Silvia Vargas, FAICP
During the course of her outstanding 26-year career, Silvia Vargas’s enduring commitment to social equity and inclusion has empowered disenfranchised populations and inspired individuals to engage in the civic process. Her groundbreaking plans have transformed communities across the U.S and abroad through innovative approaches, actionable outcomes, and leading-edge, user-friendly plan formats. Vargas’s contributions as a planning practitioner, leader, mentor, and volunteer embody dedication to the profession and consistently demonstrate work of the highest caliber that has positively influenced communities and populations and led to successful outcomes. Her extensive volunteer efforts have built on her personal guiding principles of equity and inclusion.
Silvia is an experienced planning leader, with over 28 years of professional work in the US and abroad. She started her career in the current planning division in Monroe County, FL, later becoming the County's Parks and Recreation Planner. Silvia subsequently transitioned to the private sector, working her way up to a senior leadership position within the planning practice at WRT Planning & Design, before becoming an independent consultant. She is now a Principal Planner at Calvin, Giordano & Associates (CGA). Over her career, Silvia has led a wide range of project types and project scales, becoming increasingly focused on topics related to equity and inclusiveness. Her work has been recognized with multiple awards and speaking opportunities. Silvia earned her Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies and her Master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Kansas. Silvia currently chairs APA's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She previously served on the AICP Commission; she is a member of ULI’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. She has served as an expert to The American Architectural Foundation's Sustainable Cities Academy.