PLR Symposium 2013


Richard BaronRichard D. Baron
Chairman & CEO, McCormack Baron Salazar

Mr. Baron is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of McCormack Baron Salazar in St. Louis, Missouri. Since the company began in 1973, it has developed 146 projects in 35 cities with development costs in excess of $2.4 billion which includes more than 16,000 residential units and 1.28 million square feet of commercial space. The firm's management portfolio includes nearly 13,500 residential units.

In October 2004, Richard Baron received The Urban Land Institute J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. The Nichols Prize was established by the Nichols family in 2000 to recognize individuals whose career has demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards of responsible development. Mr. Baron was the fifth recipient of this prestigious award.

Mr. Baron serves on the Executive Committee of the Regional Chamber and Growth Association, and on the Boards of St. Louis Downtown Partnership, Downtown Now!, and The Center of Contemporary Arts (COCA). He is also on the Board of Trustees at St. Louis University. He is a past-board member of John Burroughs School and a past-member of Washington University's George Warren Brown School of Social Work National Council.

He is currently on the Advisory Board for the Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy of The Brookings Institution, and is an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Mr. Baron is the founder and developer of The Center of Creative Arts (COCA), in University City, Missouri. COCA is a community-based visual and performing arts center that serves more than 50,000 children and adults annually. He was the co-founder and co-chairman of the Vashon Education Compact, a partnership of the St. Louis Public Schools and major corporations. The Compact worked to transform ten low-performing public schools in the City of St. Louis into high-achieving schools.

Mr. Baron is a graduate of Oberlin College and holds a masters degree in political science from the University of California-Berkeley and a law degree from the University of Michigan. Mr. Baron has been awarded honorary degrees from Oberlin College and from St. Louis University.

Barbara BezdekBarbara Bezdek
Professor of Law, University of Maryland Carey School of Law

On the faculty at University of Maryland Carey School of Law since 1988, Professor Bezdek combines her interest in the legal foundations of social change with courses designed to help students link theory and practice. Prior to joining the Maryland faculty, she worked as a public interest attorney in Washington, D.C., where she represented neighborhoods, tenant associations and housing cooperatives and litigated cases related to public health & safety and corporate responsibility.

Professor Bezdek frequently teaches Property and Real Estate Transactions. She regularly teaches the clinical seminar, Legal Theory and Practice: Community Development. Students in this experiential seminar assist clients in low-income communities through legal strategies that support the community's self-determination of revitalization objectives. Her LTP students have had lasting impact as counsel to community development corporations, local schools and youth programs, public housing tenants, and transitional housing providers; and developed the legal framework for Baltimore's Alley Gating and Greening Ordinance which allows neighbors to re-create grim alleys into communal green spaces.

Professor Bezdek's scholarship and teaching explore ways to expand legal opportunities and practical capabilities of disenfranchised communities to participate politically and economically in the public-private redevelopments that impact them. Her most recent publications examine public interests and community claims in urban redevelopment projects. In 2010, she co-edited HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (4th ed. 2010) (with Kushner et al), and contributed the chapter Community Development and Revitalization to that textbook; and also published Community Recovery Lawyering: Hard Lessons from Post-Katrina Mississippi, DePaul Journal of Social Justice (Fall 2010) (with Mississippi Center for Justice colleagues). Her proposal, Putting Community Equity in Community Development: Resident Equity Participation in Urban Redevelopment, was published in AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS, Malloy & Davidson, 2009.

Professor Bezdek was named a U.S. Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Law in 2010-2011, which enabled her to teach land use, law and community rights in economic development, at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and lecture in many cities throughout the People's Republic of China. Bezdek was the founding faculty advisor for the Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class (formerly known as Margins). She was a founder and board chair of the Faith Fund Inc., a community development loan fund formed by an interfaith consortium in Central Maryland to address the credit needs of local housing and facilities developers. She received the University of Maryland's Public Servant of the Year Award in 2005. She serves on the advisory committee for Community Greens, an Ashoka Foundation initiative to extend the success of our pilot alley-greening effort in Baltimore.

Barbara Bezdek received her J.D. at Columbia University, and her LL.M. at Georgetown.

