Project Members


back row: Brechin, Ives, Bradford, Leighningers, Einhorn, Katten, Smith front row: Walker, Hass, Brahinsky, Redman, Thompson

Living New Deal team, Berkeley June 2013
back row: Brechin, Ives, Bradford, Leighningers, Einhorn, Katten, Smith
front row: Walker, Hass, Brahinsky, Redman, Thompson



Richard Walker, Director of the Living New Deal, is professor emeritus of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught 1975-2012.  He is co-author of The Capitalist Imperative (1989) and The New Social Economy (1992), and has written extensively on California, including The Conquest of Bread (2004) and The Country in the City (2007) – which received the Hal Rothman Prize in Western History. He is working on a book about the political economy of California from the Gold Rush to the Great Recession. He is well known as a public speaker on California.

Gray Brechin is Project Scholar for the Living New Deal and former Vice-President of the National New Deal Preservation Association.  He is an historical geographer and author, who received a B.A. in History and Geography, an M.A. in Art History, and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley.  Gray is author of Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin (1999), considered a classic of urban studies. With photographer Robert Dawson, he published Farewell, Promised Land: Waking from the California Dream. Gray is the founder of the Living New Deal, and he lectures around the country about the New Deal legacy.

Harvey Smith is Project Advisor to the Living New Deal Project and president of the National New Deal Preservation Association. In 2010 Harvey was co-curator of “The American Scene: New Deal Art, 1935-1943,” at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, California. He has researched the impacts of New Deal public policy, including public infrastructure and social programs of the 1930s and 1940s. He received a B.A. in English and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked as a union carpenter, public health worker, radio journalist, horse rancher, and public school teacher.

Alex Tarr is the current project manager for the Living New Deal. He is a doctoral student in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, just completing his dissertation. He studies the geography of cities, especially Los Angeles and urban agriculture.

Shaina Potts is a doctoral student in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. She studies the geography of finance, focusing on the intersection of finance, politics, and space. She is pursuing a dissertation on the relationship between transnational finance, state authority, and class structure in post-default Argentina.  She handles data entry and database management for the Living New Deal.

Susan Ives is communications advisor to the Living New Deal. She provides strategic communications to nonprofits, public agencies, philanthropies and social venture businesses. Her writing has appeared in newspapers, magazines and online. She holds a BA in Journalism from University of Michigan, an MA in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is a graduate of Coro Foundation. Susan has served as Vice President for Public Affairs at Trust for Public Land, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Environmental Affairs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Communications Director for Planned Parenthood, and Media Officer at Sierra Club.

Lisa Thompson has worked as a graphic designer and web developer since the early days of the internet. She is a naturalist who swims and kayaks the waters of Tomales Bay. An author of short stories, essays and travelogues, Lisa is also a student of The New Deal and an alumna of the Department of English Literature at the University of California, Irvine.

John Elrick is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is working on his dissertation on the history of land development and property capital in 19th century San Francisco.  He assists us with documenting New Deal sites for the national database and map.

Greta Marchesi is a doctoral candidate in UC Berkeley’s Department of Geography. She studies the ways that political visions have shaped scientific knowledge at different points in history, including the influence of New Deal-era politics on the scientific experiments of the Soil Conservation Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Project team member Rachel Brahinsky teaches at the University of San Francisco in the Graduate Program in Urban Affairs, based in the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good. Rachel was the Living New Deal’s first managing director and postdoctoral fellow in 2012-13.

Barbara Bernstein is the Living New Deal’s Public Art Specialist. She founded the New Deal Art Registry, a “crowd-sourcing” web site that has collected photos and data about thousands of New Deal murals and sculptures around the country. Her interest in New Deal art goes back almost 40 years and she is thrilled that this great resource is finally being appreciated and protected. Before moving to California she uncovered much forgotten public art in Chicago. Her award-winning 1978 short film Silver Lining helped revive interest in the Federal Art Project. She has been a software company executive and technical writer, and was for many years a columnist for Software Magazine. Barbara is a graduate of the University of Chicago.

Darin Jensen is cartography advisor to the Living New Deal.  He is the Department Cartographer and a Continuing Lecturer in the Department of Geography at UC Berkeley, teaching cartography and GIS courses.  He has an arts background and brings his fine arts sensibilities to map design and production in the service of the map as artifact and narrative device.  Jensen has published two atlases, Mission Possible: A Neighborhood Atlas and Food: An Atlas.  He is currently a Masters of Fine Arts Candidate at Mills College studying Creative Nonfiction Writing.

