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The CNUdc Board


Nominated to two year terms, the CNUdc board contains local architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, researchers, and more.  The board organizes events, lectures and more for local members to participate in, and they also lead the outreach to design issues in the Washington, DC region.

Dhiru Thadani


Mr. Thadani is an architect and urbanist who has been in practice since 1978.  As a design principal and partner for more than thirty years, he has completed projects the world over, and he continues to provide a broad range of consulting services in architecture and urban design.


Mr. Thadani was born to the boisterous urbanism of Bombay, India and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1972 to attend the Catholic University of America, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture.  During his forty years in Washington, he has taught, practiced, and worked to place architecture and urbanism in the public eye.


Since its formation in 1993, Mr. Thadani has been a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), and has been a member of the CNU Board since 2005.  He was a 2001 Fellow in the Knight Program for Community Building, a four-time recipient of the CNU Charter Award for design, and the recipient of the 2011 Seaside Prize.


Mr. Thadani has been the principal organizer of numerous design workshops, charrettes, and professional symposia, and his work has been widely exhibited and published.  He has lectured throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. His professional work has included new and adapted buildings, new developments, neighborhood revitalization, and urban retrofits and infills.   

Stephanie Bothwell


Ms. Bothwell is the principal of Bothwell Urban and Landscape Design, located in Washington, DC. She is a city and town planner and a landscape architect. Her practice focuses on the creation of sustainable, beautiful and healthy landscapes such as the Long Beach, Mississippi Post Katrina Conceptual Plan Development. Recently, she has designed civic spaces as Consulting Town Landscape Architect for the new town of East Beach in Norfolk, Virginia, a brownfield redevelopment site; the neglected Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC; and consulted on policy and programs addressing the relationship between housing, open space and transportation.


Since its inception in the early 90’s, Ms. Bothwell has worked extensively on HOPE VI projects and program development with HUD, during which she instituted training programs, conferences and partnerships. HOPE VI’s innovative and transformative program is currently being adopted and expanded by the new administration into the Choice Neighborhoods Program. Since receiving her Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Ms. Bothwell has served on the faculties of the Rhode Island School of Design, Radcliffe College, and the Boston Architectural Center, and for a number of years was Associate Professor of Architecture at Auburn University.

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Marc Gazda


Mr. Gazda is an urban designer practicing in Washington, D.C. as Gazda Urban Design Studio. Currently, he works on university campus projects, New Urbanist community design, and small town design across the United States. Previously, he served as the Town Architect for Porta Norte, Panamá, where he also helped design smaller urban developments across Central America. 


He holds a B.Arch from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Georgetown University. While in school, Marc contributed to research projects in sustainability, coding, historic preservation, and globalization. The planning focus of his postgraduate career was water quality protection planning in the Great Lakes region.


He has served as a panelist for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ Sister Cities Grant Program reviewing applications, and designs and builds woodworking-based art projects across DC. He is an avid cyclist and water polo player, traversing the district almost exclusively by bike and participating in a club water polo team since moving to the city in 2017.

Matthew Digoy

Events Director

Matthew Digoy is an architectural and urban designer who works in the Retail and Placemaking Segment at Torti Gallas + Partners (TGP). His professional work ranges in scale and function, including mixed use buildings, mall repositioning, master planning, infill design, revitalization, community design, adaptive reuse, greenfield development, and co-housing. Matthew also does discovery work using census data to understand demographics, traffic patterns, commercial mixture, and more about a project site to inform the design work. 

Digoy graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2019 with a Bachelor of Architecture in both architecture and philosophy. Matthew integrated principles of the New Urbanism in his thesis project, where he proposed a Convention Center, a typology with a large building footprint, that still met requirements of urban scale and walkability. His work on the urban proposal and mentorship from D. Duany and S. Younes awarded him a research grant from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies to continue his thesis research in the medieval towns of Bruges and Ghent in Belgium. This opportunity has influenced his efforts for integrating traditional urbanism with modern function.


Since graduating, Matthew has been in Washington, DC, where he is working towards becoming a licensed architect and planner, while continuing to learn from the many leaders and mentors in the professional practice. He is an avid outdoorsman, who enjoys highlining and backcountry camping. He believes this consistent interaction with nature contributes to a deeper understanding of design and community. 

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Michaela Mahon

Communication Director

Michaela Mahon is an architectural designer at Torti Gallas + Partners in the Washington, DC office. With a strong history of working on community-oriented neighborhood design and multifamily affordable housing, she is passionate about utilizing architecture to create a more equitable world. Working in the Village Segment of TG+P, Mahon specializes in Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects that deliver high quality and accessible housing and urban design to communities throughout the US. She believes community engagement is an integral part of the design process and is always eager to connect to the people that make the places she’s working in. 


In 2022-2023, Mahon served as the Emerging Professionals Leader at Torti Gallas, where she organized volunteer efforts to connect the firm with the DC community, planned networking and educational content for employee’s career growth, and acted as a resource to new hires. She continues to foster mentorship among the emerging professionals to usher talented and confident architects and planners into the industry. 


