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Mark Focht Joins NYC Parks; Chris Reed Promoted at Harvard

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver has announced the appointment of Deputy Commissioner/Chief Operating Officer Mark Focht, FASLA.

Most recently serving as first deputy commissioner, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and a past-president of ASLA, Deputy Commissioner Focht will work closely with and report to First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh, overseeing borough operations and citywide services. He will help guide the implementation of strategic operational goals to improve how we care for parks, including development of standard operating procedures and sharing of best practices across the boroughs.

Focht is a licensed landscape architect with more than 30 years’ experience in the private, public, non-profit, and academic areas of practice. He comes to NYC Parks from Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, where he served as first deputy commissioner overseeing operations, maintenance, planning, capital, property management, urban forestry, ecosystem management, and security for a 10,200-acre system comprised of 197 passive parks, 55 recreation centers, 97 playgrounds, and 71 outdoor swimming pools.

Prior appointments include executive director of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park System; director of the park’s Environment, Stewardship & Education Division; and director of Capital Projects for the Center City District (Philadelphia), a private-sector business improvements district. Additionally, Focht has more than 10 years’ experience with two multi-disciplinary design firms and was an adjunct professor in Temple University’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture from 1989-2010.

Focht was inducted as a Penn State University Fellow in 2015 and has received Alumni Achievement Awards from the University of Massachusetts (2013) and Penn State University (2007). He was inducted as a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects in October 2008 and served as the Society’s vice president for Communications in 2010/11 and president-elect, president, and immediate past-president in 2013-2015.

Focht holds Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees in landscape architecture from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Massachusetts, respectively.

Chris Reed, FASLA, of Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Boston, has been promoted to professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Additionally, he was appointed co-director of the Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design Degree Program at the beginning of the academic year.

Reed has served as associate professor in Practice at the GSD since 2010. Prior to the GSD, he held academic teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Toronto and has been Visiting Professor at many schools across the U.S. He has led Stoss since founding it in 2000 and continues to grow the firm with studios in Boston and Los Angeles.

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