Chief Sustainability Officer, Morgan Stanley
Audrey Choi is Morgan Stanley’s first Chief Sustainability Officer. She serves on the Firm’s Management Committee and is the founding CEO of Morgan Stanley’s industry-leading Institute for Sustainable Investing. As Chief Sustainability Officer, Audrey oversees Morgan Stanley’s global efforts to promote sustainability through the capital markets. Over the last decade, she has been a pioneer in bringing sustainable investing into the mainstream. In a career spanning the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Audrey has become a proven thought leader on how finance can be harnessed to protect the environment, strengthen communities, and create economic opportunity. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Audrey held senior policymaking positions in the Clinton Administration, including serving as Janet Yellen’s Chief of Staff at the Council of Economic Advisers and Domestic Policy Advisor to Vice President Gore. Previously, Audrey was a foreign correspondent and bureau chief at The Wall Street Journal. She serves on the boards of several national nonprofit organizations focused on sustainability, community development and social justice. Audrey is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She was a Fulbright Scholar and a White House Fellow.
Head of Asset Management, Allianz Real Estate
Based in the New York office, Peggy DaSilva is Head Asset Management for Allianz Real Estate, United States and is responsible for actively managing the US portfolio of equity investments. Before joining Allianz, Peggy was Managing Director at Canyon Partners Real Estate, where she raised capital for a real estate debt fund that invests across the capital stack in senior and subordinate positions. Prior to this, Peggy was a Managing Director with the U.S. Managed Accounts Group of CBRE Global Investors, serving as the portfolio manager for one of the firm’s international sovereign wealth fund clients. Peggy also has served a Senior Vice President and Managing Director at The Rockefeller Group, where she was responsible for portfolio and asset management of their U.S. Premier Office Fund LP, a core office fund with assets in US gateway cities. Peggy held previous senior positions with Deutsche Bank USA, Bankers Trust Company, Citicorp Securities, and Chemical Bank, where she also worked in their Tokyo office. She is past president of WX, a New York-based organization of senior women in real estate, and was an original member of the Executive Committee of WLI, the Women’s Leadership Initiative at ULI. She is a Director on the Board of the Center for Urban Community Services in New York City. She graduated cum laude from Wellesley College and earned an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School.
Founder and CEO, FirePine Group
James Rhee is an impact investor, founder, CEO and educator who empowers people, brands and organizations to fulfill their true potential by marrying capital with purpose and truth across multiple systems. The acclaimed story of the remarkable transformation and re-imagination of Ashley Stewart, one of the country’s largest brands serving Black women, under his leadership as chairman, first-time CEO and investor (2013-2020) is a tangible example of the power of diverse ecosystems and multi-stakeholder capitalism. Howard University recently appointed James to a three-year term as the Johnson Chair of Entrepreneurship, Professor of Entrepreneurship and senior adviser to the newly endowed Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership. James also holds appointments at both MIT Sloan School of Management and Duke Law School as a senior lecturer, where he teaches about change through organizational systems and deconstructed investment principles. As an investor, James has helped manage billions of dollars of growth and distressed capital at two leading firms, before ultimately founding FirePine Group, a platform that has stewarded the capital of some of the world’s most sophisticated investors. FirePine is exploring the intersection of impact and education through a new venture called Red Helicopter. He serves as an Advisory Council member of JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways, a member of the Governing Committee of the CEO Action for Racial Equity and a Board Director of Conscious Capitalism. He is a client of United Talent Agency. Rhee received his A.B. with honors from Harvard College and his J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Kristopher Takács (facilitator)
Kristopher Takács leads SOM's regional office in Washington, D.C. Having joined SOM in 2004, Takács draws on more than 20 years of experience as an architect, urban designer, and project manager. He is recognized for his hands-on leadership in delivering landmark buildings, innovative urban districts, and regional plans whose success is built on design excellence, high-quality civic spaces, highly integrated transportation systems, and sustainability. He has overseen projects in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, China, and India. As a transportation specialist, Takács is an advocate for multimodalism and pedestrian-prioritized city design. He has shaped more than 40 projects addressing urban mobility through metro mass transit, light rail transit, commuter rail, high-speed rail, and intermodal hubs. Notable boundary-pushing projects led by Takács include the Denver Union Station redevelopment, Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan, and All Aboard Florida’s three Brightline intercity passenger rail stations and associated transit-oriented development.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Walker & Dunlop
Willy Walker is chairman and chief executive officer of Walker & Dunlop. Under Mr. Walker’s leadership, Walker & Dunlop has grown from a small, family-owned business to become one of the largest commercial real estate finance companies in the United States. Walker & Dunlop is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and in its first ten years as a public company has seen its shares appreciate over 800%. The firm was also #17 on Fortune’s 2017 list of “Fastest Growing Public Companies”, and has been named a Best Workplace for five of the past six years by the Great Place to Work® Institute. Mr. Walker received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2011 and was named “Financier of the Year” in 2017 by Commercial Mortgage Observer. Mr. Walker received his master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University. He currently serves on the boards of Children's National Medical Center, and the Mortgage Bankers Association, and he formerly served on the board of St. Albans School. Mr. Walker is also a member of the Real Estate Roundtable. Mr. Walker is an avid runner, skier and cyclist, and has run the Boston Marathon in 2:36.