Sarah CoffinSarah Coffin
Associate Professor of Urban Planning & Public Policy Studies, Saint Louis University
Director, Urban Planning & Real Estate Development Program

Dr. Sarah L. Coffin is an associate professor of urban planning at Saint Louis University in the Center for Sustainability where she directs the masters in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development Program. Additionally she is a faculty associate in the Masters of Sustainability program. She teaches four graduate-level courses that include the Planning and Development Studio, Environmental Planning, Sustainability and the Built Environment, and Theory and Foundations of Planning. Her current research focuses on the role that evidence plays in driving policy decisions and how science informs the policy debate. Specifically, she is interested in understanding at what level do policy makers understand the drivers of land use change in urban areas and how that impacts local industrial land use decisions. Additionally, she is interested in understanding the impacts of brownfields on weak market economies and how common development tools like tax increment financing and tax credits might be further exacerbating the spatial inequalities in these post-industrial regions.

Prior to arriving in St. Louis, Dr. Coffin spent two years at the University of Louisville working for the EPA’s Environmental Finance Center in Region 4 as a post-doctoral researcher where she developed the brownfield frameworks she currently uses to analyze communities. While there she additionally provided technical assistance to area communities, developing policy guidance on regulatory takings, smart growth legislation, and the various ways in which communities and researchers have framed the urban sprawl debate. Dr. Coffin holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master's degree in Urban Planning, Design, and Development from Cleveland State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Lake Erie College. Her hobbies include cooking, gardening, and exploring urban places and she remains an avid supporter and fan of her hometown, Cleveland, OH.

Bob FoxBob Fox
Owner & CEO, NewSpace, St. Louis, Mo.

Bob founded NewSpace Closet Interiors in 1984, the first of its kind in the St. Louis region. Today NewSpace, Inc. is also a full service contract furniture dealer and provides fixtures to the retail trade.

Bob is a native of St. Louis, Missouri, served in The United States Air Force, graduated with a BS in Business and Economics from Drury University and received his MBA from Saint Louis University, where he has served on the Board of Trustees since 2006.

In 1984 Bob married Maxine Clark, a May Company executive who went on to become President of Payless ShoeSource and then in 1997 found Build-A-Bear Workshops. In 2005 Bob and Maxine created the Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Family Foundation to support the St. Louis community in areas vital to regional growth and prosperity.

Bob and Maxine are founding sponsors of Teach For American in the St. Louis region and of KIPP Inspire the first Knowledge is Power Program charter schools in St. Louis. In 2006 they funded the Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. They also endowed the Chair of the Dean of the Goldfarb School of Nursing and established a professorship in the name of Raymond and Alberta Slavin at the Saint Louis University. Bob and Maxine are recipients of the 2011 Jane and Whitney Harris Community Service Award.

Bob is the founder and Chair of the Board of Casa de Salud and Chair of the Board of inspireSTL. He serves on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Taskforce on Immigration for the Midwest and on the Steering Committee of the St. Louis Regional Taskforce on Immigration and Innovation.

Bob is a member of the Advisory Board of the Michael and Barbara Newmark Institute for Human Relations, and is a founding member of the Gephardt National Council for Public Service at Washington University. He also serves as the Chair of the Education Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee of the St. Louis Zoo.

Bob is the recipient of the inaugural St. Louis Harvard Club Community Service Award. In 2011 he received the Hispanic Leaders Group “Premio Esperanza – Hope Award” the St. Louis Award. In 2012 he received the St. Louis World Trade Center’s Global Ambassador Award and was inducted into the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University Smurfit-Stone Entrepreneurial Alumni Hall of Fame.

John GallagherJohn Gallagher
Reporter, Detroit Free Press
Author of "Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City"

John Gallagher is a veteran journalist and author whose latest book, “Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City,” was named by the Huffington Post as among the best social and political books of 2010. John is a native of New York City. He joined the Detroit Free Press in 1987 to cover urban and economic redevelopment efforts in Detroit and Michigan, a post which he still holds. His other books include “Great Architecture of Michigan” and, as co-author, “AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture.” John and his wife, Sheu-Jane, live along Detroit’s east riverfront.

