John Peterson, AIA, Founder & Presidentis Public Architecture’s design director, chief spokesperson and strategist. He is also the principal of Peterson Architects. John is a recipient of numerous design and social innovation awards and writes and speaks internationally about the role that the design of the built environment has in improving underserved communities. John has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. He serves on the board of Urban Solutions and the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and is an adjunct professor at California College of the Arts. 

Contact: john [at]


Amy Ress, Director, The 1% Program, is responsible for managing the expansion of The 1% program, launching new initiatives and projects, and creating partnerships. Her recent projects include Lights on Market Street, an arts and culture urban revitalization initiative that realized three site-specific temporary light installations and produced a case study on the partners, process, and outcome. Amy is public programming chair on the board of the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. Previously a design and research consultant for Hood Design and Culvahouse Consulting Group, she also worked in project management on the Better Streets Plan and the Great Streets Program at the SFDPW. Amy’s interest in the built environment solidified during her internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Venice Architecture Biennale where she studied distortion of architectural volume through photography. Returning to San Francisco she was the Architecture & Design Forum Coordinator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, supporting exhibitions, publications, and programs. Amy received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from San Jose State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.

 Contact: amy [at]

Jennifer Lau, Development Manager, cultivates new and existing partnerships and manages new business opportunities at Public Architecture. Previously, Jen was the Development Coordinator at New Profit Inc., a venture philanthropy firm based in Cambridge, MA, that provides strategic and financial support to social entrepreneur-led organizations. At New Profit, Jen worked closely with the senior leadership team on organization-wide fundraising efforts, including all development and investor relations activities for New Profit’s Pathways Fund, a public-private partnership that leverages a multimillion dollar federal grant to help at-risk youth achieve educational success and attain living wage employment. Jen has also contributed to the development of annual reports, exhibitions, and other projects through prior roles at the MIT Museum, which oversees the university’s numerous collections, and New Sector Alliance, a nonprofit that leverages talented young adults to provide capacity-building support to local organizations while honing and developing their leadership skills. Jen has a B.A. in Architectural Studies from Tufts University and studied urban communities in New York and Paris through Columbia University GSAPP’s Shape of Two Cities program.

Contact: jennifer [at]


Julie Leadbetter, Community Planning Director, manages a portfolio of design, planning, and strategy services. Julie brings over 15 years experience in the field of community development in the US and Latin America, working to strengthen housing, health, education, and economic opportunities. Most recently, Julie served as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives at the New York City Housing Authority. She’s an expert in leading models of supportive housing and accessible healthcare for homeless communities. In 2002, Julie co-founded the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, an integrated, multidisciplinary health and survival center for recently arrived immigrants and people living in the streets, shelters, and hotels of San Francisco. Julie earned a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, studying jointly at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has a Bachelor’s in Anthropology from Stanford University. 

Contact: julie [at]


Ezra Mauer, New Sector Alliance AmeriCorps Resident in Social Enterprise, is responsible for refinement and implementation of communications strategy around the 1% program. Ezra received a Bachelor of Arts in Middle East Studies from Brown University, where he conducted research examining the effects of the Israeli public education system on identity development of Israel’s Arab citizens. He was the Social Studies Community Fellow at Brown’s Swearer Center for Public Service. In that role, he oversaw after-school programing in two elementary schools. Prior to working with Public Architecture, he worked at J Street, a political advocacy non-profit, as a Field and Development Intern. 

Contact: ezra [at]


Neha BhargavaNew Sector Alliance AmeriCorps Resident in Social Enterprise, graduated from University of California, Irvine in 2012. Since then she has been exploring the non-profit sector and spent over six months as a Development Intern for Friends for Youth prior to joining New Sector Alliance. While with Friends of Youth, she managed the Silent Auction and Raffle for their 5th annual Nordstrom Fashion Show Fundraiser. She then joined VC Taskforce, an organization to serve the venture and entrepreneur community, as Operations Manager, in charge of all current and incoming programs. She is also a founding member of the San Jose/Silicon Valley City Year Associate Board. Neha is looking to leverage her relationship building and organizational skills on behalf of Public Architecture to help leave a lasting impact. 

Contact: neha [at]


Portraits taken by and courtesy of
Pamela Palma,

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