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


Mariela Alfonzo, Ph.D.

Founder and CEO

Mariela has over 15 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


Location: Boston/New York City, U.S./ Shanghai, China


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. 


Location: Metro Detroit, MI, U.S.


Anna Maikova, MA

Strategic Marketing Director

Anna has developed marketing strategies for companies in the U.S., South Korea, and Russia. She completed an urban research program at Strelka Institute and earned a master's degree at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. At State of Place, Anna manages marketing, client reports, and design deliverables.


Location: Moscow, Russia


Daniel Ma

Research Assistant Intern

Daniel recently completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary, where he researched atmospheric and environmental physics. At State of Place, he gains research experience in urban data analytics.

Location: Calgary, Canada


Marcus Costa

Research Assistant Intern

Marcus worked in Public Administration for six years, accumulating experience & knowledge about government and urban policy. He's pursuing a master’s in Urban Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, focusing on economic development & real estate.

Location: Urbana-Champaign, IL, U.S.


Alli Torban

Research Assistant Intern

For the last seven years, Alli worked as a software tester for government clients, including the FBI and The Joint Staff Comptroller. Her love of using software for analysis led her to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence and work at State of Place.

Location: Metro Washington, D.C., U.S.


Sayali Kulkarni, MS

Research Assistant Intern

Sayali graduated with a master’s in Economics from Rutgers University.  She worked as a research assistant for two years, studying New York's land prices over time and space and was a part of economics impact studies. She wishes to work in the interdisciplinary area of urban economics, development, real estate and planning.

Location: New York City, NY, U.S.


Will Cook, MDS

Business Development Strategist

Combining his experience from the 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.

Location: Boston, MA, U.S.


Sankalp Gabbita

Data Scientist Intern

Sankalp is currently pursuing master's in Data Science and Business Analytics. Previously, he worked as an Analyst in Tata Consultancy Services. In the free time, Sankalp follows soccer and is a great movie buff. He joined State of Place to explore data science applications in urban planning.

Location: Charlotte, NC, U.S.


Taylor Higgins

    Marketing and Sales Intern

While studying at Barnard College | Columbia University, Taylor volunteered at AIA fundraising department and its architerture camp for kids. She has three years of experience in sales and event marketing at startups across NYC. Taylor is an urban design and architecture enthusiast excited about creating better places around the world!

Location: New York City, NY, U.S.



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.

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.


Andy Likuski

Andy is technical advisor to State of Place. Previously, he led software development of UrbanFootprint at Calthorpe Analytics in Berkeley, California. He is 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. 

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.



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. 


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 Downtown Plus Consulting.