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 nearly 30 years of professional work in the US and abroad. She started her career in as a development review planner in Monroe County, FL, later becoming the County's Parks and Recreation Planner. Silvia subsequently transitioned to the private sector, progressing 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 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 (KU). Silvia serves on the Advisory Board for the KU School of Public Affairs & Administration. Currently, Silvia is a Director at Large on APA's Board of Directors and chairs APA's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She previously served on the AICP Commission. Silvia is a member of ULI’s Women’s Leadership Initiative and has served as an expert to The American Architectural Foundation's Sustainable Cities Academy.