Hugh Lester, PhDc, a leading criminal justice planner and designer, has joined the New York City architecture, design and planning firm of Urbahn Architects as senior justice planner. Lester’s current projects at Urbahn include the $262 million New York City Juvenile Justice Facilities Redevelopment Master Plan that encompasses phased renovations and expansions of four existing facilities in the Bronx. Lester’s responsibilities include applying planning and design expertise to juvenile justice, jail, prison and in-custody courthouse facilities as well as planning and design leadership for secure facilities. Lester’s 26-year career encompasses more than $1.2 billion worth of security, detention, correctional and criminal justice facilities throughout the United States and overseas, totaling more than 3.2 million square feet.
Prior to joining Urbahn, Lester worked in senior design and planning positions at Dewberry, DMJM H&N/AECOM, HSMM/AECOM and SFS Architects. He expects to earn a PhD in Sociotechnical Systems from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2018, and holds a graduate certificate in Sustainable Engineering from Stevens. Lester also holds a MAIS degree in Criminal Justice from Western New Mexico University and Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degrees, both from the University of Kansas.