Senior Associate and People Culture Manager  |  Perkins Eastman

Emily Pierson-Brown


Emily Pierson-Brown has been a fierce advocate for gender equity since growing up the only child of a single mother. Passionate about studying architecture from a young age, Emily attended the University of Virginia where she received a B.S. in Architectural Studies. After taking a 10-year detour from architecture to spend time with her other passion – books – as a retail manager for Borders Books & Music, Emily returned to graduate school to earn her Master of Architecture and Master of City & Regional Planning from Catholic University in Washington, DC. She graduated summa cum laude and was voted by her classmates to speak at graduation. Her Masters’ thesis, “Tactical Equity: Collective Memory, the Communal Porch, and Creating an Architecture of Opportunity” was awarded the Best in Thesis honor. Emily is a Senior Associate, architect, and planner with Perkins Eastman in Pittsburgh, PA, where she focuses her work on building equitable and healthy communities, primarily in senior living environments. She also serves as the firm’s PEople Culture Manager, leading the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative globally and supporting the 26 PE offices in curating positive studio culture. In 2019, Emily received the Sho-Ping Chin Grant to attend the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit, and in 2022, received the Impact Designer Award from AIA Pennsylvania. In 2018, Emily launched the current iteration of Women+ in Design Pittsburgh with several other women in the design professions locally. The organization strives to build camaraderie within the industry and offer a support network for women’s leadership, mentorship, and professional development in architecture and design.