Distinguished Alumni Award

Alumni 2013


Richard C. Keating

Richard C. Keating (B.Arch., 1968)

Managing Director of Architecture and Design, JACOBS

As a student at Berkeley, Keating served as a teaching assistant to Professor Spiro Kostof and John Burchard in Architectural History. In 1967 he was selected to participate in an excavation in ancient Corinth under the direction of Dr. Oscar Broneer from the University of Chicago Oriental Institute and Dr. Paul Klement of the Classics department at UCLA. During this period in Greece, Keating’s drawings of the site at Isthmia were published in Hesperia in support of Dr. Broneer's work.

Graduating from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968, Keating began his career at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in Chicago. During the first eight years with SOM he decided to pursue a career in architecture rather than history. Working with senior partner Bruce Graham, he was a designer on numerous international projects, new towns, large office buildings, research facilities, and retail centers. In 1976, he was asked to open an office for SOM in Houston, Texas which he built to a practice of 200 architects, engineers, and interior designers. In 10 years, the office designed and built nearly 40 million square feet of buildings. It was during this time that Keating gained a national design reputation, and he was named a full partner at the youngest age in the firm's history. In 1986, Keating also assumed charge of SOM Los Angeles which coincided fortuitously with the emergence of greater architectural opportunities in the West Coast and Pacific Rim. In Los Angeles he is best known for the 52-story Gas Company Tower, and more recently the Beverly West Tower. 

After 23 years at SOM, he formed his own firm in 1990. Since that time, he has designed a wide variety of U.S. corporate headquarters, won numerous competitions, and continued his lasting relationships with the premier developers of the United States. Along with a significant number of buildings in the U.S., Keating has enjoyed extensive work in Asia, principally in Korea, including the 1 million square foot Korea Development Bank, Meritz Insurance corporate headquarters office tower in Seoul, a training center in Gangneung, and designs for the National Archives as well as the National Museum of Korea.

He has been widely recognized for his skills and experience in making strategic design decisions in the most cost effective manner. Accordingly, he has successfully completed numerous design-build projects. In addition, he has consistently contributed concepts for large-scale urban visions of his own volition and frequently is called upon as an architectural participant in discussions about the city.

Keating's work has evolved to include a diverse range and scale of building types from high-rise offices to performing arts facilities, high-rise condominiums, and surgery centers. In each case, relatively simple forms and optimized building systems provide for his skills in finessed details and materials to achieve the resultant design excellence. He has been called an “architect’s architect” and has used his extensive knowledge of developer designs to apply to other building types with beneficial cost results while maintaining high design integrity.

Keating's range of experience includes numerous award-winning interiors projects, several single-family residences, hotels, office buildings, rehabilitation projects, and ultra high-rises. Over his career he has mentored numerous others who have developed to their own prominence in both architecture and interiors.


Jean Ross

Jean M. Ross (M.C.P., 1985)

Program Officer, Ford Foundation

Jean Ross works on government transparency and accountability issues in the United States. Her grant making supports efforts to create new standards, rules and practices to make government more accountable to the needs and priorities of marginalized groups. Her work centers on the reform of governance structures to protect the public interest and restore the public’s faith in democracy.

Jean brings a wealth of expertise and a strong record of accomplishment on fiscal and economic policy issues. Before joining the foundation in 2012, she served as executive director of the California Budget Project (CBP)—one of the nation’s leading state budget and policy organizations. A nationally recognized expert in the field, Jean’s experience has ranged from working as a member of the national advisory board of the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, to serving as chair of the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative, a national network of 32 state-based budget and policy organizations.

Before joining the CBP, Jean was principal consultant to the California State Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, developing and advancing legislation affecting state and local taxes policy, and a senior consultant to the California State Assembly Human Services Committee, focused on a range of social policy issues. Prior to that, she worked as the assistant research director of the Service Employees International Union in Washington, D.C., where she coordinated research activities on tax, budget and labor market policies.

Jean received a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California at Berkeley and a bachelors of arts degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz.


Achva Stein

Achva Benzinberg Stein, FASLA (B.A. Landscape Architecture, 1969)

Landscape Architect; Professor of Landscape Architecture, City College of New York

Achva Benzinberg Stein is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a practicing professional who has taught and worked in the US, Europe, Israel, India and China.  She is the founding Director of the Graduate program in Landscape Architecture at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York, where she is a member of the faculty in both Landscape Architecture and Urban Design.  In 2010, Professor Stein was honored with the Community Service Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects in recognition of her lifelong commitment to public design and her contribution as the Director of the City College Architectural Center, a community assistance program, which prepared designs and master plans for low income communities in the greater New York City region. The City College of New York has also honored her contributions, granting her the Outstanding Teaching Award for 2011-2012. Her projects with neighborhood groups, non-profit organizations, public housing authorities, and Government agencies focus on meeting social needs while seeking to heal the damage caused by poorly managed urban development. Her many award-winning designs include school grounds, large-scale housing projects, parks, playgrounds, hotels, community gardens and private residences. Among the various personal awards she has received are the Certificate of Commendation for Outstanding the Service to the Community from the City of Los Angeles; the Award of Distinction from the Council of Educators Landscape Architecture; the Collaborative Practice Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture; the University of Southern California Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching; and the award of Excellence from the California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for her educational contributions to the profession.  Professor Stein was twice the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, once to India in 1979 and again in 2001 to Germany.

Among her publications is the book, Morocco: Courtyards and Gardens, published by Monacelli Press, the article “On Sacred Trees and Historical Sites” published by the World Bank in the volume Historic Cities and Sacred Sites/Cultural Roots for Urban Futures; “Winter Dream” in The Next Jerusalem, edited by Michael Sorkin, and published by Monacelli Press, and the article “Thoughts Occasioned by the Old Testament” included in the book The Meaning of Gardens, edited by Mark A. Francis and Randy Hester, and published by the MIT Press.  Professor Stein is the designer of the Moroccan Courtyard in the new galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and South Asia at the Metropolitan Museum of New York. The courtyard, a permanent installation, opened in November, 2011.

Other important exhibitions include “Windows of Opportunity”, focusing on marginal lands in urban areas, part of the nation-wide traveling exhibition Nature Constructed/Nature Revealed; “Subjects and Objects” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art which retained one panel as part of its permanent collection; and a panel “Uhuru Garden” from the show Urban Revisions, at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and which later toured the both the US and Canada.