award winning Design Manual for 21st Century Parks was prepared under his direction in collaboration with the Design Trust for Public Space.
He has a Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Arkansas, a Masters in Urban Design from City College; he was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1994.
Susanna Church, President
Born in Hong Kong, Susanna Chiu Church emigrated to the US with her family at an early age.She grew up in LIC and Jackson Heights in Queens and attended Stuyvesant High School. She received a B.A. in Economics from Bryn Mawr College and her M.B.A from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. She has spent over 20 years working in technology marketing at companies such as Reed Elsevier, Thomas Publishing, DoubleClick and Adobe. She is currently a Principal in Campaign Strategy and Planning in the Global Marketing department at Adobe.
In addition to her regular job responsibilities, she led the local NY Corporate Social Responsibility team for the last 5 years. In this role, she organized group volunteer activities, evaluated community grant applications for non-profits, managed operating budget, and led monthly planning to increase employee support for local education, sustainability and community service projects.
She has volunteered with non-profits such as Harlem Children’s Zone, the New York Botanical Garden, Girls Who Code, Urban Arts Partnership, Grace Institute, New York Cares, and Materials for the Arts. Adobe generously matches her charitable donations and volunteering time with matching grants.
Tom Bishop has been a partner at BRB Architects for 8 years, and for 20 years prior was partner of his own firms. Tom’s portfolio ranges from high-end residential to educational to commercial projects, both architectural and landscape projects. Tom specializes in integrated project delivery, creating and managing diverse and skilled teams, representing owners and working directly with contractors in complex construction projects.
Tom has developed a strong relationship over the past seven years with the Belgian Landscape Architecture firm, Wirtz International; now serving as the Executive Architect for their expanding US practice in New York, Connecticut, Florida, California and Bermuda.
Tom is instrumental in developing BRB’s use of technology and in advancing the use of BIM. Tom holds a BS in Architecture from University of Virginia and a Master of Architecture from Princeton University. He is currently President of UVa School of Architecture Foundation and serves on the Board of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in New York. Previously, he served on the Boards of Grace Church School in New York City and The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Ray Gastil is a city planner and urban designer. In addition to being the Planning Director for the City of Pittsburgh, Ray served as the 2013 Howard Friedman Visiting Professor in Professional Practice at UC Berkeley, Architecture, College of Environmental Design. Formerly Chair in Design Innovation and Visiting Professor at the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Penn State, his teaching, research, and practice focused on urban design and cultural vitality, the relationship between cities and universities, and waterfronts. His former positions also include City Planning Director, Seattle, and Director, Manhattan Office, NYC Department of City Planning. He was the founding director of Van Alen Institute, where he led a program of design competitions, exhibitions, publications, and fellowships. Publications include Open: New Designs for Public Space and Beyond the Edge: New York’s New Waterfront. Following his professional education in architecture at Princeton, Gastil led the Transit-Oriented Design program at Regional Plan Association. Grants and fellowships include the Graham Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, Dumbarton Oaks, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Wendy Evans Joseph
Wendy Evans Joseph, FAIA is the founder of Studio Joseph, an architectural and planning practice which she founded in 1996, originally under the name of Wendy Evans Joseph Architecture, the Cooper Joseph Studio. Prior to launching her practice, Wendy practiced in the office of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners for twelve years.
Wendy’s work includes a diverse spectrum of commercial, residential and cultural projects. She has a strong specialty in exhibition installation. Her projects range from a butterfly watching park and visitor center in Texas to a long-span pedestrian bridge for New York’s The Rockefeller University to the design of a boutique hotel in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower in Bartlesville, OK. Additionally, Wendy has designed art installations for an extensive list of museums, including the Museum of the City of New York, The National Building Museum and The Guggenheim.
Wendy holds a Master in Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She earned a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania. Wendy is a recipient of the prestigious Rome Prize in Architecture and was a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome which is where she met Mary Miss. A member of the College of Fellos of the American Institute of Architects and an Academician of the National Academy of Art and Design, she maintains a strong role in professional leadership.
