Kate Ascher leads BuroHappold’s cities group, which specializes in urban planning and development. Kate has a track record of effective leadership in infrastructure, transportation, economic development and real estate in public and private sectors. Her strengths are in planning and implementing urban development projects involving major financial, regulatory, organizational and political hurdles. She has specific expertise in project finance, strategic planning, capital programs, facility siting, and transportation operations.
Kate also has a strong academic background, with interests in privatization and municipal services, waterfront planning and development, infrastructure and environmental policy. Her public sector work has involved overseeing major infrastructure and master planning projects for the New York metropolitan region, including the development of energy, telecommunications and waste plans in cooperation with community, environmental, business and other advocacy groups.
Kate has also been responsible for navigating and completing a series of major waterfront redevelopment projects in New York and New Jersey.
In the private sector, she has worked in management consulting and corporate finance in London, advising government and private companies on privatization and strategic planning, and at Vornado Realty Trust in New York, where she oversaw the design and permitting of Commercial projects.
Kate is currently the Milstein Professor of Urban Development at Columbia University, where she teaches real estate, infrastructure and urban planning courses. She is also the author of several books on public infrastructure and the delivery of municipal services.
In May 2014, Kate was made a Partner of the practice.