Liz Williams Russell designs and facilitates strategies to support communities influenced by land loss and relative sea-level rise across coastal Louisiana. With a background and training in architectural design, landscape systems, and urban planning, Liz incorporates the complexities of the developed urban ecosystem to promote equitable opportunities in areas altered and affected by land change. Liz directs the activities of the Foundation for Louisiana’s Coastal Resilience Leverage Fund, managing coastal grant-making areas with community-based advisors, allies and relevant partners while improving and increasing opportunities for regional collaboration. Liz continues to accomplish this work by encouraging communication and coordination among networks across parishes, coastal basins and statewide.
The Fund acknowledges and reinforces the work done by resident leaders and community-based organizations, working to provide opportunities for those most impacted by environmental risks to be key decision makers in how to address them. Liz’s role underscores the foundation’s unique ability to provide both technical and grant-making support in order to catalyze local skillsets and resources, to bolster a range of regional organizational strengths, and to integrate related and interconnected activities towards comprehensive statewide response to coastal change.
Liz previously worked as a Research Fellow and Affiliate with the Coastal Sustainability Studio at Louisiana State University. In this role she led and collaborated with cohorts of civil engineers, urban planners, coastal scientists and landscape architects alongside economic, legal and cultural advisors. Ranging from single property scale to the entire coastal region, each project engaged a set of unique conditions within the coastal landscape and proposed developments through which residents and communities might advance and thrive in a future with evolving challenges.
In addition to her early years of experience within traditional architecture practice, Liz has held a range of academic positions. She has taught within the School of Architecture at LSU, the Department of Architecture and Landscape at the University of Greenwich in London, London College of Contemporary Art and Birmingham City University in the UK.