With a two-decade career in architecture and advocacy, Mathew will lead and expand KPF’s ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts, guide its corporate social responsibility initiatives, and play a key role in project-specific community engagement.
Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) is pleased to announce that Kavitha Mathew, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP has joined the firm to serve as its Global Diversity Officer. In this role, Mathew will bolster the firm’s current momentum in its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, as well as develop and implement KPF’s global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitment. With over twenty years of experience in the field, Mathew brings a unique perspective to KPF, both as a registered architect and an advocate for equity in the profession. As Founder and President of Equity Co:LAB, and the Special Projects Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter AIANY, Mathew possesses a varied background that allows her to view the practice from multiple perspectives – as a practicing architect, as a consultant, and as a representative hearing directly from architects and design professionals about the change they would like to see in the workplace and the profession.
At KPF, Mathew will be responsible for spearheading KPF’s existing diversity initiatives and CSR commitment, developing plans to advance diversity and inclusion priorities across the firm and in its projects, and maintaining oversight of KPF’s many internal Communities such as KPF Public, KPF Pride, and KPF+. Mathew will also help guide KPF’s recruitment and resourcing, as well as its philanthropic and volunteer efforts.
Leveraging her experience as an architect, Mathew’s work at KPF will have a project-focused component. She will advise on community engagement, helping to communicate project ideas and goals to the local community, and will synthesize feedback into definitive design results.
“KPF is committed to increasing diversity and equity by expanding opportunities for underrepresented groups to pursue and thrive in the profession, building meaningful partnerships with local communities and consultants, and aligning our mission to create beautiful and innovative projects with an obligation to the communities we serve,” said Kavitha Mathew, KPF Global Diversity Officer. “A key to the success of KPF’s CSR goals is that they integrate into the programming and design of our projects and support the pursuit of work with a positive social mission. I am excited to work with KPF's global community on defining and achieving these goals. This opportunity provides agency to my passion to address the evolving role of architects.”
“KPF is excited to have Kavitha join our team to help us advance our global CSR mission,” said Dominic Dunn, KPF Principal. “She brings great talent and experience in advocacy, as well as relationship and consensus building to the firm. Kavitha’s people-focused style and approach to her work and her community will serve well to lead us in shaping, strengthening, and maintaining KPF’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our projects, community, and more broadly the design and construction industry.”
As the Founder and President of Equity Co:LAB, Mathew partners with organizations to research, identify, and implement strategies that will foster a more equitable and diverse workplace. Previously Director of Corporate Architectural Services for Ralph Lauren, she has also worked in various architectural roles at firms including KPF, Spacesmith, and Ted Moudis Associates, as well as her own practice.
In her role as Special Projects Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), Mathew oversees programs intended to provide opportunities for members to move beyond their daily work lives to interface with diverse communities, engage in the civic realm, and connect with students who may not be familiar with architecture as a career. Some of these include the award-winning annual Day of Service, the Civic Leadership Program, and Discover Architecture high school program. In addition, she liaises with chapter leadership and local officials on advocacy efforts involving issues related to design professionals and the built environment. She created this position after approaching the AIANY and expressing concern with the lack of equity and representation in the profession. She seeks to implement programs that go beyond the traditional focus of professional organizations to elevate the social conscience and expand the mission of architects.
Mathew holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia as well as a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University. Currently serving as a committee chair on her local community board, CB6, she strives to understand and fulfill the needs of residents and enhance their quality of life.