A conversation between Marika E. Reuling and Thomas Glynn, who will be joined by joined by Martin Zogran, Courtney Sharpe, and Rustom Cowasjee moderated by Stephen Gray, Assistant Professor of Urban Design.
Rustom Cowasjee, MAUD ’82, is currently responsible for the development, design and construction of the Washington, DC, Chicago and Boston portfolios. Since joining Tishman Speyer in 1999, he has been responsible for the design and construction of the company’s projects in Northern Virginia, District of Columbia, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston. He has also been responsible for setting up Tishman Speyer’s design and construction departments and projects in India. Prior to joining Tishman Speyer, Mr. Cowasjee worked for London & Leeds Development Corporation and was responsible for the design and construction of the commercial office building portfolio and hotels in the Americas, including in Canada, the Caribbean and South America. He has also worked as an architect for I.M. Pei & Partners in New York. Mr. Cowasjee graduated from Cornell University with a B.Arch. and earned an MAUD in architecture and urban design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
Thomas P. Glynn, Ph.D. is the Chief Executive Officer of the Harvard Allston Land Company, overseeing Harvard University’s non-institutional development of its Enterprise Research Campus in Allston. He reports to a Board chaired by Nitin Nohria, the Dean of the Harvard Business School.
Previously Glynn was Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Port Authority from 2012 to 2018. In this role he oversaw the 1,300-person agency with an $800 million budget that owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, the public container and cruise terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field, Worcester Regional Airport and real estate holdings in South Boston, East Boston and Charlestown.
His previous roles included Chief Operating Officer of the Partners HealthCare System, General Manager of the MBTA, Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration and Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration at Brown University.
Glynn earned a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University and a Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, where he also served as a trustee. He is scheduled to return to teaching in the Spring of 2020 at both the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Stephen Gray is an Assistant Professor of Urban Design at Harvard Graduate School of Design. His interests center on understanding political and cultural contexts of urban design; socio-ecological urban design approaches to resilience; and the intersectionality of humanitarian aid and urban design. Recent projects include the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative where his team blends archival and design research methods to foreground systemic racism in the physical and geospatial development of Boston; process design for the co-creation of child-focused spaces with the Global Design Initiative for Refugee Children; and research with the World Bank examining the interconnectedness of social, natural, and spatial systems as they relate to informality, vulnerability, and resilience. He is currently co-leading an Equitable Impacts Framework pilot with the High Line Network and Urban Institute aimed at increasing equity in industrial reuse projects across North America.
In 2015, Stephen founded Grayscale Collaborative. Operating at the intersection of urban design research and practice, Grayscale spatializes and rectifies social inequities through processes of radical inclusion and design intermediation. Their work acknowledges the intersectionality of race, class, and the production of space; Interrogates design’s contribution to, and complicity with, structural and infrastructural racism; and, Develops research and design methodologies and interventions that address issues of equity, access, social justice, and precarity at the scales of infrastructure, communities, metropolitans, and the globe.
Stephen has also served in several university-wide roles including as planning, design, and public realm advisor for Harvard’s campus expansion into Allston, and on the recently established design review committees for both the Allston and Cambridge campuses.
Marika Reuling is the Managing Director for Allston Initiatives at Harvard University where she oversees the team focused on planning, development and placemaking strategy in Allston.
Marika’s professional background in consulting, higher education, real estate, entrepreneurship, public affairs and communications in both the corporate and non-profit sectors provides expertise in strategic planning, neighborhood transformation, mixed-use development, and placemaking.
In addition to her work at Harvard University, Marika is a principal at Reuling Vineyard, a premier pinot noir and chardonnay producer located on California’s Sonoma Coast. She is an advocate for neo-natal and maternal health, and sits on the NICU Family Advisory Council at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, among other board memberships.
She is a frequent speaker and has been featured in Time, Newsweek and other publications. In 2019, she was named one of Boston’s “40 Under 40” by the Boston Business Journal. Marika was named a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leader in 2015. She is a graduate of Boston College, and lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts with her husband and son.
Courtney D. Sharpe, MUP ’16, is an urban planner who focuses on advancing equitable access to resources in communities. Prior to becoming the Director of Planning for the Office of Arts and Culture, she served at the Boston Planning and Development Agency as the Senior Planner for Back Bay, Roxbury and Mattapan, where she led the implementation of the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan via the PLAN: Dudley Square initiative.
Splitting her childhood between Washington, D.C., and the suburbs of Houston, Texas, Courtney completed her bachelor’s at Northwestern University and later received her Master in Urban Planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where she specialized in urban governance and social justice. Courtney co-chaired the inaugural Black in Design Conference in 2015 and has continued to serve as an Advisory Board member for subsequent conference planning. Prior to joining the City of Boston, she worked as both an Innovation Fellow and Innovation Field Lab Coordinator at the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center, assisted with immigrant rights as an AmeriCorps member in Chicago, and taught English and Arts as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco.
A Mission Hill resident with a penchant for book clubs (she is in three and leads one), Courtney spends much of her time reading, cooking, and painting.
At Sasaki, Martin participates in the leadership of big-picture thinking for the urban design practice in order to foster and maintain Sasaki’s unique inter-disciplinary approach to urban design. He is also a contributing leader of in-house think-tank sessions on current planning and urban design topics and promotes building professional development and skills for the wide array of urban design practices within the firm. Martin holds a master of architecture in urban design with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he taught urban design for 10 years. At the GSD, Martin taught public space theory at the intersection of landscape, planning, and urban design, as well as studios addressing climate change and urban form. Martin has chaired public space design competitions in the City of Boston and has moderated symposia on public art, virtual public spaces, and ecological urbanism. He received a bachelor of arts in architecture and art history at Rice University.
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