Garrett Bradford is a GIS analyst with the casualty practice of Milliman, Inc. in San Francisco. Garrett is a trained cartographer with expertise in the creation and management of spatial data, spatial analysis, geocoding and python scripting. He received a B.A. in Geography from UC Berkeley in 2009 and is currently an M.S. candidate in Geographic Information Science at San Francisco State University.

Ying Lee taught in the Berkeley Unified School District. She joined the politically progressive April Coalition and Berkeley Citizen Action and, as part of a that coalition, was elected to the Berkeley City Council in the 70’s. She joined Congressman Ronald V. Dellum’s staff in 1984. Upon Dellum’s retirement from Congress, she joined Congresswoman Barbara Lee as her Legislative Director. Ying retired in 2000. She works in the anti-war movement, as a Trustee for the Berkeley Public Library, and helps to raise her three grandchildren. She is an active member of Grandmothers for Peace. In 2012 the Berkeley Historical Society published Ying Lee: From Shanghai to Berkeley, An Oral History.

Ben Hass is a web developer and interactive media specialist. Prior to working as a technology consultant, Ben studied Art History and Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Ben improved the design of the Living New Deal website and built the current map and infrastructure. He served as our webmaster from 2010-2013.

Terry Diggs is adjunct professor at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she teaches a seminar on Film and the Law about the social, political and economic significance of film narratives on the justice system. She has taught Criminal Procedure, Criminal Trial Advocacy and Trial Advocacy. She writes a regular column for American Lawyer Media and speaks extensively about the intersection of legal cases and culture.

Elrick, Potts, Ives, Walker, Brechin, Kinsey, Smith

LND Team, May 2012
LND Team, May 2012


LND team, April 2014

LND team party April14
LND team, April 2014




SUSAN C. ALLEN – Mississippi & the Delta Region          <>
Susan is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Mississippi and is particularly focused on murals and other New Deal sites in Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. Susan writes a regular column for a Mississippi historic preservation blog under the pen name Suzassippi.

STEFANO BLOCH – Rhode Island          <>
Stefano  is a native of Los Angeles where he conducted his dissertation research on the many layers of graffiti and murals painted atop a series of WPA retaining walls on Sunset Boulevard. He has an MA in urban planning from UCLA and a Ph.D in geography from the University of Minnesota. He is currently a Mellon Fellow in the Urban Studies Program and Cogut Center for the Humanities at Brown University.

JAMES BOHLAND – Western Virginia
James Bohland, an emeritus professor from the Virginia Tech School of Public & International Affairs, has convened a group of scholars and archivists in the New River Valley area of Virginia. The Virginia Living New Deal research team is comprised of seasoned researchers from institutions including the Smithsonian, Ohio State, Michigan State, and The Roanoke Times. 

AMY BORLAND – Indiana     <>
Amy Borland is an architectural historian with the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology and lives in Indianapolis. She holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a M.S. in Historic Preservation from Ball State. Her grandfather was in the CCC , where he was the unit photographer. His photo album documents work the unit did in  Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks. Amy helped produce a Division calendar featuring some of Indiana’s post office murals in 2007 and is working with interns to identify New Deal era projects around the state.

DEVIN COLMAN – Vermont       <>
Devin Colman is State Architectural Historian at the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. He received an M.A. in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont and wrote a thesis on modernist residential architecture in northwestern Vermont. He is a past president of the Recent Past Preservation Network. The 2005 rehabilitation of the modernist Crystal Lake Bathhouse, a 1939 CCC project in Barton, VT, piqued his interest in identifying and documenting New Deal projects throughout the state.

WILLIAM COOK – Maryland &  Washington, D.C. region   <>
Will Cook is a retired aerospace engineer who lives in Columbia MD and Royal Oak MD.  He is on the board of several nonprofit organizations, including Adkins Arboretum and the Old-Growth Forest Network, is a member of the Town of Easton Tree Board, and a supporter of the Historical Society of Talbot County, MD.  His interests include oil painting, photography and website development.

SARAH DOWNING – Coastal North Carolina & Virginia   <>
Sarah Downing is the assistant curator of the Outer Banks History Center in Manteo, North Carolina. She is reminded daily of New Deal projects undertaken in her adopted home, such as the creation of miles of sand dunes by CCC and transient labor and the birth of modern outdoor drama with the staging of Paul Green’s The Lost Colony which debuted in 1937 as part of the Federal Theater Program.  Sarah has written extensively on the many facets of the area’s history

DOUGLAS W. DODD – Central California   <>
Douglas Dodd is Associate Professor of History at California State University, Bakersfield.  He earned his Ph.D. in history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He specializes in public history, environmental history, and the history of California and the American West, and he is currently working on a history of the Civilian Conservation Corps in California’s national parks.

