A global thinker and creative thought leader, Mani Ardalan Farhadi brings three decades of experience in planning and architecture, including 1 year at Taylor Design in San Francisco, 16 years at Steinberg Hart in San Jose, and 14 years at Sasaki Associates in Boston. Her expertise is in the pre-design phase, when planning and visioning bring about stakeholder concurrence and thoughtful solutions. Using analytical skills, she is integral to campus projects, collaborating on future strategies with public and private educational clients throughout the US. Described as ‘the client in the room', Mani brings a keen ability to listen and build consensus within a user group setting. In the past decade, she has been instrumental in outreach, setting initiatives and thought leadership. Leveraging her expertise in strategic planning and programming, Mani enjoys leading workshops, stakeholder presentations, and conferences nationwide (SCUP, AIA, EQXD, CCFC, CCLC, A4LE).

Mani’s leadership extends into volunteer duties: former Board of Trustee member at Los Gatos Union School District, and Chair of the Bond Oversight Committee, for which she received the ‘Citizen Architect’ award. A graduate of Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA with a B.A. in Architecture, she followed with a B.Arch from Boston Architectural College. A lifelong learner, her formal education has been supplemented with certificates from SCUP Planning Institute (Step III), Leadership Los Gatos, and LEED AP, as well as training in MIG (Management in Governance) and Lean.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling, exploring restaurants and watching movies with her family, reads articles about education trends, and volunteers for Women in Architecture, Iranian-American cultural groups and advocacy. She and her husband of 30 years have two sons; one is an actor who lives in Los Angeles (a graduate from UCLA School of Musical Theater), and one is an engineering major at University of Washington, Seattle.

Current Role at Stanford

As Senior Facilities Planner in the OFPM (Office of Facilities, Planning and Management) for the SoM (School of Medicine), I collaborate with Dept. Chairs, Faculty, Researchers, Staff and Facilities to optimize layouts for appx. 2M square feet of space as adjustments are needed to offices, labs, and teaching spaces across the campuses of Stanford University. I work with consultants, designers, project managers, furniture vendors, movers and others to determine the optimal solutions. After 30+ years of being in architectural firms working with educational institutions, I'm thrilled to be inside that setting and contributing to the success of the School of Medicine.

Education & Certifications

  • Step 3, SCUP (Society for College and University Planning), Planning Institute (2015)
  • Certificate, Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Los Gatos (2008)
  • LEED, AP, USGBC (US Green Building Council), Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (2002)
  • B.Arch., Boston Architectural College, Architecture (1995)
  • B.A., Wellesley College, Architecture (1984)

Service, Volunteer and Community Work

  • Women in Architecture (WIA) Outreach Committee, WIA (Women in Architecture) Silicon Valley (2002 - Present)

    As an early adopter and early member of the WIA (Women in Architecture) of Silicon Valley, a chapter of the AIA (American Institute of Architects), I assist with hosting, planning, and networking for events; I write blogs to recap our events; I serve as a voice of activism for equal pay, diversity and inclusion in the architectural industry. I've moderated several panels, including "Designing Success for Women" and "Designing Equity for All," as well as being a speaker at "Negotiating Compensation with Confidence."


    San Jose, California

  • Board of Trustee Member, Los Gatos Union School District (8/10/2015 - 12/8/2016)

    I was appointed to the Los Gatos Union School District Board of Trustees in 2015 to fill a vacancy. With one Middle School and four Elementary School sites, in 2016-17, our District Revenue was $31M, with expenditures of $27M. Our student population was 3,260 with a Faculty population of 260. During my term, I revised District Strategic Goals, developed Board Goals, conducted Supt/Board evaluations, hired Principal and Director positions, approved Budgets and Parcel Tax Measures, was involved in Union Contract negotiations, assisted in revamping District message and outreach, approved Facilities projects, reviewed District standards, received MIG (Management in Governance) training, and attended various functions and events, with my favorite being handing out diplomas at our Middle School Graduation.


    Los Gatos, California

  • Chair of Bond Oversight Committee, Los Gatos Union School District (July 2003 - July 2010)

    The Bond Oversight Committee of Los Gatos Union School District was appointed to oversee expenditures, ensuring funds were spent on legitimate construction-related activities. We met bi-monthly, with the Supt, Chief Business Official, Construction Manager, District Architect, and a representative from the Board of Trustees present. I presented an Annual Report to the Board of Trustees. I represented a voice for the community. For my community service as Chair of the Bond Oversight Committee for 7 of the 10 years that I served, I received a 'Citizen Architect' Award from the AIA (American Institute of Architects).


    Los Gatos, California