Colin GordonColin Gordon
Professor of History, University of Iowa
Author of "Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City" 

Colin Gordon is Professor of History at the University of Iowa, a researcher in the Social Science Policy group with University of Iowa's Public Policy Center, and a senior research consultant with the Iowa Policy Project. His research and teaching interests focus on the history of public policy in the United States. He is the author of New Deals: Business, Labor and Politics, 1920-1935 (Cambridge University Press, 1994), Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health Care in Twentieth Century America (Princeton University Press, 2003), and Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). His recent work traces the transformation of metropolitan St. Louis in the 20th century, focusing on local regulation of land use, including restrictive deed covenants, real estate restrictions, and municipal zoning. His 2008 book (Mapping Decline) is accompanied by two websites: Mapping Decline presents four interactive series of maps, each touching on a major theme developed in the book; Mapping Decline@WorldMap display a wider selection of historical and geospatial data. Colin Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990.

Dennis KeatingW. Dennis Keating
Levin College Distinguished Professor; Director of the Master of Urban Planning, Design and Development Program, Cleveland State University

Dennis Keating is a Levin College Distinguished Professor at Cleveland State University. He holds a joint faculty appointment in the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He is Director of the Master of Urban Planning, Design and Development (MUPDD) Program. He formerly served as Chair of the Department of Urban Studies, Director of the Office of Student Services, Acting Director of several graduate programs, and Associate Dean and Acting Dean of the College of Urban Affairs. Dr. Keating has been President of the Housing and Built Environment Research Council of the International Sociological Association. He teaches courses on housing, neighborhood development, urban planning, and land use law, as well as the Planning Capstone Studio, the undergrad Senior Seminar, and Contemporary Urban Problems. In the Fall 2008 and 2010 semesters, he taught a new course on the housing foreclosure crisis (Neighborhood Development). He has published widely in these fields.

Dr. Keating's most recent research has been on the mortgage foreclosure crisis and its aftermath, including the responses of cities like Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Land Bank. In the Fall 2003, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow.

Dr. Keating received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from University of California at Berkeley and his J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Jim KellyJames Kelly
Clinical Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School

James Kelly is Clinical Professor of Law at the Notre Dame Law School, where he teaches, researches, and practices community development law. Prior to joining the law school faculty in 2011, Jim was Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law and Visiting Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law. At Baltimore, Jim directed and taught in the Community Development Clinic, while also teaching Professional Responsibility, Jurisprudence and Real Estate Finance. In Spring 2011, he taught Property and Legal Writing II at W&L.

Prof. Kelly earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1987 and his J.D. from Columbia in 1994. Before going into teaching, Professor Kelly worked, as Executive Director of Save A Neighborhood, Inc. and Legal Consultant for Baltimore's Project 5000, to assist the city government and community groups in acquiring clear title to vacant houses and vacant lots. He previously worked as a Staff Attorney for the Community Law Center, serving Baltimore nonprofits in their community revitalization efforts. From 1994 to 1999, he represented and counseled tenants and tenant groups for the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp., where his work was funded by the Skadden Fellowship Foundation.

Prof. Kelly has published several law review articles on community control of land resources through title-clearing litigation and community land trusts. His scholarship has appeared in the Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law, St. John's Law Review, University of Cincinnati Law Review, Saint Louis University Public Law Review, and DePaul Law Review.

Prof. Kelly started and runs the Community Development Clinic at the Notre Dame Clinical Law Center. This new NDLS clinic provides students with supervised legal practice experience representing nonprofits and small businesses in transactional matters, including corporate formation, tax exemption, risk management planning, regulatory compliance, and real estate transfers.

Alan MallachAlan Mallach
Non-resident Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution

Alan Mallach is a non-resident senior fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program of The Brookings Institution and visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. A city planner, writer and consultant on housing, land use, and urban affairs, he has been engaged as practitioner, advocate, and scholar in the fields of housing, planning, and community development for nearly forty years. During that period, he has made significant contributions in many areas, including the development of affordable and mixed income housing, community development, neighborhood revitalization, and community schools. In recent years, he has devoted his attention to developing strategies for the revitalization of distressed older cities and inner-city neighborhoods with particular emphasis on issues of equity and social inclusion, and on the neighborhood and property impacts of the burgeoning foreclosure crisis.

From 1990 to 1999 he was Director of the Department of Housing & Development in Trenton, New Jersey, responsible for the city’s housing, redevelopment, and economic development activities. He was responsible for starting more than 1,200 housing units, converting the historic John A. Roebling Works into a modern mixed use complex, fostering economic development projects that brought over 1,500 jobs to the city, and implementing an innovative strategy for reclaiming the city’s older industrial sites which led to Trenton’s designation as one of only 16 cities in the nation recognized as Brownfields Showcase Communities by the Federal government.

