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Staff Directory

Ben Peterson (he/him)
Community Design Director
[email protected]
617-391-4014

Ben is a designer, educator, advocate, and convener. Ben joins the BSA from a long tenure as an Education Director and the Director of Gateway at the Boston Architectural College where he was responsible for the development and delivery of a design curriculum rooted in practice, civic engagement, and community-based design partnerships. Ben has collaborated with an array of neighborhood organizations, community partners, students and professional designers on projects that address sea level rise and climate resiliency, creative and equitable strategies for co-creative engagement, and interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the spaces and narratives that shape the experiences of the city’s most vulnerable populations. Ben received his undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College and a Master of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Billy Craig (he/him)
Managing Director
[email protected]
617-391-4018

Billy oversees many BSA businesses and staff, including membership, programs and events, corporate partnerships and external relations. He’s always looking at opportunities for new business and strategic growth, and happily works with the BSA’s many friends and partners.

Prior to joining the BSA, Billy worked at Utile and Machado Silvetti, focusing on the business side of architecture. He began his career in finance and occasionally practices real estate. He lives in Beverly with his two daughters where you’ll find them in the woods, the water, or up north in the mountains.

Eric White Hon. AIA (he/him)
Executive Director
[email protected]
617-391-4005

Eric came to the BSA in 2006 after working at Old Sturbridge Village and became the executive director in 2013. He is is focused on leading the BSA’s strategic agenda in advancing architecture, equity and environment, as well as fundraising, working with the board and organization leadership, and the business of the BSA. A Denison University graduate, Eric participated in the Getty Leadership Institute, focusing on financial, marketing, team-building and strategic planning management in 2000. He is on the 2021 AIA Board of Directors and is the past-president of AIA CACE, the governing body of AIA chapters. In his spare time he enjoys kayaking, woodturning and carving, gardening and family.

Erika Shea (she/her)
Senior Membership Manager
[email protected]

Prior to joining the BSA, Erika worked for a sustainable land investment firm and other nonprofits and as a swim coach. Her ambitious athletic regime—swimming, running, triathlons—coupled with Erika’s daily database and list-management vitamins keep her and the BSA fit. She holds a BA from Clark University, where she double-majored in philosophy and government international relations. Erika is captivated by historical architecture and historic landscapes, such as the Boston Common and Public Gardens, and she loves being a mom.

Jennifer Effron (she/her)
Policy Director
[email protected]
617-391-4011

Jenny brings a collaborative approach to her role, using partnerships to help drive change at the intersection of policy and design. At the BSA she focuses on issues around housing, climate change, urban planning, equity and public appointments. She works with the state chapter on Massachusetts-wide legislative issues as well.

Jenny has a background in community development and affordable housing, as well as degrees in Urban Planning and Law. Before joining the BSA, she spent over 5 years as the Executive Director of a Main Streets organization in the South End of Boston, where she worked on neighborhood improvement projects, public park activation and small business assistance. While not at work, she spends time with her family exploring Cambridge and beyond and is always looking for family movie night ideas.

John Nunnari (he/him)
Executive Director, AIA Massachusetts
[email protected]
617-901-4685

A long-standing BSA member and active Codes Committee and Government Affairs Committee participant and BSA lobbyist, John worked at HMFH Architects for 15 years, specializing in public school construction. He holds a BA in design studies from Boston Architectural Center and also studied at Temple University and SUNY at Delhi. An avid golfer and skier, you may find him at the annual BSA Golf Tournament. He’s still trying to convince us to hold an annual BSA Ski Tournament, though.

Lesley D. Slavitt, PhD (she/her)
Managing Director
[email protected]
617-391-4029

Lesley oversees BSA’s operations and collaboratively leads institution-wide strategy and programs. Taking on a special assignment for the state of Michigan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lesley previously served as CEO of the Fiat Chrysler Foundation and COO of the Bank One Foundation, which she merged into the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. She was also head of civic affairs at Roosevelt University. Lesley received her PhD in planning from the Bartlett School of the Built Environment, University College London, an M.S. in Urban Planning and an M.S. in Historic Preservation, both from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Art History from the University of Michigan. She is a director of Open Doors Organization and the Urban Renaissance Center.

Li Lam (she/her/她)
Controller
[email protected]
617-391-4004

As the Controller, Li manages all the financial records and accounting needs at the BSA. She maintains a high standard in ensuring the quality and accuracy of her work, guaranteeing that it complies with the GAAP.

When not balancing the books, Li enjoys walking, hiking, and exploring as many lighthouses as possible.

Maaha Rafique (she/her)
Communications Specialist
[email protected]

(617) 391-4003

In her role as Communications Specialist, Maaha updates the BSA's website and social media accounts, coordinates E-communications, and manages the BSA's jobs board. Maaha graduated from Boston University in 2021, earning her BA in Political Science and English.

Maaha is passionate about social reform and interested in exploring the ways that architecture and design can help to build a more equitable society. In her free time she enjoys discovering new music, visiting Boston's record stores, and attempting to make a dent in her ever-growing to-read pile of books.

Madeleine Hykes (she/her)
Content Specialist
[email protected]
(617) 391-4002

As a Content Specialist, Madeleine manages special programs and oversees content related to the BSA’s Knowledge Communities. A graduate of McGill University, Madeleine received her Honours BA in Urban Systems and Human Geography.

Before joining the BSA, Madeleine worked as a Research Assistant at McGill University and as Program Coordinator for the City of Hartford's Love Your Block initiative. She is passionate about all dimensions of our built environments, with a particular commitment to participatory research methods, systems thinking, and accessible design. A flâneuse at heart, Madeleine enjoys experiencing the city from a pedestrian's perspective, though she is currently training for a 160km bike ride out to Cape Cod.

Maia Erslev (they/them or she/her)
Gallery Manager
[email protected]
617-391-4009

Maia manages all exhibitions hosted within the 7,000+ square feet gallery that is BSA Space. They develop programming and initiatives related to the exhibitions to enhance the visitor experience for everyone who walks through our doors.

A graduate of Smith College, Maia comes to the BSA with a degree in Anthropology with a dual minor in Landscape Studies and Museums. Their interests are varied and are tied together by a long-lasting interest in architecture and museums. When not in the office, Maia enjoys exploring Boston galleries & museums, searching for the best hand-pulled noodles in the city, and hanging out with their golden retriever puppy.

Paige McWhorter (she/her)
Assistant Director of Communications
[email protected]
617-391-4028

Paige joined the BSA in 2012 with the opening of the gallery and oversees BSA communications and marketing from the website to the newsletters in your inbox. She also has the pleasure of bringing you the brilliant minds and designs of our curators and thought leaders through BSA exhibitions.

Paige has a background in business and art and loves the opportunity to bring Boston residents and community members into the design world. Paige believes that design can save the world the same way that literature can—through the subsequent conversations that help to grow our understanding of our surroundings. Paige likes to spend her free time creating art, traveling, and exploring New England with her family.

Patricia Olshan (she/her)
Professional Program Manager
[email protected]
617-391-4017

Patricia manages many of the BSA professional programs, including the Client Conversations series, Homeowner’s Project Handbook, and the Race & Architecture platform. She also works with the Emerging Professionals creating opportunities for ARE prep, mentoring and training programs. She’s interested about the business side of practice and broadening the audience understanding of its impact.

Prior to the BSA, Patricia produced global design innovation and leadership programs and member partnerships at the Design Management Institute, as well as work in fine art publishing and media startups. An urbanite with lingering wanderlust, she lives for making to-do lists and searching the world for cheese boards.

Polly Carpenter FAIA (she/her)
Director of Public Programs
[email protected]
617-391-4023

As Director of Public Programs, Polly's work focuses on engaging a broad public in the design of the built world. The majority of her time is spent designing and facilitating experiences for K12 students to work directly with Architects in hands-on design activities. BSA youth education programming partners with the Boston Public Schools, the Cambridge Public Schools, Apprentice Learning, Autodesk and the Commonwealth Corporation among others.

Susan Green (she/her)
Committee Engagement and Technology Manager
[email protected]
617-391-4015

Susan oversees the activities of the BSA's 40+ knowledge communities and brings with her an extensive background in communications, design and operations management. Passionate about photography and architecture, she shares a unique view into the myriad ways the built environment is portrayed visually. She holds a BA in fine art and theatre art, is fond of modern design, independent films, her cottage home, and Bananas Foster.

Taylor Johnson (she/her)
Design Education Fellow
[email protected]
617-391-4016

Passionate about socio-political infrastructures and community-driven design, Taylor spends her time at the BSA focusing on design education as a key to activating youth’s agency in city building. Since graduating from Syracuse Architecture with a B.Arch in 2016, she has also taught the Innovators For Purpose’s teen design studio and is actively involved in multiple pro-bono groups as a designer and steering committee member. Away from the BSA, Taylor can be found tracing every bit of the city by foot— just be warned, her pace is brisk to say the least! 🏃

Wandy Pascoal (she/her/ela)
Housing Innovation Design Fellow
[email protected]
617-391-4019

As the Housing Innovation Design Fellow, Wandy has led the BSA's Future-Decker exploration and works closely with Jenny Effron on the BSA's Housing related work. Wandy spends her time existing at both and in between the BSA and the City of Boston’s Housing Innovation Lab, which co-host the fellowship.

Wandy was previously an architectural designer at Stull and Lee, Inc, and Madison Park Development Corporation, where she gained some understanding on the intersection of community development and design. She holds a BFA in architecture from UMass Amherst and an M. Arch from MassArt. Wandy is deeply interested in independent anti-colonial design, especially as it pertains to her native Angola.