Funding provided by

Panelist Bio


Boo Thomas
President and CEO, Center for Planning Excellence

Elizabeth "Boo" Thomas is the President and CEO of the Center for Planning Excellence. The Center's premiere program is Plan Baton Rouge, a plan to redevelop downtown into a viable center for all citizens to experience: to work, to play, and to live. Another Program is the Neighborhood and Economic Revitalization Strategy for Old South Baton Rouge.

Ms. Thomas was the first Executive Director of Mid City Redevelopment Alliance, a non profit agency that acts as the catalyst for the revitalization and redevelopment of neighborhoods surrounding the Baton Rouge General Medical Center. She held that position for 7 years.

After obtaining her Master's degree in Landscape Architecture from LSU in 1989, Elizabeth was employed by Chenevert Soderberg Architects to participate in the development of the Horizon Plan, the Comprehensive Land Use and Transportation Plan for East Baton Rouge Parish.

Boo is a member of the Urban Land Institute, American Society of Landscape Architects, and the American Planning Association.

In addition to her professional responsibilities, Boo gives her time serving as a volunteer on many local boards and committees which provide for the betterment of the community:



Ms. Thomas was named the first recipient of the Jensen Holliday Volunteer of the Year by the Chamber of Greater Baton Rouge in 2004. She was also named Volunteer of the Year for 2003 by the YMCA, and was named Volunteer Activist for 2002. She was also named to the first Top 25 Women in Greater Baton Rouge by the Business Report in 1997.

In 2000, Ms. Thomas was recognized as an LSU Woman of Distinction. She received the 2001 Patron of Architecture Award by the Louisiana Architecture Foundation for a non-architect that has significantly exemplified leadership in design issues which enhance the quality of life and educate the public about the importance and influence of architecture.

Ms. Thomas is married to John A. Thomas, M. D. Their daughter, Julie, is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Architecture. She and her husband, Simon Hess, live and work in Chicago, IL with their two daughters, Caroline Elizabeth and Isabella Buckner. Both of their sons graduated from Stanford University and both live in New York City. John is a financial analyst with Bank of America and Andrew is employed by Credit Suisse First Boston as a financial analyst.

Current Topic


03/15 - Cancer in Louisiana

Why is Louisiana’s cancer death rate so much higher than the rest of America?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


04/15 - Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates

What help is available for Louisiana students who have dropped out of school?

Recent Topics


02/15 - Dollars per Barrel: Oil Prices & Louisiana

Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana from the drop in prices?


01/15 - Louisiana After Ferguson

Who is policing the police in Louisiana?


12/14 - Decoding Common Core (Encore Presentation)

What do Louisiana educators, parents and students think about Common Core?


11/14 - Destination: Graduation

How is Louisiana addressing its dropout problem?

»»» View all Topics!
Privacy Policy    |    Public & EEO Reports    |    louisiana.gov    |    LPB Webmail   |    Closed Captions   |    Contact & Address
© 2015 LETA. All Rights Reserved.