AMES, Iowa — J. Jade Liska, the deputy director of the Kansas City Aviation Department’s Planning and Engineering Division, is a recipient of the 2019 Design Achievement Award presented by the Iowa State University College of Design.

The award recognizes outstanding creative and professional achievements of alumni in all of the college’s disciplines, which include architecture, art and design, community and regional planning, graphic design, industrial design, integrated studio arts, integrated visual arts, interdisciplinary design, interior design, landscape architecture, sustainable environments and urban design.

A native of St. Paul Park/Cottage Grove, Minnesota, who completed high school in Manchester, Iowa, Liska received a bachelor of landscape architecture from Iowa State in 1994. He will be honored during Homecoming at the ISU Alumni Association’s 88th Honors and Awards Ceremony at 1:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in Benton Auditorium, Scheman Building, Iowa State Center. A dessert reception will follow.

As the project manager for the $1.5 billion new passenger terminal at Kansas City International Airport (KCI), Liska coordinates with the outside design and construction team and the Kansas City Aviation Department leadership team to keep the project on track for completion in 2023. He also manages other design and construction activities at both KCI and the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.

Liska has worked for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, for nearly 15 years, serving in a variety of management roles. He started as a senior planner and was promoted to division manager of the Citywide Planning Division in 2007. In this role, he dealt with long-range preservation and transportation planning along with census/GIS and population planning. Liska was instrumental in implementing the area plans for the entire 317-square-mile city.

In 2013, Liska joined the Aviation Department as the manager of airport planning and part of the leadership team advancing the new terminal program. In 2018 he became the deputy director of the Planning and Engineering Division.

Prior to joining the City of Kansas City, Liska worked in Wichita, Kansas, where he was a project manager in multidisciplinary engineering, planning, surveying and construction firms for more than 12 years.

Liska served as president of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Prairie Gateway Chapter in 2008, and from 2013–2016 he served as an ASLA trustee representing that chapter. He currently serves on the Platte County Economic Development Committee, Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce and King of Kings Lutheran Church board of directors.

Liska was named Suburban Landscape Management’s Employee of the Year in 2003 and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2012. He is a licensed professional landscape architect in Kansas and Missouri and a life member of the ISU Alumni Association.


J. Jade Liska, Kansas City Aviation Department Planning and Engineering Division, jade.liska@kcmo.org
Rachel Moylan, Design Events and Alumni Relations, (515) 294-5791, rmoylan@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu