Together we

strive to make collective impact

Sasaki Foundation Board of Directors

Incubator at Sasaki | Watertown, Massachusetts

our leadership

The Sasaki Foundation is governed by a board of trustees, with input from an advisory council, who represent a range of perspectives and professions, including designers, non-profit and civic leaders, educators, technologists, researchers, and others.

the board of trustees

Mary Anne Ocampo


Global Community Design & Social Justice

Mary Anne Ocampo practices as an urban design principal at Sasaki and lectures at MIT on subjects of urban resilience in socio-economically and environmentally vulnerable contexts. As Chair of the Board of Trustees, Mary Anne shapes the Sasaki Foundation’s strategic direction alongside Executive Director Jennifer Lawrence. In addition, she focuses on advocating for social justice through design for communities around the world, while simultaneously expanding the design profession to welcome more diverse perspectives.

Mary Anne’s professional practice spans the globe, from Afghanistan to the Philippines. In both design practice and academia she works to improve urban conditions by creating more liveable, sustainable, and equitable environments with the partnership of local communities, academia, government, private industry, and the broader design community. She published an in-depth article in The Plan on her Philippines work with the World Bank and MIT.

Mary Anne holds a master of architecture in urban design from Harvard University, a master of architecture from Cornell University, and a bachelor of architecture from the University of Kentucky. She has previously held teaching appointments at Syracuse University and Cornell University. Mary Anne previously served as Associate AIA Director and board member for the Boston Society of Architects.

Elaine Minjy Limmer

Vice Chair

Environmental & Social Resiliency

Elaine Minjy Limmer serves as the Downtown Denver Senior Parks Planner with the City of Denver. As vice chair of the Sasaki Foundation Board of Trustees, she brings her diverse experience related to community engagement and communications strategy in a variety of planning projects. Elaine is committed to a people-centered approach to planning, and believes that empowering a diversity of voices is critical to creating more inclusive communities.

Elaine received a master’s in city planning with an urban design certificate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor of arts in sociology from Tufts University.

John Cinkala


Non-Profit Management

John Cinkala has been involved in non-profit financial oversight for more than 15 years. As Treasurer of the Sasaki Foundation, John brings his experience in financial management and review from his previous roles as Chair and Treasurer of both the Arlington Center for the Arts and Boston by Foot. He currently serves as a Trustee for Boston by Foot and is a current member of the Boston Society of Architects’ audit committee.

John spent 20 years as a tax attorney for State Street Corporation and is currently working for the Department of Treasury. John has always worked to utilize his professional skill set for the benefit of non-profit organizations.

Chris Sgarzi


meaningful collaboration & responsible design

Chris Sgarzi is a principal and leader in Sasaki’s sports practice. He is highly regarded for programming, planning, and designing athletics, recreation, and student life facilities. Chris builds enduring relationships with clients through careful listening, creative planning, and attention to detail.

Chris believes that excellent sports design improves community, invigorates visitors, and inspires and improves the lives of regular users. His research interests include studying the impact of facility improvements on recruitment and performance. He often visits campuses— camera in tow—to learn from the social environs, traditions, and nuances that shape an institution’s image and culture. Chris enjoys the partnership that is fostered at Sasaki and all that it offers his clients, especially the comprehensive approach to integrating site and building planning with architecture.

Chris has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in architecture from Tulane University and studied for a year at the Architectural Association in London. He is a member of the Tulane University School of Architecture Advisory Board, a LEED AP, an active member of SCUP, and a licensed architect in multiple states.

Meredith McCarthy


Design Education & Social Justice

Working in both commercial and higher education practice groups, Meredith McCarthy is an architect and senior associate at Sasaki, with extensive experience ranging from programming through construction and implementation of the built design.

Meredith enjoys the problem-solving challenges that design presents, as well as the client relationships that emerge from meeting those challenges together. Meredith is also the staffing coordinator for Sasaki’s architecture discipline, managing 90 staff and over 50 projects a year, and plays an active role in Sasaki’s Diversity Committee.

Meredith has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in architecture from Roger Williams University and is an alum of the SPARK Boston Council.

Tao Zhang


Urban Ecology & Global Perspective

Tao Zhang practices as a landscape architecture and ecology principal at Sasaki. Trained as an ecologist and landscape architect, Tao is active in the arena of ecological design, striving to bridge the gap between practice and science. As well as being mindful and invested in creative expression, he seeks inspiration from a deep understanding of the project’s socioecological context.

Tao is an integral part of Sasaki’s strong global practice and has led a number of award winning projects and research initiatives. He is a strong advocate for critical thinking and independent research to invigorate the profession. Tao has been published in peer-reviewed journals and speaks frequently at conferences around the world.

Besides practice, Tao has taught landscape architecture at Rhode Island School of Design and has been a visiting studio critic at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, and Boston Architectural College. Tao is a LEED AP ND and a SITES AP. He holds a master of landscape architecture and a master of science in sustainable systems from the University of Michigan, and degrees in landscape ecology and natural resources from Fudan University in Shanghai.

Advisory Council

Pradeep Aradhya

Novus Laurus LLC

Eran Ben-Joseph

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Alice Brown

boston harbor now

Stephanie Crimmins

Fidelity Investments

Mark Dawson


Gretchen Effgen


Adrian Gill

ad hoc industries

Nancy Goodman

environmental league of massachusetts

Stephen Gray

Harvard graduate school of design

James Miner

Sasaki, Chair, Sasaki Foundation Advisory Council

Dan O’Brien

Boston Area Research Initiative, Northeastern University

Cynthia Silva Parker

Interaction Institute for Social Change


Jennifer Lawrence

Executive Director

Jennifer Lawrence is an experienced leader in nonprofit management, community development, and youth engagement who brings a deep understanding of urban planning, community engagement, and design thinking to the role of Executive Director for the Sasaki Foundation. Jennifer guides the Sasaki Foundation in expanding upon a robust agenda and program offerings and hopes to build further collaborations in the community.

Jennifer previously served as Sustainability Planner at the City of Cambridge, Executive Director of Groundwork Somerville, and co-facilitator of various collaborations in the City of Cambridge, including the Community Health Improvement Plan, Food and Fitness Policy Council, and Making Connections Training Program of the Community Engagement Team.

An active community leader, Jennifer has previously served in roles with the City of Somerville on the Somerville Climate Forward Steering Committee, the Smart Growth America Union Square LOCUS committee, and Board President of Somerville Local First and Groundwork Somerville. Jennifer currently serves on the Board of Directors for Naveo Credit Union and Groundwork Somerville, the Tufts University Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Advisory Board as well as a senior fellow at the Environmental Leaders Program. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Music from William Smith College and a Master of Arts from Tufts University Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. She continues her own creative practice as an active member of Tongue in Cheek, a vocal group based in Somerville.

Anna Scherling

Executive Assistant

Anna Scherling joined the Sasaki Foundation in September 2018 as Executive Assistant. Anna specializes in organization and editing, with more than a decade of experience. She provides administrative support for the Executive Director and board, and provides day-to-day management for the Sasaki Foundation Design Grants, public programming, and design education initiatives.

Anna also serves as studio assistant at Sasaki, supporting the firm’s landscape architecture, civil engineering, and ecology practices.

Anna holds a bachelor of arts in English from Kansas State University and a professional certificate in copyediting from Emerson College. Since 2011, Anna has volunteered with REUNION in the DR, a long-term partnership with local leaders to support and uplift the trash dump community of Santa Lucia outside Santiago, Dominican Republic.