Appointed Executive Director of SRPEDD in January 2016, Jeff Walker brings to the agency an extensive background in land use, environmental and transportation planning, in addition to grant writing, economic development and regional planning agency administration.
Prior to joining SRPEDD, Mr. Walker served as a longtime regional planning agency director in the Commonwealth of Virginia, outside of the nation’s capital, on behalf of a two thousand-square mile region of five counties and eight towns.
He is also a previous multi-term local planning board member, and adjunct/lecturer in urban planning at the undergraduate and graduate levels (presently at Wheaton College), for the past eleven years.
Mr. Walker holds a BA in Public Policy from Duke University, and a Master’s in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia.
Ling Ling Chang, CPA, has been on the staff at SRPEDD since July 1991. She is responsible for overall finance, as well as all project accounting at SRPEDD. She is also the Human Resource and Group Insurance Commission coordinator at SRPEDD.
Areas of Expertise: Personal Finance, Trust/Estate, Taxation. She has several years of audit experience in the areas of banking, universities, municipalities, and manufacturing companies.
Grant first began thinking about planning while building homes in western North Carolina, asking himself, “should we really be building a 4,000 sq. ft. house on the side of this mountain?” That interest in the relationship between zoning (or lack thereof), design, and natural and built environments led him to study at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (MUP 2010). Grant has worked at SRPEDD ever since, focusing on master plans, economic development, housing production, beautiful and easy-to-understand civic engagement, and commonsense project implementation.
Grant co-founded a part-time GIS and design firm, GIS Boston (active from 2010 to 2017), serving clients such as RKG Associates, Howard Stein Hudson, and realtors and developers in New England and beyond.
Grant is honored to serve on the Board of Directors and Land Acquisition Committee of Old Colony Habitat for Humanity. He is also a proud volunteer at the Annelle Delorme Hagerman Food Pantry.
Grant loves visiting cities and countrysides with his wife, son, and daughter. He’s an avid surfcaster, a proud Florida Gator, and an emerging baseball/soccer dad. Grant loves working with SRPEDD’s creative, collegial team of Comprehensive Planners and all our professional partners across southeastern Massachusetts. He values high-quality work and takes joy in creating it.
Lisa Estrela-Pedro joined the Transportation Planning Department at SRPEDD in 1997 after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth. Today, her responsibilities include assisting with participation and oversight of the Transportation Planning section on facilitating projects, data collection and analysis efforts for various studies and projects. Lisa is also responsible for managing the development of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), an annual document for the programming of federal and state funds towards transportation improvements for the region.
Helen has a passion for planning that protects our region’s environment, balancing community planning and conservation in the areas of climate change adaptation, floodplain management, agricultural preservation, open space planning, habitat preservation, and infrastructure protection. Her skills in supporting this effort include bylaw development, data analysis, facility with geographic information systems (GIS), and grant writing.
Helen joined the team at SRPEDD a year and a half ago, after five years of experience working with local planning and zoning boards in New Jersey to implement zoning and subdivision bylaws, and to realize long-term planning projects such as master plans, resiliency plans, and open space plans. At SRPEDD, she enjoys working with the rest of the comprehensive, homeland security, and transportation teams, as well as with the environmental program’s external partners on the Resilient Taunton Watershed Network.
Her goal is to advance local projects rooted in an understanding of regional and watershed-level ecological connections, and to focus on environmental processes that work across local boundaries.
Bill Napolitano has built his decades-long environmental planning career around effective, strong, and positive partnerships with communities and organizations across the SRPEDD region. These partnerships form the backbone of his diverse efforts to steward our natural and cultural resources into the twenty-first century and beyond.
Some of Bill’s signature projects include: the work that directly led to the federal designation of the Taunton River as Wild and Scenic; the Mill River Dam Removal/River Restoration Project; The Resilient Taunton Watershed Network; the Taunton River Trail project; helping to organize agricultural commissions in southeastern Massachusetts and statewide, and; creating the SRPEDD Geographic Roadway Runoff Inventory (GRRIP) and Flood Inundation Hazard Programs.
