Meet our international team of data-geeks and city-lovers who want to make places better and improve quality of life!

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Mariela Alfonzo, Ph.D.

Founder and CEO

Mariela has over 20 years of expertise in the field of urban design and behavior research. In 2014, Mariela was recognized as one of Urban Land Institute’s 40 under 40 best young land use professionals around the globe. In 2013, Dr. Alfonzo was awarded a Fulbright to examine walkability in China. LinkedIn  CV


Michelle Woodhouse, MURP 

Chief Operating Officer

Michelle has over 14 years of experience working across non-profit, public and private sectors in a variety of leadership roles in the U.S. and the UK. Key former employers and clients include: City of Irvine, Forma Design, Design Council UK, and Technology Strategy Board/Innovate UK. 


Andy Likuski, MA

Chief Technology Officer

Andy led software development of UrbanFootprint at Calthorpe Analytics in Berkeley, CA. He's an urban planner and software developer who uses software technology to bolster the intrinsic benefits of the cities and other walkable settlement. Andy authors software and advocacy writing to further good urbanism.

Boston, NYC, Shanghai

Metro Detroit, MI

Oakland, CA & Oslo


Kaustubh Chaudhuri

Machine Learning Scientist

Kaustubh is an AI enthusiast. He completed his Masters in Computer Engineering from Chico State. He worked as a Software Developer for two years. The exposure to software, hardware and automation have given him the ability to prepare for this unique role where he applies his passion for Machine Learning and Deep Learning to make the team stronger.


Kelliann Beavers

Business Development Director

Kelliann is a doctoral candidate AND handles our customer development, admin, and essentially anything else the business needs to stay organized and thrive. She’s passionate about equitable, sustainable development that can mitigate climate change and make places better for all!


Taylor Higgins

Product Development Associate

Taylor is an architecture and urban design enthusiastWhile studying at Barnard College at Columbia University, Taylor volunteered for AIA's fundraising department and its kids architecture camp. She has three years of experience in sales and event marketing at startups across New York City and is growing her product development skills with our team.  



Various Locations



Anastasiia Pavlova

Research Assistant Intern

Anastasiia is a junior researcher in sustainable development and smart cities fields. She worked in a Chinese/Canadian Startup as an air quality data analyst and at the Shanghai University Smart City Research Center. Anastasiia received a scholarship for a one year exchange program in China where she is researching sustainable, innovative and walkable cities.

Shanghai, China



Research Assistants & Marketing Interns

We are currently seeking talented team members to join our team. Check out this link for details!


Advisors/ Mentors

Mike Blumenfeld

Mike works with startups like State of Place and entrepreneurs that are passionate about their products and services and who are open to exploring new and different alternatives to grow their businesses and making them profitable. He understands the challenges that modern entrepreneurs are facing.

David Wood

David Wood is the Director of the Initiative for Responsible Investment (IRI) at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, which is a part of the John F. Kennedy School of Management at the Harvard University. He facilitates change in landscape of community investing in the US, and impact investing and public policy.

Gilad Rosenzweig

Gilad is an architect and urban planner with two decades of experience in community development and urban tech. He is the Executive Director of DesignX - the venture accelerator of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. Gilad has worked on urban design and planning projects across the country, incl. district and master plans in Memphis, Reno, and across the greater Boston area. 


James Croke

Prior to joining State of Place, James worked as a Development Adviser with the High Potential Start-Up Unit in Enterprise Ireland, the start-up and export/trade development arm of the Irish Government. He directly managed a portfolio of over 60 clients in the cleantech and electronic sectors.


Katia Davis

Katia works at the UN Development Programme where she is strengthening the strategic positioning of the work on climate change, energy and urbanization in the sustainable development context. She is well aware of the challenges of rapidly growing cities around the world.


Kristen Day, Ph.D.

Kristen is a Professor in the Department of Technology, Culture and Society and Associate Dean of Academic Administration at the Tandon School of Engineering of New York University. She is a long-time research colleague and close friend of Mariela Alfonzo, the Founder of State of Place.


John Coe

John has almost 40 years of experience in real estate investment and finance. His passion is to advocate for quality land use and fair dealings, while providing enthusiastic service. John has worked with institutional investors, developers, real estate brokers, and mortgage bankers. He combines his experience to benefit his clients and non-profit activities with the Urban Land Institute.  


Michael Taytslin

Michael is Founder of MatchPoint International Inc. and former Chief Information Officer with PTC, an industry leader in CAD/CAM and PLM. Michael has managed the global client services of small, medium and large enterprise software development companies. He consults State of Place on optimizing operations, processes, and sales.



Blake Roberts, Ph.D.

Blake has 17 years of experience as a practicing planner, educator, and researcher, focused on community revitalization, cultural heritage, urban design, and environmental planning. Based in Davis, CA, he manages the Delta Heritage Area Initiative program at the Delta Protection Commission and is a principal of Downtowns Plus Consulting.


Gavin Lohry

Gavin spent six years in China working to address urban sustainability challenges with a focus on sustainable transport and urban planning. Before moving to China, Gavin served in the U.S. Air Force working on Geographic Information Systems, Construction and Planning.

Liv Anderman

Liv completed her legal training in one of the leading firms in London before co-founding 2-3 Hind Court, a niche service within the legal market, and moving to Portland, OR. She is passionate about business development and helps representing State of Place in the Northwest USA.


Semrin Aleckson

Semrin applied State of Place to research walkability and quality of life in two neighborhoods in Istanbul, Turkey, for her master’s dissertation at the London School of Economics. Previously, Semrin worked at Global Strategies and the U.S. Congress and graduated from George Mason University. 

Will Cook, MDS

Combining his experience from CNU and Sebastian Mariscal Studio, Will promotes the invaluable services that State of Place provides for planners, developers, and communities looking to improve walkability and financial success. He holds a Master's in Sustainable Design from the Boston Architectural College.


Yuliia Sergeeva

Yuliia recently completed her master's degree in mechanical engineering at Western Michigan University, sponsored by a Fulbright Scholarship. She enjoys performing engineering tasks as well as loves communicating with people, being creative, and developing new solutions to pervasive challenges.


Anna Maikova

Anna has implemented marketing strategies for American, Korean, and Russian companies and led marketing activities at State of Place. She completed an urban research program at Strelka Institute and earned a master's degree at the University of Missouri as Fulbright Scholar.