Introducing the Loeb Fellowship
Class of 2025

the Loeb Fellowship
Class of 2025

Barbara Epstein
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The Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard GSD welcomes the Class of 2025 Loeb Fellows.

These visionary practitioners and activists are transforming public spaces and urban infrastructure, rectifying health and environmental injustices, addressing housing needs, and preserving cultural, natural, and architectural heritage. They are inspired and inspiring mid-career professionals who come from diverse backgrounds around the world but share passion and purpose—to strengthen their abilities to advance equity and resilience and to harness the power of collective action.

During their ten-month residency at Harvard GSD, Loeb Fellows immerse themselves in a rich academic environment, auditing courses at Harvard and MIT, exchanging insights, and expanding professional networks. They engage actively with Harvard GSD students and faculty, participate as speakers and panelists at public events, and convene workshops and other activities that encourage knowledge sharing and creation. Throughout, Loeb Fellows consider how they might refocus their careers and broaden the impact of their work.


Composite headshots of 2025 Loeb Fellows. From left: (top) Mariana Alegre, Pierre-Emmanuel Becherand, Dr. Leanne Brady, Shana M. griffin, Tawkiyah Jordan; (bottom) Nikishka Iyengar, Tosin Oshinowo, Sahar Qawasmi, Matt Smith, Tunde Wey.

From left: (top) Mariana Alegre, Pierre-Emmanuel Becherand, Dr. Leanne Brady, Shana M. griffin, Tawkiyah Jordan; (bottom) Nikishka Iyengar, Tosin Oshinowo, Sahar Qawasmi, Matt Smith, Tunde Wey.

The Loeb Fellows are:

Mariana Alegre
Mariana Alegre is a passionate city designer, community engager, connection maker, and public space defender from Lima, Peru. She is founder and executive director of Sistema Urbano, a Latin American urban ecosystem where she tackles climate injustice, build community resilience, and redress urban inequality through evidence based urban research (Lima Cómo Vamos), citizen led public spaces (Ocupa Tu Calle), younger urban generation empowerment (Nodal), and socio-ecological urbanism (Clima Urbano).

Pierre-Emmanuel Becherand
As head of design, culture, and urban planning for the Grand Paris Express since 2011, Pierre-Emmanuel Becherand has been guiding the largest current urban project in Europe. He has overseen scores of architectural agencies and over a hundred artists in the design of new metro stations, with permanent artworks and cultural events calculated to engage local community members in the process.

Leanne Brady
As a health systems activist and filmmaker embedded in the public ambulance service in Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Leanne Brady uses storytelling to grapple with the impact of apartheid on public infrastructure. Her work centers health equity through collaborative projects using insurgent planning to disrupt patterns of spatial apartheid, reimagining the public health system as a mechanism for restorative justice.

Shana M. griffin
Shana M. griffin is a feminist activist, sociologist, abolitionist, artist, and geographer based in New Orleans. Her practice is research based, activist centered, and decolonial, centering the experiences of Black women most vulnerable to violence and social exclusion. She is the founder of PUNCTUATE, a feminist initiative integrating critical research methods with activism and socially engaged art, and cofounder of Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, the first community land trust in New Orleans.

Nikishka Iyengar
Nikishka Iyengar is a social entrepreneur, organizer, and writer creating systems change at the nexus of economic and community development, racial justice, and climate action. As founder and CEO of The Guild in Atlanta, Nikishka develops community owned real estate as a pathway to self determination for marginalized communities. Her work challenges and bridges the gap between social entrepreneurship and social movements.

Tawkiyah Jordan
As an urban planner in New York City, Tawkiyah Jordan has been a reliable ally, political strategist, convener, and policy expert, leading environmental justice campaigns, advancing transportation and open space development, and championing inclusionary zoning. She continues to engage and amplify the voices of those often overlooked in decision making as vice president of housing and community strategy in Habitat for Humanity’s US office.

Tosin Oshinowo
Architect, designer and curator Tosin Oshinowo is the founder and principal of Oshinówò Studio, based in Lagos, Nigeria. Her civic, commercial, and residential projects are renowned for her socially responsive approach to architecture, design, and urbanism. Her curatorial work focuses on concerns of culture and identity, embodied in a contemporary perspective of the built environment in Africa and the broader global South.

Sahar Qawasmi
Sahar Qawasmi is an architect, restorer, cultural organizer, and forager, committed to the conservation of land, restoration of architectural heritage, and preservation of Palestine’s cultural histories as testaments of creative collective resilience. Sahar cofounded Sakiya – Art | Science | Agriculture in Ramallah, Palestine, to enable artists, farmers, activists, and students to rethink political and social agency and the space of the commons. In that context, Sahar explores architectural and cultural practices outside of capitalist, national, and institutional structures to reimagine collective liberation.

Matt Smith
Raised in the Rocky Mountain West, Matt Smith is committed to rural community development through planning, design, and construction processes that support and improve small communities. He cofounded and directs the infrastructure accelerator Building Common Ground in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to provide long term support to rural, remote, and Indigenous communities and their leaders.

Tunde Wey
Tunde Wey is a Nigerian social practice artist living between Lagos, Nigeria and Detroit, Michigan. Using food, film, finance, and investment capital, his work explores geographic and racial funding disparities, while seeking ways to resource these capital-underserved regions and communities.

“Every year, Loeb Fellows bring an incomparable breadth and diversity of experience to the GSD. They inspire us with their accomplishments, enrich conversation across our school, and challenge us to think critically about how designers can create a more just world,” says Sarah M. Whiting, Dean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture at Harvard GSD. “I could not be more excited to welcome the class of 2025 to campus next fall, and to see what they achieve during their year in residence with us.”

“The most valuable and provocative aspect of the Loeb Fellowship is who we identify and embrace as the very broad group of practitioners that shape our built and natural environment,” says Loeb Fellowship curator  John Peterson. “From writers to activists, and architects to physicians, the incoming class of 2025 is a wonderful expression of our value in diversity.” Peterson is an architect, activist, and a Loeb Fellow in the class of 2006.

The Loeb Fellowship continues its collaboration with the ArtLab at Harvard University to welcome Shana M. griffin as its 2025 Loeb/ArtLab Fellow. griffin will have access to studio space and will be able to engage with the ArtLab community and its intellectual resources and networks.

Bree Edwards, director of the ArtLab, a laboratory for research in the arts, says “I look forward to ways that the ArtLab’s creative community will engage with and learn from the cross-disciplinary practice of artist, activist, and scholar Shana M. griffin.” Now in its fourth year, the Loeb/ArtLab Fellowship’s previous recipients are Jordan Weber ’ ’22, Dario Calmese ’ ’23, and Joseph Zeal Henry ’ ’24.

After their year in residence at Harvard GSD, Loeb Fellows join a powerful worldwide network of over 450 lifelong Loeb Fellowship alumni including recognized leaders like Jordan Weber ’22, Rick Lowe ’02, Robin Chase ’05, Monica Rhodes ’22, Mary Means ’82, Eleni Myrivili ’20, Gisli Marteinn Baldurson ’15, Mark Lamster ’17, Janet Echelman ’08, and Andrew Freear ’18.

The Loeb Fellowship traces its roots to the late 1960s, when John L. Loeb directed a Harvard GSD campaign based on the theme of “Crisis.” Loeb saw the American city in disarray and believed Harvard could help. He imagined bringing promising innovators of the built and natural environment to Harvard GSD for a year, challenging them to do more and do better, convinced they would return to their work with new ideas and energy.