M.R.P. Young Alumni Career Panel

AAP Connect Professional Development Series

Join us for dinner and an informal conversation with young M.R.P. alumni and learn about life after college and jobs and careers in the field of city and regional planning.

Taru (M.R.P. '15)

Taru is a planner/urban designer at CivicMoxie who brings an enthusiasm for inclusive, extensive planning and design expertise to the team. She has an undergraduate degree in architecture from JMI, India; and a master's in city and regional planning from AAP. In the recent years of her career, she has worked on multi-scalar projects as an architect, urban designer, urban planner, researcher, and project manager. She is passionate about community-based inclusive design and building livable and resilient neighborhoods. Her projects encompass multiple categories and contexts, including public space activation, affordable housing, and slum upgrading plans in South Asia and Southeast Asia as well as community revitalization plans in the U.S. Her research focuses on communities under structural conflict and threat, and how various actors in planning and governance — including the state and civil society — negotiate implementation and bridge systemic and societal divides.

Akshali Gandhi (M.R.P. '15)

Gandhi works as a transportation planner for the City of Pittsburgh's Department of City Planning. As part of her job, she conducts day-to-day development and zoning review, but also researches long-range policy to help make the city's streets safe for all. This past spring, she cowrote Pittsburgh's Complete Streets Policy, which was recently adopted by the city's planning commission. Gandhi graduated from AAP's M.R.P. program in 2015, where she participated in a semester at AAP NYC. She also holds a bachelor's degree in community and regional planning from Iowa State University and has interned in various sectors of planning including public, private, and non-profits. Gandhi is passionate about making mid-sized cities more walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly, and often gets lost navigating Pittsburgh's hilly street grid.

Lindsay Johnson (M.R.P. '15)

In her role at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC), Lindsay Johnson has managed and supported economic and workforce development projects across the U.S. She has also developed and delivered numerous labor market information (LMI) training courses geared toward community college, economic development, and workforce development professionals. Additionally, she supports association management activities for the Council for Community and Economic Research, the LMI Institute, and the Projections Managing Partnership — all organizations under CREC management. Prior to attending AAP, Johnson worked at a staffing and career transition firm based in Rochester, New York.

Jen Rowe (M.R.P. '15)

Rowe is a planner committed to helping people in the Boston region have a hand in shaping their shared transportation system. After graduating with a B.A. in environmental science from Williams College, Rowe interned at the Boston Cyclists Union, where advocating for safer everyday cycling led her to the planning profession. At AAP, Rowe concentrated on engagement in planning processes. Her exit project explored how planners and designers harness shared visualization to improve participatory design processes. After graduating CRP in May of 2015, Rowe received funding to collaborate on design/build landscape projects in Croatia. She now manages public participation for the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization — engaging people, organizations, and communities in the allocation of federal transportation funding.