Wendy is interested in art and design education. She was a member of the GSD visiting committee, President of the GSD Alumni Council and presently is a member of the Dean’s Council. At University of Pennsylvania, she is former chairman of the Design School Board of Overseers, and was a University Trustee.
Lydon is the founder and owner ofLYDON ASSOCIATE, a New York Sole Proprietorship established in Greenwich Village, New York in 1983. His work has ranged from designing a houseboat in Sausalito, California to a corporate headquarters on Fifth Avenue in New York to being part owner of the adaptive reuse of the National Register Union Station in St. Louis, Missouri - the largest project of its kind ever in the United States. In addition to his architectural practice, over the years, Lydon has been deeply involved in urban development. As Co-chair of the Downtown United Soccer Club, he saw a critical lack of outdoor play facilities for children in Manhattan. Working with state and local officials he had scores of fields built for multi-use purposes including Pier 40, JJ Walker Field, rebuilding Randall’s Island’s Fields, Chelsea Waterside, De Witt ClintonPark, ChelseaPark and others. Lydon also served as a member on the Hudson River Park Trust Advisory Council. As President of West Village Houses- a 420 unit affordable housing complex in the West Village, designed in part, by Jane Jacobs- he commissioned a detailed flooding and stormwater management analysis of the 6 block property which had been partly implemented. This long term plan which he is working to expand to include the entire West Village has solved constant flooding issues that used to plague the property with storm surges. The plan foresees the continued rise of sea levels over the next 10 years. Both his work and that of DEP, aim to incrementally protect this part of the Village with berms, retention ponds, permeable paving, blue roofs, barriers, green roofs and other elements.
Sabine Marx is the Chief of Staff at the Frameworks Institute, in Washington DC. As Chief of Staff at the FrameWorks Institute, Sabine directs the organization’s operational and financial activities. An expert in communicating complex information, she supports FrameWorks’ projects across a wide range of social and scientific issues, including public health, climate change, early childhood development, STEM learning, and higher education. In 2005, she started working as the Managing Director at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) after two years of post-doctoral work at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) at the Earth Institute. In 2017 she worked as a Project Director for Risk Communication at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness. She has received her Ph.D. in medical history from Carnegie Mellon University, and holds a Masters degree in Sociology and Pedagogy, with a minor in Psychology and Art Therapy from the University of Cologne, Germany.
In addition, Sabine Marx is the co-lead author of “The Psychology of Climate Change Communication: A Guide for Scientists, Journalists, Educators, Political Aides, and the Interested Public.” Other publications include journal articles in Global Environmental Change, Malaria Journal, and others, as well as several book chapters and reports. She regularly speaks at scientific conferences such as the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, and venues that reach government agencies and practitioners (e.g. ICLEI, EPA) and the broader public (e.g. American Museum of Natural History, River Summer).
The current work of Sabine Marx falls within the area of environmental decision making, risk perceptions, and communication of scientific information – with a focus on public health and disaster preparedness.
She serves on several advisory boards and committees, including The Earth Institute’s Task Force on Sustainable Development, the Cooperative Institute for Climate Application and Research (CICAR), Fractor.org, and BROADWAY: 1000 Steps, where she also acts as the Chair of the Science Research and Communication Working Group.
Justin Garrett Moore
Justin Garrett Moore is an urban designer and the executive director of the New York City Public Design Commission. At the Public Design Comission, his work is focused on fostering accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in the city’s public buildings, spaces, and art. As a part of the Mayor’s Office, Moore works with various city agencies to ensure the quality and consistency of design and construction of their public works. He also works to advance Mayor de Blasio’s administration goals around promoting improved sustainability, resilience, and equality for New York City’s many neighborhoods. He currently teaches part-time for the urban design and urban planning programs at Columbia University GSAAP. He also runs a social enterprise in Indianapolis, with his family, called Urban Patch. His projects have included the Greenpoint - Williamsburg Waterfront, Hunter's Point South, the Coney Island Plan and the BAM Cultural District. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Forum for Urban Design. Justin received degrees in both architecture and urban design from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation where he is now an Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture in the graduate Urban Design and Urban Planning programs. He is also the co-founder of the Urban Patch, a social enterprise that focuses on neighborhood development and urban design in American inner cities .
