APA Senior Staff

The senior staff at APA oversees its functional areas and leads the day-to-day activities of departments to carry out the vision of APA's dedicated volunteer leaders.


Joel Albizo
Chief Executive Officer, APA and AICP

Joel Albizo, FASAE, CAE

The Chief Executive Officer plays a pivotal role in facilitating strategic planning and aligning the organization's resources and activities with its vision and goals. The CEO builds relationships and influence with partners; advances the association's objectives and policies; facilitates a culture of excellence, innovation, and member service; and leads an exemplary volunteer management environment.

Ann Simms
Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, APA and AICP

Ann Simms

The COO/CFO is responsible for Membership, AICP, Accounting, Human Resources, and Administration. Ann also serves as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer of the APA Board of Directors, representing the board primarily on financial matters.

Harriet Bogdanowicz
Chief Strategy Officer

Harriet Bogdanowicz, MBA, CAE

The CSO works with elected leaders, volunteers and staff to plan and coordinate the implementation of APA's foresight-first strategy and special projects. Harriet oversees Leadership, Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs teams.

Mark Ferguson
Chief Information Officer

Mark Ferguson

The CIO guides APA's organization-wide information technology program. Mark leads the planning and implementation of enterprise information systems that support operations and achieve efficiencies, and oversees the IT, Meetings and Edcuation departments.

Professional Practice Director

Felicia Braunstein

The Professional Practice Director is responsible for the programs of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Felicia oversees the AICP certification exam, Certification Maintenance program, AICP Candidate Pilot Program, and Fellows of AICP and acts as the staff liaison to the AICP Commission.

Petra Hurtado, PhD
Research Director

Petra Hurtado, PhD

The Research Director is responsible for the overall design, direction, and management of APA's research program, including the practice of foresight to inform strategic governance, sponsored research, the Planning Advisory Service, and other initiatives.

Education Director

Kimberley Jacques

The Education Director develops and manages the organization's education curriculum, including online learning and programming at the National Planning Conference and other events. Kimberley ensures that APA education offerings meet the requirements of the AICP Certification Maintenance program for recognized CM providers.

Jason Jordan
Public Affairs Director

Jason Jordan

The Public Affairs Director is responsible for strategic outreach to decision-makers and influencers who interact with the planning profession. He leads government affairs, policy and advocacy efforts of the association. This includes development of APA policy guides; representation of APA with congressional offices, federal agencies, and partner organizations; and management of advocacy networks and outreach campaigns that aim to elevate the voice of planning. Jason also provides strategic guidance to volunteer leaders on policy matters at the national, state, and local levels.

Marketing and Communications Director

Liz Lang

The Marketing and Communications Director leads efforts to know and understand members and customers, and to inform and support the organization’s response to their unmet needs with content and other solutions that they find uniquely valuable. Liz leads marketing, content strategy and digital communications teams, and is also the primary liaison to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion stakeholders across the organization.   

Headshot of Karl Schmidt.
Membership Director

Karl Schmidt

The Membership Director is responsible for the development of policies and procedures that promote member retention and growth. Karl leads the member services team to enhance customer support provided by APA and APA's Professional Institute, AICP.

Mike Welch
Leadership Director

Mike Welch

The Leadership Director supports the work of the organization's elected leaders, including the APA Board of Directors, AICP Commission, Chapter Presidents Council, Divisions Council, Student Representatives Council, and many committees and task forces. Mike also oversees program development and administrative services to chapters, divisions, and student organizations.

Meetings Director

Eva Wilczek

The Meetings Director is responsible for strategically coordinating with staff, members, and others on the planning, implementation, and assessment of all aspects of the National Planning Conference and all other association meetings. Eva also oversees registration services for many of APA's live and virtual events and many chapter conferences.