José de Jesús Leal, PLA, ASLA

José de Jesús Leal, PLA, ASLA


José has been learning from and experiencing the environment since he was a child – whether it was working in the fields and orchards with his family or playing outside in the diverse natural environments where he grew up. In landscape architecture, he found a path to continuous discovery and means of connecting people to place, history and culture.

To José, every project represents an opportunity to build on the collective knowledge of clients, the community, and the place itself through authentic engagement and listening. His Mexican and Indigenous heritage has motivated his passion of Indigenous landscape architecture and how different cultures interact with their environments. He views landscape architecture as a centuries old practice that is not only shaped by tradition but reflects it.

At MIG, his projects have encompassed everything from complete streets, parks, schools, and recreation facilities. As Director of the Tribal Nation Building, José is responsible for guiding an interdisciplinary studio of designers, planners, engineers, and scientist in providing planning and design services to Tribal Nations to support and strengthen tribal community cohesiveness, resilience, self-determination, and sovereignty. His work focuses on the power of inclusive design and cultural relativism to connect people to the spirt of place through story telling.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Davis. He is a registered professional landscape architect in California. José is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects Diversity Summit Community.