Lizeth Gonzalez joined SRPEDD as a Senior Transportation/Comprehensive Planner in 2019. She brings the experience of a career in public administration at the local level in the City of Pawtucket and various planning and economic development positions in Washington, DC. Blending her passion for public service, local planning and economic development, Lizeth collaborates on Comprehensive Planning and Transportation related projects throughout the southeastern region of Massachusetts.
During her time with SRPEDD, Ms. Gonzalez has led and assisted in a wide range of planning initiatives including data collection, long-range planning, transit and economic development studies. She excels in providing detailed policy analysis and thoughtful, multi-lingual public outreach with attractive, modern graphically designed materials.
Ms. Gonzalez received her B.A. in Political Science from Providence College and an MPA from George Washington University. She lives in Providence, RI where her life is dedicated to taming her pomksy, Kona and cultivating her Instagram following to super-stardom.
Robert joined SRPEDD in 2021 as a Principal Comprehensive Planner/Project Manager where he provides technical assistance for zoning, master plans, housing production, and transit-oriented development. He particularly enjoys distilling these concepts into clear and impactful graphic analyses.
With several years of consulting experience at firms such as Stimson and Tom Leader Studio, Robert brings a background that includes campus planning, urban design, site design, and master planning. He most recently served as an urban planner for Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, focusing on public realm and transportation improvements.
Robert holds Master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan, as well as a BA from Tulane University. Having grown up in the Southeastern Massachusetts area, Robert is grateful to serve the region as a planner at SRPEDD.
Phillip became interested in urban planning after diving into historical maps and photographing the architectural layers of Boston’s Chinatown for a history course at MIT. He saw how intertwined our lives are with the cities and towns we live in, from our homes to our favorite local businesses. Phillip is passionate about uncovering what makes our cities and towns unique to help inform their future.
Phillip believes that communities, big and small, are at the center of planning. Planners act as a guide to help communities plan for their future and suggest creative solutions to resolve different community priorities. In partnership with local stakeholders, Phillip works to co-create plans for resilient and livable communities while showcasing each community’s unique sense of place.
Before joining SRPEDD, Phillip worked at the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) as a municipal planner and at Harriman as an urban planner and designer. At the BPDA, he designed creative workshops and introduced more face-to-face engagement opportunities. At Harriman, he worked with municipalities across New England, including residential design guidelines for Arlington and a cultural placemaking plan in North Adams. Phillip is excited to bring a broad planning perspective and a creative community engagement approach to Southeastern Massachusetts.
Karen Porter has worked at SRPEDD since 2000. Starting her career at SRPEDD managing the traffic count program within the Transportation department. She has also been responsible for intersection safety studies, signal warrant analyses and reports, and pavement management.
Presently, Karen manages SRPEDD’s Information Technology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), performing in its capacity as the Regional GIS Service Center for southeastern Massachusetts, and is SRPEDD’s IT Manager.
As the IT manager, Karen is responsible for overseeing the operation and maintenance of the agency’s network. This includes identifying and solving computer issues, upgrading desktop applications and hardware, and addressing employee technology concerns. She manages and supports SRPEDD’s internal and external servers and other related IT infrastructure.
Karen has extensive experience working with GIS data from national, state, local, and private sources. She works alongside agencies such as MassGIS, The Nature Conservancy, and the Buzzards Bay Coalition to gather, analyze, and generate integral GIS data. Karen collaborates with municipal, private and state agencies maintaining datasets, producing community and regional maps, and completing various publications and displays. She has facilitated all types of planning documents: Master Plans, Open Space Plans, Housing Production Plans, Taunton River Stewardship Plan, Economic Development Plans, Transportation Plans, and public outreach documents.
Karen’s experience as a teacher of building techniques and her work as an assistant to SRPEDD’s Geographic Roadway Runoﬀ Inventory Program (GRIPP), including related flood and sea level rise field work within the region, give her invaluable insight on the built and natural environments.