With over 25 years of professional experience, Van Hyfte brings a combination of expertise in architecture, urban design, sustainability, and resilience. She is leading the Austin studio’s sustainable design initiatives and resilience strategies across Texas.
In her recent role as Vice President of Urban Design at the Downtown Austin Alliance, Van Hyfte championed urban design, planning, land development, and public policy initiatives that were instrumental in establishing Austin as a hub for sustainability and resilience. Earlier in her career, as Sustainability Director at Seton Healthcare Family, Van Hyfte pioneered and managed a comprehensive sustainability program that set new benchmarks within the health care industry.
As a registered Architect in Texas, Van Hyfte is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and is a LEED Accredited Professional. She serves as an Advisory Council Member and the Local Climate Impacts Strategic Council Chairperson of the Urban Land Institute’s Austin District Council and is the President of the board of directors of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems.
“Michele’s proficiency in sustainable design and resilience will be a tremendous asset to our team,” said HOK Director of Sustainable Design Anica Landreneau, ASSOC. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP. “Her experience in leading diverse teams, promoting sustainable initiatives, and advocating for code and policy changes aligns perfectly with HOK’s values.”
“As we broaden our footprint across Texas and the Central U.S., Michele’s deep understanding of and excellent reputation within the Austin community will be invaluable,” said Jay Tatum, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Managing Principal for HOK in Texas. “We’re thrilled to have her on our team.”
In addition to her professional roles, Van Hyfte has a history of advocacy and public speaking, which has positioned her as a central figure in sustainable development and policy dialogue. Through her active participation in various legislative sessions, community advisory groups, and task forces, she has emerged as a voice in environmental initiatives. Van Hyfte’s influence reaches numerous platforms, including the CleanMed National Conference, a national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability; the Greenbuild International Conference, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building; and the National League of Cities Annual Convention, a gathering of municipal officials to discuss city priorities. She has also made contributions to policy-making through her involvement in the City of Austin’s Community Climate Plan and Mayor’s Zero-Energy Capable Homes Initiative and Austin Energy’s Resource Generation Plan.
Van Hyfte has received several accolades, including the John V. Nyfeler, FAIA, Community Service Award in 2018 and the Young Architectural Professional of the Year Award in 2004 from the AIA Austin Chapter. She is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Austin and has also been an active participant in various community organizations dedicated to environmental conservation and sustainable urban planning.