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, Mary Anne will shape the Foundation’s strategic direction alongside Executive Director, Alexandra Lee. In addition, she will focus 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 recently 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, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Cornell University. Mary Anne serves as the Associate AIA Director and as a board member for the Boston Society of Architects.

Elaine Limmer

Vice Chair

Environmental & Social Resiliency

Elaine Limmer is a senior planner and project manager in both Sasaki’s Urban and Campus Studios. She brings her diverse experience related to community engagement and communications strategy to institutional and civic projects within the firm.

Elaine is committed to a place-based and community-informed approach to planning across project types and scales. She strives to create ambitious and evidence-based solutions that empower communities to shape the environment around them. Her experience working as a community organizer enables her to speak and listen across a variety of stakeholders and communities and adapt to diverse audiences.

She 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

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

Chris believes thoughtful design can inspire community, invigorate visitors, and improve the lives of everyday users, and that the scale and impact of indoor and outdoor sport facilities provide unique opportunities to plan and design environments that are healthy, responsible, and sustainable. He studies campus relationships and the impact of facilities on recruitment and performance, as well as on team and student development. Sports have always been a large part of Chris’s life, and he enjoys visiting facilities and attending athletics events to continue to learn from the environs and traditions of each institution’s unique culture.

Chris has over 30 years of professional experience. He 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 Dean’s Advisory Board for the Tulane School of Architecture, 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 is an architect an 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.

Tao Zhang


Urban Ecology & Global Perspective

Trained as an ecologist and landscape architect, Tao Zhang 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 science and always roots his design in deep understanding of the project’s socio-ecological system. He believes in designed spaces that are holistic in both aesthetics and functionality. Tao is an integral part of Sasaki’s strong international presence and has led and contributed to a number of award-winning projects.

Tao is a strong advocate for critical thinking and independent research to invigorate the profession. He has led research initiatives and collaborated with academic institutes on topics including post-occupancy metrics and environmental health.

Tao has published in peer-reviewed journals and speaks frequently at conferences around the world. Besides practice, he 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. 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


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.