Graduating Cum Laude from The University of Notre Dame with a Bachelors of Architecture, Mahon focused her education on the study of how the built environment impacts socialization and wellness. With dual minors in Sustainability and Sociology, she acted as research assistant studying environmental psychology in school cafeterias and conducted independent research on housing for PTSD patients, landscaping as a tool of CPTED, and how the social conditions of a commune create unique urban design features.

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Matthew Bell

Matthew Bell, FAIA is a registered architect who specializes in large-scale architecture and urban design and is Professor of Architecture at the University of Maryland. Professionally Matt has been active throughout the Washington/Baltimore region with projects ranging in scale from waterfronts, new towns and neighborhoods to civic and mixed-use buildings and schools. From 1994 to 1999 Bell was the Director and conference chair of the Northeast Regional meeting of the Mayor's Institute for City Design, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.  His work has been exhibited at the Triennale di Milano and in 2006 he served as a juror for the Biennale of Venice (Italy).  In addition, his graduate students at Maryland have twice won the prestigious Urban Land Institute/Gerald Hines Urban Design and Development Competition.

Bell is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a member of the Congress for the New Urbanism.  He is a Principal in the Washington, DC office of Perkins Eastman Architects ( and also Vice President of the Restoring Ancient Stabia Foundation (, an international effort to restore the ancient seaside villas of Stabiae, near Pompei.  His professional work with Perkins Eastman has received awards from the American Institute of Architects, the Congress for the New Urbanism, the USGBC, the Urban Land Institute and the Committee for 100 on the Federal City.  Bell has degrees in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Notre Dame and Cornell University.

Lee Sobel

Mr. Sobel was RCLCO’s Director of Public Strategies, a position that blends his expertise in real estate and finance with his knowledge of land use and transportation policy. He has been a commercial real estate broker with CB Richard Ellis, in South Florida, and he spent 10 years handling real estate development and finance matters with the U.S. EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities in Washington, D.C. He is a recognized expert in urban retail, market analysis, economic development, and smart growth.


During Lee’s tenure in the public sector, he provided technical assistance, policy research and development, and implementation strategies to local governments, quasi-governmental entities, community groups, and national and local advocacy organizations on real estate, finance, and economic development issues with the goal of achieving sustainable community development. 


Mr. Sobel is a nationally recognized speaker in smart growth, mixed-use and town center development, greyfield and suburban retrofits, economic development, land planning, infrastructure finance, retail real estate development trends, and capital investment trends as they relate to sustainable community development. 

Michael Medick

Mr. Medick is a Principal in KTGY’s Tysons office. As a registered architect and urban planner, Mr. Medick brings extensive experience in real estate development, community design and revitalization of cities, buildings, campuses and neighborhoods. Mr. Medick possesses design experience in all segments of the real estate industry, including single-family, multifamily,  mixed-use development, campus planning and housing, military base housing, retail, commercial, Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND), Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and community design guidelines.


Mr. Medick has served as chairman of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Housing Committee and a member of AIA’s Livable Communities Committee; president of the University of Maryland School of Architecture Alumni Association and a member of the Alumni Board of Directors; and, most recently, the Baton Rouge Growth Coalition Board of Directors and the USGBC – Louisiana Chapter Board of Directors. Mr. Medick currently serves as a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Residential Neighborhood Development Council.

Robert A. Peck

Mr. Peck is a co-leader of Gensler's Government & Defense practice. He served for eight years as Commissioner of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Public Buildings Service, responsible for design, construction, leasing, and management for more than 375 million square feet of space housing more than 1.1 million employees with an annual budget of more than $9 billion. He has been a land use attorney, commercial real estate mortgage banker and broker, and has also served as President of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and Vice President for Public Affairs at the American Institute of Architects.


He received his B.A. cum laude with distinction in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. from Yale Law School. A Gensler Principal, Bob has been a visiting Loeb Fellow at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and a visiting lecturer at Yale College. An Honorary Member of both the AIA and American Society of Landscape Architects, in 2012 he received the AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture. Mr. Peck received the 2011 Henry Hope Reed Award from the Driehaus Foundation and the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. He is a former president of the DC Preservation League and former member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.  

Abbey Oklak

Miss Oklak is an architectual and urban designer with the firm Cooper Carry.  She works on urban design, masterplans, and planning initiatives for both the public and private sectors as well as creating schematic drawings for individual residential, commercial and retail buildings. 

Previously, Miss Oklak completed the the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community (PFBC)'s Graduate Fellowship program where she developed a kitemarking scheme for PFBC, helped organize educational events for professionals and the public, and worked on multiple design projects in cities, such as Rushden and Truro. In her second year, Ms. Oklak was seconded to Stanhope Gate Architecture and Urban Design where she worked on restorations and renovations to traditional buildings in London. She also wrote a dissertation on the urban morphology of early American colonial towns. 

Miss Oklak graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture, and she received a Masters in Sustainable Architecture from the University of Wales.  She is AICP licensed and a LEED Accredited Professional.  She is also on the board of her Alexandria neighborhood civic association - the Braddock Metro Citizens' Coalition.

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