Elizabeth Kay Miller (Beth) is a local leader and nonprofit manager dedicated to supporting healthy, equitable and thriving cities. She has a knack for cultivating collaborative relationships with nonprofit, public, and corporate partners to unlock expertise and imagine what is possible.
From 2001-2020, Beth served as the first full-time Executive Director of the Community Design Collaborative, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that strengthens neighborhoods through design. The nonprofit matches community based organizations with design professionals through responsive design grants and proactive initiatives.
Founded in 1991 and incubated by AIA Philadelphia, under Beth’s leadership the Collaborative emerged from a closet to become an internationally recognized public interest design advocate. During her tenure, she developed a tenacious team of staff, volunteers, and board to expand the role of pro bono design in elevating grassroots solutions for neighborhood economic development.
The Collaborative has leveraged the pro bono work of volunteers to deliver preliminary design assistance to nearly 1,000 nonprofits throughout greater Philadelphia. In addition, Infill Philadelphia – a seven cycle series of innovative proactive design initiatives – brought together designers, community members, community development experts, policymakers and funders to explore design innovation and develop strategic partnerships around key issues. These public/private partnerships helped reimagine underutilized assets, convene conversations, and deliver pragmatic design solutions around emergent themes such as play space, sacred spaces and food access.
In 2019, she was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. During the 2019-2020 academic year she resided in Cambridge with eight other fellows. She drank from the firehouse that is Harvard, taking in ten courses at the College, the Kennedy School and the GSD. The course work explored the intersection of people, place, and policy.
Her commitment to cities and civic engagement also extends to her volunteer and public service. She served on the Philadelphia City Planning Commission from 2011 to 2016. She has also served on boards of The Center for Architecture, the Design Advocacy Group (DAG), the Association of Community Design, The Center City Residents Association, and Young America PAC.
Beth holds a Master’s in Government Administration from the Fels School of Government at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College.