Evelyn Blumenberg | Director | Email

What do you do here at UCLA?
In addition to directing the Lewis Center, I am also a professor of urban planning in the Luskin School of Public Affairs, where I teach and do research on poverty, low-wage labor markets, and transportation.

What’s your connection to Los Angeles?
I grew up in Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley — yes, I’m originally a Valley girl. I then lived in the Bay Area, and, since 1998, have been happy to call LA my home once again.

Can you share a secret about living in LA?
Los Angeles is covered in jacaranda trees, a relatively drought-tolerant species from South America with a spectacular spring bloom. If you miss the bloom in May and June, did you know that in most years you can catch a second one in early fall?

Besides working at UCLA, what’s your LA dream job?
Assuming I get over some serious performance anxiety (and pick up some additional skills), I’d love to be a musician.

Michael Lens | Associate Faculty Director | Email

What do you do here at UCLA?
As an associate professor of urban planning and public policy at the Luskin School, I teach courses and do research on housing affordability, segregation, and neighborhoods. I seek to engage the Lewis Center, our students, and faculty in housing debates in Southern California and beyond.

What’s your favorite LA-themed movie, TV show, or song?
Hard to choose between Boyz n the Hood and every song and video from The Chronic.

Do you have a favorite public transit line?
Being a posh Westsider who is not transit-dependent, I have the luxury of favoring the Expo Line. The Big Blue Bus 12 got me to UCLA and back in my first year when I was still in New York City mode and hated driving.

Besides working at UCLA, what’s your LA dream job?
LeBron’s cycling buddy.


Madeline Brozen | Deputy Director | Email

What do you do here at UCLA?
I do a little bit of everything from financial oversight of the center to managing our advisory board to working with student programs. In addition, I do research with faculty members mostly about transportation and open space. Once a year, I teach a GIS course in urban planning.

What’s your connection to Los Angeles?
I came to Los Angeles to attend the UCLA master’s program in urban planning program in 2009. I’ve woke up and come to the Public Affairs Building at UCLA nearly every weekday since my arrival in LA.

How do you bide your time in traffic?
I bike! I always bike commute home from UCLA to avoid the traffic and get some time with my thoughts. On the bus, I read Twitter or catch up on the Sunday New York Times. The rare occasions when I’m driving I usually blast pop music and sing along poorly.

Will Livesley-O’Neill | Communications Manager | Email

What do you do here at UCLA?
I broadcast Lewis Center research and accomplishments to the world through our websites and publications, media releases, and events and community engagement.

Can you share a secret about living in LA?
If you go to Dan Sung Sa, and you definitely should, order the corn cheese.

Besides working at UCLA, what’s your LA dream job?
Put me in charge of the Oscars! I can’t do worse than Best Popular Film.

Whitney Willis | Operations Manager | Email

What do you do here at UCLA?
I manage the day-to-day operations of the Lewis Center including space management, HR, financial management, purchasing, student travel and research grants, fellowships, and events.

Can you share a secret about living in LA?
If you call it the “Westfield Culver City Mall,” it will reveal your true non-LA colors. It will always be the Fox Hills Mall to West LA natives.

What’s your favorite LA-themed movie, TV show, or song?
Insecure is my favorite LA TV show. It’s based in my home city of Inglewood and it always features some of my favorite restaurants such as Pann’s and Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.

Naveen Agrawal | Communications Assistant
Naveen is a graduate student in urban planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University.

Marisa Cheung | Design Assistant
Marisa is a senior at UCLA studying political science.

Angela Wu | Web Assistant
Angela is a junior at UCLA studying computer science.

Senior Scholar

Paavo Monkkonen
Professor of Urban Planning

Affiliated Scholars

J.R. DeShazo
Professor of Public Policy and Urban Planning
Move, Work

Lené Levy-Storms
Associate Professor of Social Welfare

Robin Liggett
Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris
Professor of Urban Planning
Move, Live

Michael Manville
Associate Professor of Urban Planning
Move, Live

Vinit Mukhija
Professor of Urban Planning
Live, Work

Paul Ong
Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning and Social Welfare
Live, Work

Taner Osman
Postdoctoral Fellow
Work, Live

Meredith Phillips
Associate Professor of Public Policy and Sociology

Donald Shoup
Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning
Move, Live

Brian D. Taylor
Professor of Urban Planning

Martin Wachs
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning

Advisory Board

The Lewis Center depends on the involvement of leaders and experts working to solve California’s complex challenges. Advisory Board members actively participate in the ongoing development and promotion of the Lewis Center by providing guidance on program activities and research, participating in and sponsoring events, disseminating research to policymakers, and much more. The Advisory Board meets at a minimum of once each year, and membership is a three-year appointment.

Cecilia Estolano
Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors

Cecilia V. Estolano is an expert in sustainable economic development and urban revitalization. The many projects she has directed as co-founder of ELP Advisors include advising local governments, non-profits, and foundations on redevelopment dissolution and economic revitalization, overseeing research on green infrastructure and job creation in Philadelphia, and managing complex multi-stakeholder processes. Ms. Estolano is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law and holds an master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA. She received her undergraduate degree in social studies with honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges. Ms. Estolano has taught urban planning at UCLA and UC Berkeley. She serves as vice president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and sits on the University of California Board of Regents and the boards of directors of Manufacturing Renaissance and the National Employment Law Project.

