Barbara Deutsch has been named Executive Director of the Landscape Architecture Foundation. The appointment was announced by LAF President Dennis Carmichael, who said, “Barbara has a compelling combination of energy and enthusiasm, management experience and landscape architecture design sensibility. The Board is excited about working with her to increase the impact of landscape architecture in sustainable design and planning.”
Deutsch said she is delighted about the opportunity to expand LAF’s influence and role in sustainable design. “I’m looking forward to reaching out to other environmental organizations to develop partnerships and joint programs which will leverage LAF’s strengths and resources and lead to greater impact in local and national arenas.”
Deutsch comes to LAF from a diverse background in landscape architecture, marketing, systems engineering and academia. Most recently, she has been Associate Director at BioRegional for its One Planet Communities Program in Washington, D.C. While there, Deutsch was on a team that partnered with the Hunt Development Group as its sustainability consultant for the Hill East neighborhood redevelopment project in D.C. The team completed a Sustainability Action Plan which committed Hill East to be a zero waste, zero water and 100 percent sustainable lifestyles community, one of only six in the world, and the first in a major U.S. city. She also assessed biomass supply for renewable energy solutions for the Sustainability Strategy for the Chicago 2016 Olympics bid pursuit.
Before that, Deutsch was Senior Director of the Casey Trees Endowment Fund where she played a key role in developing the organization’s vision, strategic plan, policies, programs, partnerships and infrastructure. She secured $350,000 in grant funding for strategic projects and led the 2002 Street Tree Inventory. She also worked with District partners and the community to develop and pass the D.C. Urban Forest Preservation Act of 2002 and has testified at D.C. Council hearings on issues of land use, stormwater management, tree cover and green infrastructure.
Deutsch left Casey Trees in 2006 when she was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. During the fellowship, she was inspired by leaders from all over the world on how to make change and studied Real Estate Finance and Development and Effective Leadership of Social Enterprise. In 2007 Deutsch won an ASLA Professional Research award for the EPA grant: “The Green Build-Out Model: Quantifying Stormwater Benefits of Trees and Green Roofs in Washington, D.C.”
Deutsch earned a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia and worked for ten years as a marketing representative at IBM before shifting direction to seek a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington. After completing her degree she worked in Hong Kong for a landscape architecture firm on new town planning and infrastructure. She returned to the United States to teach for two years in the University’s Landscape Architecture Department before moving to D.C. She is currently a lecturer in the Landscape Sustainable Design Certificate Program at George Washington University where she introduced the water budget analysis tool into the curriculum.
Deutsch will succeed L. Susan Everett, who has been LAF Executive Director since 1998. She is taking over the leadership role at a time of overall stability for the Foundation, despite the global economic crisis. “LAF is fortunate to have diversified sources of revenue, including both a scholarship endowment and the Second Century Endowment, which supports programs. We’ve taken measures to ensure LAF’s ongoing financial health, reducing expenses in 2009 and deferring some program expansion until 2010. However, overall we are in a stronger position than many nonprofits,” said Dennis Carmichael.
Deutsch will assume the position responsibilities on April 27th, overlapping with Everett for one week as part of the transition.