Buck Moorhead is the principal of Buck Moorhead Architect, a Manhattan-based architectural firm, founded in 1984, focused on sustainable design. Over 28 years, the studio has designed and completed numerous projects throughout New York City and the region, including: large-scale re-use of existing buildings; residential, commercial, and institutional renovations; and new construction. Buck is a founding partner of Building Consensus for Sustainability (BCS), a land use mediation and consensus building firm. BCS is presently working on ad-hoc regional collaborative efforts in the Upper Delaware River region, specifically around protecting water resources and forests.
Jack Osborn has over 30 years of experience in construction and environmental law. He has tried multi-million dollar cases, achieved successful jury verdicts and handled arbitrations, administrative hearings and complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts. Mr. Osborn prepares and negotiates contracts, advises construction clients in resolving disputes during construction and renovation and resolves construction disputes through mediation, arbitration and litigation. He has litigated insurance coverage disputes, has defended mass toxic tort claims and has been retained by clients to oversee environmental assessments of their real estate and facilities.
Mr. Osborn served as the Deputy General Counsel to New York City Comptroller, Harrison J. Goldin, where he advised the Comptroller on legislation, municipal finance and New York City Charter and Administrative Code matters. He served as an associate at the law firm of Max E. Greenberg, Cantor & Reiss, as a partner with the law firm of Postner & Rubin and counsel to the law firm of Tenzer, Greenblatt, Fallon & Kaplan.
He is admitted to the bar in the State of New York and to the United States District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts.
Steward T. A. Pickett is a Distinguished Senior Scientist and plant ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, in Millbrook, New York. His PhD is from the University of Illinois in 1977. He directs the Baltimore Ecosystem Study Long-Term Ecological Research program. His research focuses on the ecological structure of urban areas and the temporal dynamics of vegetation, including primary forests, the post-agricultural oldfields in the eastern United States, and riparian woodlands in South Africa. He has produced books on ecological heterogeneity, humans as components of ecosystems, conservation, bridging ecology and urban design, the philosophy of ecology, and linking ecology and ethics.
Mia Ruyter is the Education and Outreach Manager for the Heyman Center for Humanities and the Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Columbia University. She supervises and manages educational programs at Rikers Island for Columbia's Justice-in-Education Initiative, a collaboration between the Heyman Center and the Center for Justice. She received her B.A. in Fine Art and an MFA in Art from Hunter College in New York City. Mia is an artist. In 2014 she co-edited Carceral Notebooks Volume 10: Why Marriage? and co-curated an eponymous arts festival with Chuck Thurow in Chicago, IL. Previous to her current position, she was the Director of Marketing at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago.
William Ryall received his undergraduate degree in history and urban studies from Cornell University and a Masters in Architecture from The University of Virginia in 1977, and is professionally certified by both the US Green Building Council (LEED) and the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) . In addition to sitting on the University of Virginia Architecture School’s Advisory Board, Bill has also been a member of The University of Virginia Arts Council, a board member of the New York chapter of Docomomo (an organization dedicated to documenting and preserving architectures and landscapes of the Modern Movement), and taught and lectured at the Rhode Island School of Design. Bill is a founding partner of Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects in New York City, which has concentrated on institutional and private work, emphasizing a modern vernacular, environmentally-sensitive approach to architecture and design.
In 2009 Bill became one of the first Americans certified by the European Passive House Institute (PHIUS), and is now applying the world’s highest energy conservation standards to the design and construction of projects in Orient, on the North Fork of Long Island, a ground-up artists’ residency near Brattleboro, VT, and two structures on Shelter Island, NY.
On Long Island, Bill sits on the Board of The Group for the East End, an environmental advocacy organization, which recently organized community education, political support, and legal action to stop a Water Authority’s pipeline from being constructed to undeveloped farmland on the Orient Peninsula.