Bill Fulton
Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University

Bill Fulton was the planning director of San Diego from June 2013 to October 2014. Mr. Fulton served as mayor of the City of Ventura from 2009 to 2011 and is an author, urban planner, professor, and senior fellow at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, where he teaches land use policy and smart growth. He is a leading advocate of the smart growth movement in urban planning and was named to Planetizen’s list of Top 100 Urban Thinkers. Fulton is best known as a commentator and expert on urban planning in California and has written hundreds of articles on the topic, including more than 40 Sunday opinion pieces in the Los Angeles Times between 1982 and 2009. He is the author of several books, including “Guide to California Planning” — the standard textbook on urban planning in California.

Gail Goldberg
Former Planning Director, City of Los Angeles

Gail Goldberg, FAICP, is the former executive director of the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles and the former planning director of Los Angeles and San Diego. In Los Angeles, she was responsible for organizing and directing the policies and activities of the City’s Planning Department, including the development, maintenance and implementation of all elements of the City’s General Plan as well as a range of other special zoning plans. In San Diego, she oversaw a planning process to update the city’s 20-year-old General Plan; this “City of Villages” vision and strategy became an international model for urban revitalization. Goldberg is a native Californian and holds a degree in urban studies and planning from UC San Diego. She served as an Urban Land Institute trustee, chair of the San Diego/Tijuana ULI District Council, and on the Statewide Coordinating Committee for ULI’s California Smart Growth Initiative.

Hasan Ikhrata
Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments

Hasan Ikhrata has served as the executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) since January 2008. He has more than 25 years of public and private sector experience in transportation planning in the Southern California region. Prior to joining SCAG in 1994, Hasan worked for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for four years and the South Coast Air Quality Management District for four years, managing transportation and air quality related projects. Hasan holds a master’s degree in civil and industrial engineering from Zaporozhye University in the former Soviet Union, a master’s degree in civil engineering from UCLA, and a doctoral candidacy in urban planning from the University of Southern California.

Fran Inman
Senior Vice President, Majestic Realty Co.

Fran Inman directs government relations and community affairs activities for Majestic Realty Co., one of the nation’s largest privately-held, family-owned real estate development companies. Fran was appointed to the California Transportation Commission in July 2010 and also serves on the board of several other local and state economic and nonprofit organizations. Prior to transferring back to the corporate headquarters in 2001, Fran was executive vice president of the Silverton Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Previously, she served on the development team for the STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles. A graduate of California State University-Fullerton, Fran holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees of business administration in finance.

Mary Kaiser
President, California Community Reinvestment Corporation

Mary Kaiser is a financial services executive, specializing in marketing, lending, and integrating the delivery of financial products and services. She began her career in 1975 at First Interstate Bank and in 1987 she joined the Bank of A. Levy, a 100-year-old bank in Ventura County, as its executive vice president and chief operating officer. Mary currently serves on the CHC Board of Directors and the Stabilization Trust REO Capital Fund Loan Committee. She has also served as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council among many other organizations and committees. Mary received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State University and a master’s in business administration from California Lutheran University.

Therese McMillan
Chief Planning Officer, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Therese McMillan joined LA Metro in 2016 from her position as the acting administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Previously, she held the position of deputy administrator at the FTA since her appointment in July 2009. Ms. McMillian lead a staff of more than 500 in Washington D.C. and 10 regional offices throughout the United States. Prior to the FTA, Ms. McMillian was the deputy executive director for policy at the San Francisco Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission for nine years. Preceding her position as deputy executive director, Ms. McMillian served as MTC’s manager of funding and external affairs for seven years. Ms. McMillian holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and planning analysis from UC Davis and a joint master’s degree in city and regional planning and civil engineering from UC Berkeley.

Pam O’Connor
Councilmember, City of Santa Monica

Pam O’Connor has served on the Santa Monica City Council since 1994 and has been mayor three times. She is particularly interested in issues that advance sustainability and mobility. She is a member of the Regional Council of the Southern California Association of Governments, and previously served as council president. Councilmember O’Connor works with cities throughout the world on environmental, sustainability and climate issues as a member of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability-USA Board. As a professional urban planning consultant, Pam specializes in historic preservation. She has also served in many other positions including as director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northridge Earthquake recovery partnership program and as a planner for the City of Pasadena. Pam holds master’s degrees in planning and technology management from Eastern Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Southern Illinois University.

Mott Smith
Co-Founder and Principal, Civic Enterprise

Mott Smith is co-founder and principal of Civic Enterprise, a founding board member of the California Infill Builders Association, and adjunct faculty in the University of Southern California’s Master of Real Estate Development Program. Earlier, he was the acting director of planning for the Los Angeles Unified School District after serving as founding executive director of New Schools-Better Neighborhoods. He also worked as editor/business manager of The Planning Report. He received a master’s degree in real estate development from USC and a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from UCLA.

Barry Wallerstein
Former Executive Officer, South Coast Air Quality Management District

Barry R. Wallerstein holds a doctorate in environmental science and engineering, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in biological science, from UCLA. He has more than 30 years of experience in urban planning and environmental studies, with an emphasis in air pollution control and public policy development. Barry has served AQMD in various positions since 1984, and was appointed acting executive officer in August 1997. The Governing Board unanimously elevated him to executive officer in November 1998. Barry has also worked as an environmental control administrator for Northrop, and was a member of the rule development staff in the Mobile Source Division of the California Air Resources Board.