Founding Partner/CEO, Planning for Sustainable Communities. Est. in 1996, partnership since 2006. PfSC offers customized planning, research, training, project development, and related technical assistance to clients and partners, including community development corporations, public agencies, nonprofits, intentional communities, small business and social enterprise.  PfSC manages its own  projects and partnerships, including subcontracts. 

  • Principal Planning and Research Consultant in affordable housing, intelligent transit, business and economic development, community services, climate change, sustainability, multi-stakeholder partnerships.  Products include comprehensive community assessments, market studies, strategy briefs, policy analyses, program evaluations, maps and other public materials, collaborative funding proposals, and impact assessments. 

    Recent clients:  AnewAmerica Community Corporation, National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, Center for Community Futures (Senior Research Associate), Indianhead Community Action Agency (WI). 

  • Community Coach/East Bay Cohousing.  Design, develop and lead a variety of community oriented activities in collaboration with partners.  Organize and coach people and small groups seeking more cooperative living and working.  Manage (with partner, Raines Cohen), a Meet-up group of 2400 members. Curate, produce and speak at 30 to 40 events a year. Provide 1-on-1 coaching, design and facilitate discussions, workshops, and unconferences. Engaged in collaborative research and development with international networks and Bay Area advocates.

    Recent clients: Alameda Elder Services, a PLACE for Sustainable Living, Northern California Consortium of Land Trusts, Parker Street Foundation, Triple Point Cohousing, Kingfisher LLC, Mid-Atlantic Cohousing, Cohousing Collaborative, Bay-Bucks. 

    Project Partners: 
    Sustainable Economies Law Center, Transition US, the Hub for Social Innovation, Partners for Affordable Cohousing, San Francisco Green Festival, and Bay Area Senior Women’s Housing Options Network.

Service, Leadership, Memberships, 2012-2013

  • Board of Directors, Fellowship for Intentional Community
  • Participatory Budgeting Facilitator, Vallejo and San Jose
  • Community Advisory Working Group, Alameda County Transportation and Investment Association

Memberships:  East Bay Housing Organizations, Bay Area Sustainable Business Alliance, SPUR, ADPSR, US Green Building Council, National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, Bay Area Transit Justice Working Group, Cohousing Research Network, Global EcoVillage Network - North America, Commonwealth Club of California.


  • PhD, City & Regional Planning. University of California at Berkeley. 1998. Dissertation: Urban Redevelopment and the Emerging Community Sector
  • Masters, City & Regional Planning. University of California at Berkeley, 1990
  • PR: Economic Conditions and Forces of Change in San Joaquin County (PI. Cynthia Kroll) published by Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics.
  • BA, Urban Studies Beacon College, Providence, RI. 1985.  


Senior Research Associate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 2010. Worked with PI and student researchers to prepare research briefs on the CO2 impacts of transportation and land use strategies relevant. Project commissioned by the California Energy Commission for use in a website to help local cities and counties meet state goals under AB32 and SB375. Reviewed existing literature, studies, and regional plans. Interviewed regional agencies (BAAQMD, ABAG, MTC).

Director, MBA Program in Sustainable Enterprise, New College of California, 2007. Designed a 2-year graduate curriculum for urban social entrepreneurs and worker cooperatives; recruited faculty, students, and business partners. 

Research Director, Cohousing Association of the US, 2006-2009. Developed/managed biannual census of cohousing communities and first organizational research agenda; wrote articles; provide liaison to academic researchers.

Management Analyst III, City of El Cerrito, CA. 2005. Secured resources for transit oriented development, business and housing development in support of the El Cerrito Redevelopment Agency, Economic Development Commission, and Dept. of Public Works.

Housing & Economic Development Program Director, Mayfair Improvement Initiative. San Jose, CA, 2002-2004. Managed staff and developed partnerships for workforce development, micro-enterprise, housing access for multi-year impact collaborative. Trained community members and staff.

Post-Doctoral Researcher, California Partners in Advanced Transit and Highways/ITS, University of California. 2001-2002. Research and writing for studies of intelligent transportation systems including car-sharing and public transit.

Director/Project Manager, West Berkeley Neighborhood Development Corporation, 1990-2009. Multiple roles serving a multi-cultural, grassroots board. Developed partnerships, contracts, budgets, supervised consultants, and volunteers for multiple projects including: Berkeley International Food Festival, West Berkeley Neighborhood Pride Guide,, Buy Local and Green Business promotions, Energy Aware Cash for Trash, the West Berkeley Market, Get Down to Business, community-based transportation planning, annual community meetings. (WBNDC received one of the first UC Campus-Community Partnership Award in 1999.)

University Lecturer – Designed and delivered courses for undergraduate and graduate students:
·       UC Berkeley, Dept. of City & Regional Planning and American Studies, 1995 and 1999.
·       San Francisco State University, Dept. of Political Science/Urban Studies, 1996-98.
·       University of Southern California, Dept. of Urban Planning and Real Estate, 1995.

Graduate Research Assistant & Graduate Student Instructor, University of California at Berkeley, 1987-1994. Multiple appointments, primarily in College of Environmental Design & Business School.

Freelance Planning Associate and Intern. Multiple projects and positions with the City of Oakland, CDCs, funders, and economic development intermediaries in Bay Area and Washington, DC, 1986-93.

Research Programmer/Analyst, Abt Associates, Washington, DC. Managed data and statistical analysis for federally funded policy and evaluation studies.

Research Coordinator, Foundation for Community Organization. Providence, RI. 1983-1984. Managed legislative intern program, organized educational and planning events; wrote articles; testified at hearings and other public advocacy for grassroots network of social change partners.

For consultations & referrals, call 510/549-8790 or email