erik-de-kok.jpgAscent Welcomes Back
Erik de Kok, AICP

Ascent is thrilled to announce the return of Erik de Kok, AICP. He is assuming a new position at the firm as Director of Interdisciplinary Planning.

Erik first joined Ascent in 2012 as a senior planner/project manager with a passion for climate change and sustainability, community planning, and environmental review. In 2019, he seized the opportunity to join the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) where he served as Deputy Director of Planning & Community Development. In this role, he managed a diverse range of tasks including technical assistance, policy development, legislative review, and interagency coordination. He collaborated closely with OPR’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program and the California Strategic Growth Council on shared initiatives to advance climate equity and resilience. Erik also co-chaired the Fire-Adapted Communities Working Group under the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force. In addition, he led OPR’s efforts to prepare or update statewide guidance on environmental justice, wildfire hazard planning and wildland-urban interface best practices, evacuation planning, and CEQA streamlining.

Erik returns to establish a new role at Ascent founded on the expertise gained from his prior local government, consulting, and state government positions, as well as his comprehensive understanding of California’s “planning ecosystem.” As the Director of Interdisciplinary Planning, he will work across Ascent’s practice areas and market sectors to offer holistic, innovative, and integrated approaches using planning, science, design, and kindness to address evolving and complex community and environmental challenges. His aim is to support the clients and the communities we serve in effectively managing change by identifying strategic, practical planning pathways that align with new and emerging funding opportunities.

As a way to give back to the planning profession, Erik serves on the American Planning Association California Chapter Board of Directors as Vice President of Policy and Legislation. He also teaches introductory planning courses for working professionals through the Land Use and Natural Resources program at UC Davis Continuing & Professional Education.

If you wish to reach out to say hello to Erik in this new role, his Ascent email address is