Founder of Planning Studio in New Orleans Explores New Opportunity

February 11, 2022   /   Studio News

Asakura Robinson is sad to announce that Alex Miller, AICP, will be moving on from her time with us after six years of leading the firm’s New Orleans office as a Managing Principal. Alex founded our New Orleans office in 2016 and partnered with Managing Principal Zakcq Lockrem, AICP, in developing and expanding our planning studio. As a Managing Principal, Alex was a key member of AR’s leadership team and built our capacity in community development, economic development, strategic planning, and resilience, working with communities across the country.

“I’ll miss the entire incredible team at Asakura Robinson, but I know that our people have the values, the knowledge, and the will to continue doing amazing work that builds an equitable, sustainable future for generations to come,” Alex said. “I can’t wait to see what the firm does next – as evidenced by the fact that we’re still working together!”

Alex has been a guiding force in the creation and growth of our JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Committee, the Neighbors Program, and much more. Her recent projects have included an equitable development plan for Rockford, Illinois; a 10-year housing strategy for Harris County, Texas; a strategic plan for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority; and an economic development strategy for the region surrounding Corpus Christi and Victoria, Texas.

She’s proud to have made an impact with more projects in her hometown of New Orleans – from her work years ago to help the city secure $141 million in federal National Disaster Resilience Competition, to her ongoing community engagement work for the last three years on the St. Anthony Green Streets project that was funded with those same dollars.

Alex will be taking some time to consider her next steps and doing some independent consulting work – including finalizing a few key projects with the Asakura Robinson team in Buffalo, NY; Houston; and New Orleans through this March, and working with the AR team on a project in St. Paul, MN.

“Alex founded the New Orleans office in 2015 and quickly established Asakura Robinson as go-to experts for inclusive planning and community development in Southeast Louisiana. She led our small band of planners with a rare combination of abundant knowledge in planning, an exceptional talent to get things done, and humble and earnest interest in helping the people she worked with. She served as a role model for interns and entry level staff getting their careers of the ground in housing and economic development, including our interns and entry level staff. Alex consistently demonstrated leadership by never shying from making decisions in tough situations, reliably confronting ambiguities head-on and forging pathways when the direction was unclear, all with a cool confidence that belied how hard she worked to better our communities. I recall moments such as when members of the Gert Town neighborhood association, for whom Alex volunteered her time to build a community park, stepped into our office unannounced and embraced Alex as if she were old family, or when colleagues from partner organizations gushed over their experiences working with her. We will miss Alex’s brilliance, work ethic, humility, and generosity.” – Matt Rufo, Principal

As Alex departs, several AR colleagues who have worked with her throughout the years will be leading the Planning Studio in New Orleans.

For information about our New Orleans office or planning project pursuits, please reach out to Matt Rufo, AICP, at and/or Zakcq Lockrem, AICP, at

AR Internship Experience January 13, 2022   /   Office Culture