Steering Committee

Steering Committee

James P. Clark, AIA
Architectural Competitions
Chair

Adele Ashkar, ASLA
Landscape Design
Vice Chair

Lisa Benton-Short, Ph.D.
Geography

Kenneth R. Bowling
History

Kent Cooper, FAIA
Architecture

Judy Scott Feldman, Ph.D.
National Mall History

Richard Longstreth, Ph.D.
American Studies

Executive Director
Ellen Goldstein

Kay Murphy
Development

Adele Ashkar, ASLA, is associate professor and director of the Landscape Design Program at The George Washington University. Prof. Ashkar provides academic and administrative leadership, including the launch of a new master’s degree and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Landscapes (2007). She guides service learning initiatives that foster outreach to the community and has initiated partnerships with area institutions, educational, municipal and non-profit. Prof. Ashkar is very active in the academic and campus initiatives towards sustainability, playing design, advisory and curricular roles on various university projects and task forces. A past president of the Potomac Chapter, American Society of Landscape Architects, Prof. Ashkar is editor of a new book Time:Space: Landscape Architecture in the Nation’s Capital (2010). Prof. Ashkar earned a BFA in Landscape Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.


Lisa Benton-Short is an associate professor of Geography at the George Washington University. She is an urban geographer with an interest in the dynamics of the urban environment from many angles, including: planning and public space, urban sustainability, globalization, and immigration. Dr. Benton-Short has written extensively on the urban environment. She has authored several books, including: The Presidio: from Army Post to National Park (1998); Environmental Discourse and Practice (1999) and Environmental Discourse and Practice: a Reader (2000) and Cities and Nature (2007). She is currently writing a book that explores national memory, national identity and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. A native of California, she received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 1986 and her Ph.D. in geography from Syracuse University in 1997.


Kenneth Russell Bowling has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of History at The George Washington University in Washington DC since 1989 and is a nationally recognized scholar on the presidency of George Washington, the creation and early years of the U.S. government, and the establishment and history of the nation’s capital. He continues to teach and lecture extensively and is a prolific author, most recently of Peter Charles L’Enfant: Vision, Honor, and Male Friendship in the Early American Republic (2002). Dr. Bowling, the recipient of several prestigious grants and awards for his work, is a graduate of Dickinson College and received his graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He currently serves on the Board of the United States Capitol Historical Society.


James P. Clark, AIA is a principal at MTFA Architecture, an award-winning firm in Virginia, and he is President for the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Through School Connections, a model committee of the AIA that he founded, James connected practicing architects, students and professors. He created and led the now prestigious National Building Museum Annual Inter-School Design Competition forming partnerships between the museum, the AIA and leading schools of architecture. As president of the AIA Northern Virginia, he led the Chapter to address key practice issues, and to apply for and win the National AIA Continuing Education System Award for Excellence. James engaged academics in AIA activities by forming the Prize for Design Research and Scholarship and helped to establish the first Practice / Academy Summit which gathered a national audience. Mr. Clark’s award-winning projects include Amazonia at the National Zoo, The National Children’s Center in Washington, DC, Pope John Paul the Great High School and the Science Museum of Virginia.


W. Kent Cooper FAIA is a retired architect living in Washington, DC. He is the architect of the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and architect of record of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, both on the National Mall, and is also the architect of the Smithsonian’s Amazonia exhibit at the National Zoo. He is a trustee of both the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, and the National Coalition to Save Our Mall. Mr Cooper was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, B Arch 51 and Cranbrook Academy of Art, M Arch 52. He was awarded the Paris Prize in Architecture is 1953. Mr Cooper was awarded the AIA Henry Bacon Medal for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Committee of 100 on the Federal City Lifetime Achievement Vision Award in 2005.


Judy Scott Feldman, PhD is an art historian and specialist on the history of the National Mall. She is author of The Problematics of Change on the Mall in The National Mall: Rethinking Washington’s Monumental Core (2008) and continues to participate actively in Mall planning and development issues. Dr. Feldman formerly taught at American University in Washington and is a frequent lecturer for the Smithsonian Institution and other educational institutions. In her capacity as a founding member and chair of the nonprofit organization National Coalition to Save Our Mall, Dr. Feldman received the Committee of 100 on the Federal City Vision Award in May 2002 and the D.C. Federation of Citizens Associations Award in 2005. A native Washingtonian, Dr. Feldman received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history from Pennsylvania State University and her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.


Ellen Goldstein, Competition Executive Director, has a long career in public policy, public affairs, and federal government relations. She served as the Director of Research for the Democratic National Committee before becoming an Assistant Director on the White House Domestic Policy Staff during the administration of President Jimmy Carter where she worked on many human services programs and issues. After the White House, she became the Vice President for Communications and Health Policy for the American Benefits Council. For over ten years Ms. Goldstein was the senior government affairs director for the General Electric Co.’s health programs in the firm’s Washington DC office. Goldstein, who has served as an executive management and policy consultant since 2004, is a 1970 graduate of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and received her M.A. in history from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.


Richard Longstreth is professor of American Studies and director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at George Washington University. A past president of the Society of Architectural Historian and vice president of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, he currently serves of the boards of the Fort Ticonderoga Association and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. He has written extensively on American architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism as well as on historic preservation topics. Among his books are two edited volumes: The Mall in Washington, 1794-1994 (1994) and Housing Washington: Two Centuries of Residential Development and Planning in the National Capital Area (2010).


Kay Murphy is an organizational consultant with a focus on start-up, strategy, project management and development for small nonprofits in the Washington, DC area. She brings over 10 years of nonprofit management experience to her role as Treasurer for the National Ideas Competition. In addition, Ms. Murphy is a multimedia artist active in the DC arts community. She received her B.S. from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, double majoring in Film and Art History, with a minor in Social and Political Philosophy.