Maya Desai, OCAD University
Persis Lam, Diamond Schmitt Architects
Steffen Lehmann, UNLV School of Architecture
Christina Lennox, Brownstone
Fotini Pitiglou, FORREC
Caitlin Saladino, The Lincy InstituteBrookings Mountain West
Yimeng Teng, Ro Rockett Design
Katrina Yin, JDS Development Group

Maya Mahgoub-Desai is the Chair of Environmental Design at OCAD University and a practicing Urban Designer and Planner with Moriyama Teshima Architects. Her interdisciplinary research interests focus on public health, socio-ecological models of urban development, and decolonization of design pedagogy. Her current SSHRC-funded research projects investigate environmental health, public realm design, and inclusive approaches to community collaboration.

Persis Lam is an associate at Diamond Schmitt Architects, based in Toronto. She loves architecture for the constant strive for balance between art and science.  Her drive for better design solutions to solve real problems stems from a technical design sense.  Persis is also an executive member of Building Equality in Architecture Toronto (BEAT).  She continues to champion collaboration across different professional industries, enjoys spending time with her two young children and plays in the office rock band.

Dr. Steffen Lehmann, Assoc. AIA, (born in Stuttgart, Germany) is an internationally recognized educator, scholar, author, designer, scientific researcher, and strategic leader. He is a tenured full Professor of Architecture and former Executive Director of schools of architecture, including the UNLV School of Architecture in Las Vegas. He is also Director of the interdisciplinary Urban Futures Lab, and CEO of the Future Cities Leadership Lab Institute (see links below), where he is translating a strategic outlook into programmatic initiatives and impact, dealing with a rapidly changing profession and transforming society. Before joining UNLV, Steffen Lehmann was the chair-holder of the UNESCO Chair for Sustainable Urban Development for the Asia-Pacific Region.

Christina Lennox is the Cofounder and Chief Product Officer of Brownstone - a shared housing company based in Palo Alto. Brownstone makes sleeping pods that transform existing homes into affordable shared living arrangements without construction. Christina designed Brownstone’s sleeping pods and arranges the homes to accommodate everyone. She enjoys the challenge of making smaller spaces feel like home.

Fotini Pitoglou is a licensed architect in Ontario, Canada, the UK and Greece. She is a lead architect on hospitality projects at Toronto-based FORREC. She holds master's degrees from the University of Waterloo and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where she conducted extensive research on tourism, and community building. Fotini is an executive member of BEAT - Building Equality in Architecture Toronto, the former chair of RAIC Emerging Practitioners Committee, and a member of FORREC's Diversity Equality and Inclusion Task Force.

Dr. Caitlin J. Saladino serves as the Director of Strategic Development at The Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West. The Lincy Institute is a public policy think tank organized to conduct and support research improving health, education, economic development, governance, non-profits, and social services in Nevada. Brookings Mountain West is a partnership between UNLV and the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution which brings high-quality, independent, and impactful research to the issues facing the dynamic and fast-growing Intermountain West region. Dr. Saladino holds a master’s degree in communication studies, and a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Yimeng Teng is a project architect at Ro Rockett Design, an award winning design firm based in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Aspen. Yimeng grew up in China and after getting an engineering degree from Southeast University, she went abroad to receive her Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia and is currently a registered architect in the United States. She has more than eight years of experience in educational, institutional and residential projects, as well as multiple awards and competition winning entries. 

Katrina Yin, AIA, is an architect and design manager at JDS Development Group. She is committed to furthering avenues of interdisciplinary thinking between architecture, design, urbanism, real estate development and marketing. Formally trained as an architect, she worked at boutique design firms before becoming a licensed real estate salesperson and development associate for Alloy Development. While at Alloy, she led residential interior architecture design for 100 Flatbush, New York City's first all-electric tower, and 168 Plymouth. Her experience spans the full design, development, construction, sales and stabilization cycle of various landmark projects -- proving the value of a design-integrated perspective from conceptual ideation through to market reception.  She is currently managing design for 888 Brickell, set to be Miami's tallest building upon completion. She holds a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Yale University and Yale College, respectively. She is a mentor at Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale, a team leader for the ACE Mentor Program of Greater NY.

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