Maggie Soffel comes to the Rio Reimagined Senior Director at ASU position with extensive experience as an urban planner for local and regional governments in New York City, the DC area, and San Diego, with focus on climate resilience, mitigation and adaptation; land use planning; and stakeholder engagement.
In her most recent role as a Regional Resilience Planner for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Maggie worked closely with city and county staff from the 19 jurisdictions in the region to build consensus around how to prepare, implement, and monitor Climate Action Plans with regional consistency, acknowledging varying political and geographic contexts bringing a balanced perspective to strategic planning, creative problem solving, and communication. In addition, she was also responsible for shaping and developing the SANDAG climate resilience program, including identifying, applying for, and successfully securing grant funding.
Maggie received her Master of Urban and Environmental Planning from ASU. During that time, she worked with the ASU School of Sustainability on a program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities grant entitled ‘Reinvent Phoenix.’ In this role, she facilitated public workshops focused on Transit-Oriented Development along Phoenix’ light rail districts with over 250 stakeholders. This experience of convening diverse stakeholder groups to discuss sensitive development topics solidified her sense of purpose as a planner and partnership convener.
After obtaining her Master’s degree, Maggie worked as a planner for the City of New York in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Here she collaborated with government agencies, the development community, and residents to resolve issues around rebuilding, climate adaptation, and preservation of natural areas. From there, Maggie worked on public realm design, placemaking, and transit-oriented development along a transit corridor outside of Washington, D.C., and then as a planner for the County of San Diego, managing the development of their Climate Action Plan.
“With so much history and groundwork laid, I am excited to join Rio Reimagined and to have the opportunity to work with its exceptional partners in the advancement of the initiative’s work and regional vision to further the revitalization, community engagement, and economic sustainability of the river corridor” –Maggie Soffel
Rio Reimagined looks forward to having Maggie join the initiative and to leverage her expertise and experience in successfully supporting the primary goals of connecting communities, restoring and revitalizing healthy rivers for the corridor, and engaging businesses and non-profits in thoughtful and sustainable economic, recreational, and equitable development along the river corridor.
Maggie will be stepping into her role on August 16.