In New York City, Bill is a member of the Architectural League, the Institute for Urban Design, the MoMA Architecture and Design Circle, the US Green Building Council, the President’s Circle of the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), the Society of Architectural Historians, and a founding member and organizer of The Friends of Morningside Park, which successfully lobbied politicians, the NYC Parks Department, and private foundations (The JM Kaplan Fund, Columbia University) for funding and appropriate restoration of an Olmsted-designed landscape between Morningside Heights and West Harlem.
In December 2015, an AIA Vermont Honor Award was given to Guilford Sound Artists Residence, a mid-sized project of Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects. In 2016, Bill was elected to AIA College of Fellows for his contributions to architecture and society on a national level.
Patterson Sims, Secretary
Since 1969, Patterson Sims has held five positions in the visual arts, concentrating on the modern and contemporary fields. His specialties include: American modernism and contemporary art; non-profit arts institutions; museum management and administration.
From 1969-1976, Sims was the assistant director at O.K. Harris - the first public gallery in what became internationally celebrated as the SoHo District - and was actively involved in the downtown contemporary arts scene.
From 1976-1987, Sims was the first designated curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s collection and organized numerous collection-based exhibits, one-artist exhibits, and co-curated four Whitney Biennial exhibitions.
From 1987-1996, Sims was the Associate Director for Art and Exhibitions and Curator of Modern Art at the Seattle Art Museum. Here, he focused on the oversight of the curatorial and acquisition programs for both modern and contemporary art and on the Museum’s move to downtown Seattle.
From 1996 to 2001, Sims was the Deputy Director for Education and Research Support at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. While there, he directed the Department of Education, oversaw the Library and Museum Archives, and, for part of this period, oversaw the MOMA website and publications programs. From September 2001 to 2008, Sims was the Director of the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, New Jersey, where he organized several exhibitions. These included Anxious Objects: Willie Cole’s Favorite Brands and Philip Pearlstein: Objectifications.
Eric Wechsler, Finance Chair
Eric Wechsler is a director of The Wechsler Foundation, Inc., a private charitable foundation. Born and raised in NYC, he attended The Fieldston School. Eric received a B.A. from Northwestern University, an M.B.A. from New York University and a J.D. from Fordham University. He was a corporate associate at a New York law firm before becoming General Counsel at NuCO2 Inc., a public company, from 1998-2010. He lives in NYC with his partner, Phil Kovacevich, and most weekends can be found on the North Fork of Long Island where they recently purchased a house.
John Woldenberg grew up in Chicago, attended the University of Michigan and The University of Chicago Graduate Business School. He has always been a steward of the arts, particularly in film. Since having studied under screen writing icons, William Goldman and Lawrence Kasdan, he has been hooked on the power of story telling in film. He started as a writer in television and film. Mr. Woldenberg was a partner in a company that went public in 1993. He then spent over a year traveling in the developing world in Southeast Asia and Africa before coming back to head a television production company. Currently, Mr. Woldenberg’s film company produces, finances and acquires feature and documentary films. Recently released films include Smart People, The Visitor, Milk, Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Exporting Raymond. Mr. Woldenberg has concentrated primarily on writing over the past 24 months. Currently, he has written 3 television pilots and 2 feature scripts and a children’s animated show. He is also working on a live one woman show with Rock Violinist Lili Haydn.
Mr. Woldenberg always attempts to integrate social responsibility with filmmaking. In addition to wide release features, documentary films cover topics such as poverty, breast cancer, climate change, vet rehabilitation, ethnic genocide and culture. Over the past 10 years, John has also been involved with The United Nations in their effort to exact global change through media and film. Mr. Woldenberg has been on the Boards of a number of national and regional film festivals as well as being on the Documentary Nomination Committee for the PGA Awards.
Mr. Woldenberg also allocates time and resources to non-profit projects that have a positive effect world’s social, environmental and humanitarian issues. Pangea Day was a global film project that was released in May 2008. The event simulcast a series of curated films around the