Maria Adebowale-Schwarte joined the Foundation as CEO in 2019. Maria is a placemaking and grants strategist with over 25 years cross-sector experience in heritage, human rights improving urban places and green spaces. She is passionate about genuine community-inclusive and cross-sector development and co-designed public/private space consultation.

She started her career in human rights, social and environmental justice, working in non-governmental organisations. She joined the Foundation from Living Space Project, the urban placemaking think tank consultancy that she founded.
Maria also sits on several governance boards of organisations and advisory groups, which hold a strong place-led, sustainable development, culture, and heritage focus including Heritage National Lottery Fund, Environment Agency and Mayor of London’s, Sustainable Development Commission.

She has a degree in Organisation Studies and Business Law, a Masters in Public International Law, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Architecture, Sustainability and Design, and received the Place and Environment Clore Social Fellowship.
Her book The Place Making Factor explores the role of philanthropy in unlocking siloed approaches to funding.