Before taking that position, he was a planning and real estate consultant, engaged both in affordable housing development and in framing creative land use planning efforts on the local and regional level. He put together the first inclusionary housing development in New Jersey following the landmark Mount Laurel II decision, and has been closely identified with innovative strategies for developing affordable housing and mixed-income communities. Other positions he has held include Research Director of the New Jersey County & Municipal Government Study Commission, and Assistant Dean of Livingston College at Rutgers University. From 1967 to 1971 he held various positions in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

He has been recognized with the Paul Davidoff Award by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association, named Citizen of the Year by the New Jersey Society of Architects, and honored with the Environmental Quality Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2003 he was named a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners in recognition of his lifetime achievements as a leader in the city planning profession.

He is a visiting professor in the graduate city planning program at Pratt Institute in New York, and has taught at Rutgers University and the New Jersey School of Architecture. He has published numerous articles on housing, community development and land use, and his books Inclusionary Housing Programs: Policies and Practices (1984) and Bringing Buildings Back: From Abandoned Properties to Community Assets (2006) are both recognized as the standard works on their respective subjects. His most recent book, Rebuilding America's Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland was published in 2012 by the American Assembly at Columbia University. He is a resident of Roosevelt, New Jersey, and holds a B.A. degree from Yale College.

Sandra MooreSandra M. Moore
President, Urban Strategies, Inc., St. Louis, Mo.

As President of Urban Strategies, Sandra leads a team of professionals working in communities across the United States where mixed income housing communities have recently been completed or are in development. They help residents and community stakeholders transform distressed urban core communities into vibrant, safe residential neighborhoods with new housing, good schools, strong institutions and a range of human service supports and amenities.

Ms. Moore formerly served as the CEO of the Missouri Family Investment Trust, a public-private partnership entity leading Missouri's multi-system reform efforts. As CEO she was responsible for helping communities across the state, develop, implement and evaluate strategies to improve education, health, mental health, human resources and economic development outcomes for vulnerable Missouri families.

Prior to joining the Family Investment Trust, Ms. Moore was Vice President of St. Louis 2004, Inc., an all-out, citizen-based effort to make the St. Louis Region a recognized leader in the 21st century by accomplishing major projects. She is the former Director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) where she served as a member of Governor Mel Carnahan's cabinet, and a former administrative Judge with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Ms. Moore is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She received her J.D. degree from the School of Law in 1979 and a B.A. degree in Urban Studies in 1976.

Ms. Moore is committed to strengthening the growth and development of citizens and the fiber of the community. To that end, she serves as a member of the board for Advantage Capital, Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence Advisory Board, Clear Corp USA, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable, Washington University National Law Council and the YWCA -Metro St. Louis.

Tino OchoaConstantino Ochoa Jr.
Associate, Bryan Cave LLP
President, Old North St. Louis Restoration Group

Tino Ochoa is a member of the Real Estate and Banking, Business & Public Finance client service groups at Bryan Cave LLP. Tino's real estate practice focuses on the areas of development, acquisition, disposition, finance, and land use of industrial properties and office properties. In addition, he has represented banks and other financial institutions in structuring and documenting a variety of lending transactions.

During law school, Tino interned at the Community & Economic Development Clinic. Prior to law school, Tino worked in social services for six years at the Family Resource Center in St. Louis.

Tino has served as the Board President for the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group since 2007. He and his family have lived in the Old North community since 2003.

Tino received his J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and his A.B. from the University of Chicago.

Peter SalsichPeter Salsich Jr.
McDonnell Professor of Justice in American Society, Saint Louis University School of Law

Professor Peter W. Salsich joined the SLU LAW faculty in 1969 after two years with the Missouri Office of State and Regional Planning, a year in private practice, and a year as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of St. Louis (now Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM)). For more than 40 years, Salsich has devoted his scholarly work to exploring the relationship of land use laws to affordable housing and urban redevelopment.

While a Legal Services attorney, Professor Salsich collaborated with former state representatives Charles Valier and Jack Schramm in the drafting of legislation to create the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC). The Missouri General Assembly approved the commission in 1969 and Professor Salsich became its first chair. Since its inception, MHDC has invested almost $4 billion in the production of affordable rental housing and provided homeownership opportunities for thousands of families covering every county of the state.

