Regional Summit Federal Panelists

Geoffrey Anderson:

Geoffrey Anderson is the President and CEO of Smart Growth America. Geoff came to his current position in January 2008 after 13 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he headed the Agency’s Smart Growth Program. During his tenure at the EPA, he was instrumental in creating the Agency’s Smart Growth program; he helped to found the Smart Growth Network, the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference and the popular web site In addition, he provided seed funding for and helped to catalyze the creation of the National Vacant Properties Campaign, The LEED for Neighborhood Development Certification program and the Governors’ Institute for Community Design.

He has co-authored numerous publications including: This Is Smart Growth, Getting to Smart Growth Volumes 1 and 2, Protecting Water Resources with Higher Density Development, The Transportation and Environmental Impacts of Infill vs. Greenfield Development and many others. His work also included direct technical assistance, helping with smart growth implementation in communities nationwide including Cheyenne, WY, Prince George’s County, MD, and the flagship smart growth project Atlantic Station in Atlanta, GA. Geoff received a Master’s Degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment with a concentration in Resource Economics and Policy.

John W. Frece:

John W. Frece is director of the Smart Growth Program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a position he has held since March 2009. The program provides direct policy assistance to states, technical assistance to local governments, conducts research on smart growth policies and strategies, and oversees both the national Smart Growth Achievement Awards and the annual New Partners for Smart Growth conference. The program has been the principal office representing EPA in its Partnership for Sustainable Communities with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Prior to joining the EPA, Mr. Frece was Associate Director of the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland in College Park. He has been a spokesman, policy adviser and writer on Smart Growth issues for the past 13 years.

Before moving to the University in June 2003, Mr. Frece served for seven years on the staff of former Maryland Governor Parris N. Glendening, six of them as the principal spokesman for Maryland’s Smart Growth initiative.

Prior to his state service, Mr. Frece enjoyed a long career in journalism, working first for the weekly Reston Times newspaper in Reston, Va., then for the wire service United Press International in both Richmond, Va., and Annapolis, Md., and for 11 years as the Maryland State House bureau chief for The Baltimore Sun. In all, he covered 17 sessions of the Maryland General Assembly and part or all of the terms of five Maryland governors.

He is author of Sprawl & Politics: The Inside Story of Smart Growth in Maryland (SUNY Press, July 2008) and co-author of My Unexpected Journey: The Autobiography of Governor Harry Roe Hughes (The History Press, 2006). He holds a B.A. in philosophy from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

He is married to children’s book author Priscilla Cummings. They have two college-age children and live in Annapolis, Maryland.

Salin Geevarghese:

Salin Geevarghese currently serves as Senior Advisor at HUD, working in the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities as an appointee of President Obama. Prior to his post at HUD, Geevarghese served as Senior Associate at The Annie E. Casey Foundation with responsibilities in both the Civic Sites and Initiatives unit and the Center for Family Economic Success. At Casey, he had responsibility for the anchor institution portfolio, the influence and knowledge development portfolios for Neighborhood Development, the National Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, and emerging portfolios on green/sustainability issues and making markets work.

Before joining the Foundation, Geevarghese served in the senior management of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation as Project Manager for its efforts to build relationships between communities and public schools, public agencies and engagement, building catalytic organizations, and led the institutionalization of the Institute’s growing community strength work in Flint, MI. He has been a management consultant with TCC Group, co-leading its corporate practice, developing strategies and programs to enhance the effectiveness of nonprofit, foundation and corporate clients such as the Foundation Center, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Wachovia Foundation, the Prudential Foundation, Habitat for Humanity-NYC, and the National Urban League. He has also served as the Associate Director-Grantmaking for the BellSouth Foundation in Atlanta, as an Associate with the Tennessee law firm Witt, Gaither & Whitaker, P.C., and as a legal consultant with the Oklahoma State University Foundation.

Geevarghese has consulted widely on open records laws, public education issues, civil rights and equity issues, community and economic development, and civic engagement efforts. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including Jomandi Productions, New Federal Theater, Christian Council of Metropolitan Atlanta, L’Arche USA and National Parents for Public Schools. In addition, Geevarghese has served in leadership with Grantmakers for Education, Southeastern Council on Foundations, Public Education Network, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, and the Council on Foundations. Recognized for his leadership by the Casey Fellows Program and the Harry S Truman Scholarship Program, in 1999, he was named one of the 10 most outstanding leaders in Atlanta and, in 2000, was named to the Hull Leadership Program, recognizing the next leaders in philanthropy.

He received a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where he was a Chapin-Thomas Scholar, and his B.S. from the University of Tennessee where he was a William E. Brock Scholar.


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