CHARLES EPTING – Southern California    <>
Charles Epting is currently a junior studying history and geology at the University of Southern California. His second book, The New Deal in Orange County, CA, was published in April 2014 by the History Press. His interests include early 20th century popular culture, architecture, and literature.

GENE FISCHER – Nebraska     <>
Gene Fischer is a retired school teacher who worked for 35 years in the York, Nebraska Public Schools with special needs students. Since 2010 he has written a weekly column of political and social commentary for the York News-Times. He now also writes a monthly history feature for the paper which he hopes will have his readers seeing their community in new ways.

DAVID GATES – Illinois, Midwest & all US Post Offices   <>
David Gates is from Chicago and has been photographing and documenting Post Offices around the country, including New Deal buildings and artwork. His website records the photos and stories associated with each one he’s visited. David is a graduate of DePaul University with a degree in Information Technology Project Management.

NATALIE HENEGHAN –  Minnesota   <>
Natalie Heneghan is a history student at Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN. She particularly enjoys studying the history of the United States through its music, art, structures, and stories. Natalie also has experience in historic preservation and genealogy research.

JOHN HOCTOR – Connecticut     <>
John Hoctor has a journalism background and has written for The Army Times in Washington, D.C., and The Fog City Journal in San Francisco. Most recently he has been a staff writer for the Weston Magazine Group, Westport, CT, freelance for the Fairfield Co Weekly, the Norwalk Beat, and editor of Westport’s HamletHub.

EVAN KALISH – New York Regional Director
Evan Kalish is based in New York City but has done extensive work documenting Post Offices around the country, including many New Deal buildings and murals.  He has visited nearly 6,000 post offices across 49 states; his work and his blog, Going Postal: A photo journal of post offices and places, have been featured by several major media outlets.  He is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania, with degrees in Entrepreneurship and Urban Spatial Analytics.

JUDITH KENNY – Oregon      <>
Judith is an associate professor emerita of Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she taught from 1990 – 2012. As an urban cultural geographer and former city planner, her publications reflect common research themes related to her interest in planning discourse, the built environment, and the politics of place. Recently returned to her home state of Oregon, she is now focusing her research on the role of federal and state government in the making of its regional culture.

SUSAN ALLEN KLINE – Texas        <>
Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Susan Kline is a historic preservation consultant who specializes in the preparation of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.   She is the author of the book Ft. Worth Parks (Arcadia Books, 2010).  She has a particular passion for resources associated with the New Deal and is spearheading our research efforts in Texas.

RENEÉ KOLVET – Nevada            <>
Renée Corona Kolvet is a historic preservation specialist/archaeologist. She has spent the last 15 years studying the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and New Deal programs in Nevada. Her research also includes Depression-era programs on Nevada Indian Reservations.

ROBERT KRAUSE – Eastern Virginia & Washington, D.C.
Robert Krause grew up in Bozeman, Montana. He received his B.A. in History and Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi, then an M.A. in U.S. Environmental and Public History from Oklahoma State University. In 2010, he completed a Ph.D in U.S. History at the University of Mississippi under the direction of Dr. Charles R. Wilson, focusing on the environmental history of New Deal public works projects in Florida and Mississippi. He has worked as a curator, public historian, and researcher for the past ten years, and is currently employed by the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission as Program Coordinator for the Historic Preservation Section, working specifically on New Deal resources in Prince George’s County (MD) and District of Columbia.  His grandfather and great uncle served as CCC enrollees in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

BRENT MCKEE   – Maryland & Mid-Atlantic
Brent McKee, based in Maryland, is the Living New Deal Director of Mid-Atlantic Research. Brent has a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland- Baltimore County (2010) and a Master of History Degree from American Public University (2014).  He serves on the board of the National New Deal Preservation Association and has created a website and newsletter to help preserve the history of the WPA.  Prior to catching the New Deal bug, Brent managed a Maryland state program for inmates and served in Americorps.

TARA MIELNIK – Tennessee           <>
Tara is Federal Programs Coordinator, Metropolitan Nashville Historical Commission, where she has worked for over a decade.  She is the author of New Deal, New Landscape: The Civilian Conservation Corps and South Carolina’s State Parks (2011).