Professor Salsich is the former chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, former chair of the Ecumenical Housing Production Corporation (now Beyond Housing, Inc.), and former board president of LSEM. He is also a former editor of the ABA’s Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. Salsich was chair of former Mayor Freeman Bosley’s Housing Task Force and a member of the Mitchell-Danforth Task Force on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. He served as co-chair of the FOCUS St. Louis Affordable Workforce Housing Task Force.

Professor Salsich is a co-author of casebooks in Housing Law, Land Use Regulation, Property Law, and State and Local Government Law, as well as more than 30 articles. He currently teaches Property Law, Land Use Control, and Housing and Community Development, and has taught Contracts, Legal Profession, State and Local Government Law, and Real Estate Transactions, as well as interdisciplinary courses, Urban/Housing Issues Symposium and Social Responsibility and the Professional. He has taught a Comparative Land Use and Development Law course in the Law School’s Madrid program. In addition to teaching, Salsich has served as the associate dean for academic affairs and student services and has a joint appointment in the Department of Public Policy Studies in the College of Public Service.

J.S. Onesimo SandovalJ.S. Onesimo Sandoval
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Saint Louis University

J.S. Onésimo (Ness) Sandoval is an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Saint Louis University. Professor Sandoval's primary research interests cover spatial demography, urban sociology, social-environmental synthesis, spatial criminology, and Latino sociology. He is currently working on several research projects: the spatial hierarchy of cities, neighborhood diversity and residential segregation; Pan-Latino identity and neighborhoods, Latino demographic transitions, the demographic transitions of immigrants, and Latino quality of life.

Professor Sandoval has organized his work to examine the social, economic, and cultural life of the metropolis and to analyze the social and economic processes that influence urban and rural demographic transitions with a particular focus on Latino and immigrant populations. His research projects are unified by an underlying theoretical concern with differentiation, stratification, and the recognition of social, cultural, and symbolic capital, as well as by a methodological pluralism. The projects are designed to foster a dialogue for a new urban sociology that captures the diversity of social life, social suffering, racial harmony and discord, and the unique urban experience.

Professor Sandoval received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Laura SchwarzLaura Schwarz
Associate, Reno & Cavanaugh, PLLC, Washington, DC

Laura Schwarz is an attorney with Reno & Cavanaugh, PLLC in Washington, D.C.. She represents public housing authorities across the country on a variety of matters, particularly in the development of mixed-finance affordable housing. Laura also represents clients in the use of public housing capital and operating subsidies, HOPE VI funds, HOME, Community Development Block Grant funds, and other state and federal sources. Laura's recent closings include a 65-unit development in Ohio, a 298-unit development in Indiana, and a 50-unit development in upstate New York.

In addition to her transactional work, Laura has participated in panel discussions relating to public-private partnerships and has published a number of articles about the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and affordable housing generally.

Laura received her J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Todd SwanstromTodd Swanstrom
Des Lee Endowed Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Dr. Todd Swanstrom joined the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2008 as the Des Lee Endowed Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration. This is a joint appointment with the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and Policy.

Prior to joining UMSL, Swanstrom was Professor of Public Policy Studies at Saint Louis University. From 1982 – 2001, he was Professor of Political Science at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, State University of New York at Albany. He has also worked as a neighborhood planner for the City of Cleveland and as Director of Strategic Planning for the City of Albany.

Dr. Swanstrom written or edited seven books, including Place Matters: Metropolitics for the Twenty-first Century (University Press of Kansas, 2004), co-authored with Peter Dreier and John Mollenkopf, which examines the relationship between suburban sprawl and the decline of central cities and inner-ring suburbs. He is the co-editor (with Clarissa Hayward) of Justice and the American Metropolis (University of Minnesota Press, 2011).

Dr. Swanstrom has published articles on the prospects for alliances between central cities and distressed suburbs, economic segregation among municipalities, different ways of measuring poverty, employing women and minorities in construction, charter reform, and the development of regional greenways in St. Louis. He has published a number of articles and reports on local, state, and federal responses to the foreclosure crisis. He is a member of the MacArthur Foundation's Building Resilient Regions Network, which is working to build the field of regional studies and translate scholarly research for practitioners.

As part of his endowed professorship at UMSL, Dr. Swanstrom has helped to form the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, which is working to increase the capacity of community building nonprofits and improve the community development support system in the St. Louis metropolitan areas.

Dr. Swanstrom has a M.A degree in Political Science from Washington University and a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University.