LARRY MOORE – Texas         <>
Born in San Antonio and raised in Austin, Larry has spent over ten years researching, creating and editing many Texas-related articles on Wikipedia and adding hundreds of images of Texas to Wikimedia Commons. His favorite photographic subjects are county courthouses, state parks, and National Register of Historic Places sites. Although particularly fond of Second Empire, Romanesque Revival and other Victorian architectural styles, research on the New Deal era has helped him better appreciate Art Deco, Moderne and National Park Service rustic styles. Larry received a B.S. in Management from Park University-Austin.

PAMELA PIETROWSKY  – Chicago         <>
Pamela is an Independent Historic Preservation Consultant based in Chicago.  She holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Pamela’s thesis discussed the evolution of decorative metalwork located inside a sample of commercial lobbies in Chicago’s Loop, 1890 – 1930, including case studies of restored metalwork and lobbies from the time period.  Pamela was also a member of a ten person team who won the 1st place HABS Peterson Prize for documentation of the On Leong Merchant’s Association Building in the Chinatown neighborhood of Chicago.

Angelia Pulley is working on a Masters of Library and Information Science at the University of Kentucky. She created a survey of WPA projects in Kentucky, available at, that demonstrates the rich store of materials on the Works Progress Administration in the UK Library archives

SAMUEL REDMAN  – Massachusetts & New England
Sam Redman is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Sam is the Living New Deal’s New England Research Director, after having managed book reviews for our site for some time. Sam received his Ph.D. in American History from the University of California, Berkeley and has served as the Lead Interviewer for two WWII-era oral history projects for the Regional Oral History Office  at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library.

ANNIE SEGAN – New York, NY       <>
Annie Rothstein Segan is a personal historian and independent scholar whose work has been honored at the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. She is the daughter of Arthur Rothstein (1915-85), the first photographer hired by the Historical Section of the Resettlement/Farm Security Administration. The 170,000 photographs taken by Rothstein and other FSA photographers are a comprehensive portrait of America during the Great Depression. Rothstein was dedicated to the use of documentary photography to foster social change and, in that spirit, Dr. Segan searches out opportunities to present his work.

CHARLES SWANEY – Missouri         <>
Charles Swaney is a retired physician specializing in Radiology, living in Columbia, MO.  As he says, “Since images are so important to my work, a love of art is understandable and over my life, I have found so many points of connection with parts of various New Deal programs and am wanting to highlight those to the people of this country and state to keep their memory alive.”

ERIN TERBEEK – Wisconsin           <>
Erin TerBeek is the Living New Deal’s Wisconsin Research Associate.  She completed her MA in Public History and Museum Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she focused on the New Deal, WWII propaganda posters, and Victory Gardens.  Erin writes a local history column for the Shepherd Express, a Milwaukee newspaper, where she often writes about New Deal history in articles like this one.

BARBARA YOUNG – Chicago          <>
Barbara is currently an adult student at DePaul University with a focus on 20th Century American Art, Culture and Technology. A long-time fan of WPA art, she became interested in historic preservation while researching family genealogy. Apart from the greater Chicago area, she brings her camera whenever she travels just in case an undocumented New Deal site is nearby.

(at UC Berkeley)

Terra is a fourth year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, studying Geography with a focus on food systems. She grew up in eastern North Carolina and is currently researching the role of New Deal programs in shaping this area of the country.

Claire is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, studying English, with a focus on American literature, and a double-minor in Geography and Creative Writing. She co-runs and illustrates an online literary magazine, Oatmeal Magazine: A Literary Breakfast of Champions. She is currently doing research on the New Deal in South Carolina.

Tomoyo is majoring in Sociology, with a double minor in Demography and Music. She has performed on the Carillion in Sather Tower. And, thanks to growing up Sapporo, site of the 1972 Winter Olympics, she is also a black diamond skier. Currently, she is doing research on New Deal Art in New Mexico.

Former Undergraduate Research Assistants

Burt is an Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Major major. He is from San Ramon California but was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is currently doing research on the effects of the New Deal on the state of Hawaii.

Elise is a third-year cognitive science major from the Bay Area. She is also involved with the Asian American Association (AAA) and Cal Opportunity Scholars Association (COSA). She is currently doing research on the New Deal in Oregon.

Ian is a Cognitive Science major, with a concentration in Cognitive Psychology. He was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia but has family ties to the Hudson Valley area of New York. He is currently researching the differential impact of New Deal programs across racial lines due to discriminatory institutions and legislation.


Read about some of the many people who have contributed time and expertise to the Living New Deal on our project history page.