Aaron TaylorAaron Taylor
Assistant Professor of Law, Saint Louis University School of Law 

Professor Aaron Taylor joined SLU LAW in 2011 after a career as a law school administrator. Most recently, he served as associate dean for admissions and scholarships at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. He joined Bowen from Harvard University, where he directed admissions for five master's degree programs in the Graduate School of Education. Prior to that, he practiced ethics law in Washington, D.C.

Professor Taylor received a bachelor of arts in political science from North Carolina A&T State University, a juris doctorate from Howard University, and a doctorate in higher education leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University. He was selected as a Harvard University administrative fellow in 2005.

Professor Taylor's primary teaching and research interests are in the area of education law. His research explores the intersection of education, politics, economics, and sociology. Specifically, he seeks to analyze the manners in which different facets of American society influence education policy. The ultimate aim of Professor Taylor's scholarship is to offer practical solutions to complicated problems.

Professor Taylor's professional affiliations are numerous. He has been very active with the Law School Admission Council, serving on its Finance and Legal Affairs Committee (2009-2011); its Annual Meeting and Educational Conference Planning Committee (2010-2011); and its Misconduct and Irregularities Subcommittee (2007-2009). From 2008-2011, he also served as chair of the Minority Network of Law School Admissions Professionals, and he recently completed a term on the executive council of the Young Lawyers Section of the Arkansas Bar (2008-2009). Professor Taylor is a member of the Florida Bar.

Robbyn WahbyRobbyn Wahby
Deputy Chief of Staff & Executive Assistant to the Mayor-Education, City of St. Louis

Mayor Francis Slay appointed Robbyn Wahby as executive assistant for education policy in December 2001. She provides direction to the City's K-12 school reform effort, and the expansion of the supply, quality and access of early childhood, after school and higher education opportunities. Robbyn directs the Mayor's efforts to expand public charter schools within the City of St. Louis. She also works with the City's private and parochial schools to assure a portfolio of quality options for St. Louis' families.

In addition to her work in education, Robbyn provides leadership to the Mayor's Commission on Children, Youth and Family. The Commission was established in 2005 to coordinates strategic efforts in the non-profit, philanthropic and government sectors to improve the outcomes for children within St. Louis City.  

Prior to joining the Mayor's Office, Robbyn was an associate with a statewide intermediary restructuring the delivery of children and family services in Missouri. She served as a program director and leadership trainer for a national public affairs organization and led a community school within the St. Louis Public Schools. Robbyn served six years as an elected member of the St. Louis Board of Education.

A graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she holds a Master of Public Policy Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She resides in the City of St. Louis with her husband and two children.

Catherine WernerCatherine Werner
Sustainability Director, Office of the Mayor, City of St. Louis

In 2009, Mayor Slay appointed Catherine Werner as the first Sustainability Director for the City of St. Louis. Catherine works on a wide variety of sustainability initiatives, including development and implementation of the City's first Sustainability Plan. Among other things, Catherine has overseen all aspects of the City's $3.7 Million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, the City's role in the $4.6 Million HUD-awarded Regional Sustainable Communities Planning Grant, and the City's participation in the nationwide STAR Community Rating System (sustainability framework, rating system and software platform).

Catherine has worked as an environmental attorney, sustainability/green building consultant, natural resources specialist, and environmental educator. She has extensive experience in real estate and ecological/green residential design issues, and has worked on sustainable development issues in both a planning and implementation capacity.

In the wake of the S&L crisis, Catherine served as the lead Environmental Counsel for the federal Resolution Trust Corporation in Washington, D.C. She has also worked at the local government level for the City of Chicago's Department of Environment. In working as Director of Land Protection for The Nature Conservancy of Missouri and Program Coordinator for the Chicago Wilderness biodiversity collaboration, Catherine obtained valuable experience in the natural resource world. She also founded a local nonprofit organization to raise awareness of the significance of tallgrass prairies. In the private sector, Catherine was the Environmental Specialist for a large-scale master planned sustainable community in northern Nevada. While in Reno, she also was the Sustainability Consultant to the provost at the University of Nevada. Catherine has taught environmental courses at various institutions of higher learning, and currently teaches "Environmental Law: Applications Toward Sustainability" at Washington University.

Catherine is a LEED Accredited Professional, obtained her J.D. from Washington University School of Law, and her undergraduate degree from Duke University.


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