Dean's Council

Wemimo Abbey

Wemimo Abbey (WAG ’15)

Co-Founder and Co-CEO, 
Esusu Financial, Inc.   

Casey Box

Casey Box (GAL ’08, WAG ’11)

Director of Global Strategy, The Christensen Fund 

Steven M. Cohen

Steven M. Cohen (WSC ’85)

Founding Member, Blue Raven LLP  
Chair, NYU Wagner Dean’s Council

Rose Gill

Rose Gill

Principal, Bloomberg Associates

Daria Hirsch

Daria Hirsch (WAG ’11)

Project Lead for School Networks, NYC Kids RISE 

Nathaniel Mattison (LAW ’18)

Legal fellow, NYU School of Law’s Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy, and Land Use Law

James Rubin

James Rubin

Former North America
Chief Executive Officer,  
Meridiam

Zac Townsend

Zac Townsend (WAG ’12)

Co-Founder and CEO, Standard 

Sascia Yuan

Sascia Yuan (CAS ’10)

Director, Credit Suisse 

Carol Kellerman

Carol Kellerman

Senior Fellow, Community Impact Policy Institute

Ksenia Koban

Ksenia Koban

Director, Fixed Income & ESG Investing at Neuberger Berman

 

Wemimo Abbey (WAG ’15)                    
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Esusu Financial, Inc. 

Wemimo grew up in the slums of Lagos, Nigeria and came to the United States when he was 17 years old. He and his mother struggled to receive a loan without a credit score and borrowed money from a payday lender at over 400% interest. Years later, that experience inspired Wemimo and his co-founder to start Esusu, a financial technology company that helps low-to-moderate-income households use their on-time rent payments to build credit. 

Esusu’s platform provides rent reporting, property management analytics, and rental assistance to unlock financial access and stability for renters and property owners. Most recently, Esusu was valued at $1 billion in their Series B round of fundraising.   

Although Esusu was founded in 2018, Wemimo’s journey as an entrepreneur did not begin there. Prior to Esusu, he created a global social venture which provided affordable access to clean water for over 250,000 people in eight emerging countries. In addition, he founded data analytics company Open Aid Initiative which was acquired in 2014. Wemimo’s early career includes roles at Accenture, Goldman Sachs, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).   

Beyond Esusu, Wemimo serves as a Queen’s Young Leader and member of the Royal Commonwealth Society. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Business Management and earned his M.P.A. from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In 2020, Abbey was recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. In 2021, he was selected by Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs. 

 

Casey Box (GAL ’08, WAG ’11)                    
Director of Global Strategy, The Christensen Fund 

Casey Box is Director of Global Strategy at The Christensen Fund. Previously, Casey served as the Executive Director of Land is Life, a global network that has directly supported grassroots indigenous communities, organizations, and leaders since 1992. In addition to the NYU Board of Trustees, he is a member of the NYU Langone Health Board of Trustees, the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study Dean’s Council, the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Dean’s Council, and co-chair of the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service Dean’s Council. Casey serves on the board of the Inova Health Foundation, The Philanthropy Workshop, and the Heritage Management Organization. He was previously named a senior fellow on the Americas Business Council and is the managing member of Kellar Investments LLC and treasurer of the Kellar Family Foundation. 

 

Steven M. Cohen (WSC ’85)                    
Founding Member, Blue Raven LLP                   
Chair, NYU Wagner Dean’s Council

Steven "Steve" Cohen has more than 30 years of experience as a lawyer in private practice and in public service. He is the founding member of Blue Raven LLP, a specialty legal advisory firm focused on providing strategic advice to businesses, corporate boards and executives as well as providing outside General Counsel services. Additionally, Steve currently serves on the board of Whole Earth Brands Inc. and as outside legal advisor to Ayr Wellness, Inc.

Prior to forming Blue Raven, Steve was General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer for MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated. Early in his career, Steve was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he helped found the Violent Gangs Unit, which he then supervised. While an AUSA, Steve investigated, prosecuted and supervised hundreds of cases involving murders and gang violence, and for his efforts was awarded both the Attorney General’s Award for Superior Service and a Director’s Award for Distinguished Service.

In 2011, Steve was appointed as Secretary to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. In that position, Steve was the governor’s most senior advisor and had overall responsibility for management of the governor’s administration. Steve was tasked with overseeing the administration’s successful effort to secure the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. Before serving in the Governor’s Office, from 2007 to 2011, Steve was Chief of Staff and Counselor to the New York Attorney General.

Steve’s extensive career in public service also has included the following positions: Chair of Empire State Development (New York’s economic development agency), Chair of Gateway Development Commission, Vice-Chair of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, member of the NYS Commission on Judicial Nomination, Commissioner of the NYS Financial Control Board, Chair of the New York City Mayor’s Committee on City Marshals, Commissioner of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation.

Steve graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and earned his undergraduate degree from New York University. Following law school, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Stanley Sporkin of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Frank X. Altimari of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Steve serves on the Board of Directors of Bank Leumi USA and the Perelman Center for the Performing Arts. He previously served as Vice Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In addition to the NYU Board of Trustees, Steven is a member of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering Board and the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

 

Rose Gill                 
Principal, Bloomberg Associates

Rose Gill served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) from 2002 through 2013 and was the longest-serving Commissioner in its 140-year history. Rose’s leadership led to significant increases in DOI’s productivity, including assets recovered for New York City, and a comprehensive corruption-prevention program. In 2013, Rose also helped create the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School, which focuses on accountability in government and municipal jurisdictions throughout the world, and chairs its Advisory Board. Prior to her appointment at DOI, Rose was a federal prosecutor for ten years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and Chief of the Crime Control Strategies Unit. She has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law and worked as a litigator in the private sector. Rose is the former Chair of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (2014–2017), a national model for nonpartisan regulation of public financing of campaigns and for voters’ assistance.  
 

Daria Hirsch (WAG ’11)                   
Project Lead for School Networks, NYC Kids RISE

Daria Hirsch works as the Project Lead for School Networks at NYC Kids RISE, a nonprofit that runs a college scholarship and savings program in partnership with the NUC Department of Education. Most recently, she was Director of Business Development and Production for NBC News Learn, the network's education division. She previously served as Chief of Staff for the NYC Department of Small Business Services during Mayor Bloomberg's administration. Daria began her career at CBS News, where she spent nearly a decade producing a wide range of stories for 48 Hours, 60 Minutes II, and the network’s documentary unit. She is on the board of two NYC nonprofits that serve low-income youth and lives in Port Washington, NY, with her husband and three daughters.

 

Carol Kellerman                   
Senior Fellow, Community Impact Policy Institute

Carol is a life-long public servant who has dedicated her career to helping make New York State and City better places to live and work. In 2019 she retired after eleven years as President of the Citizens Budget Commission, a highly regarded nonprofit fiscal watchdog. Previously she was the CEO of several nonprofit organizations including the September 11th Fund and Learning Leaders and served as Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Finance Department, special assistant to the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Executive Director of the Mayor’s Advisory Task force on the homeless. A graduate of Harvard College and law school, she worked as an attorney in the Civil Division of the Legal Aid Society and as chief of staff to then Congressman Chuck Schumer. 

 

Ksenia Kobanman                   
Director, Fixed Income ESG Investing at Neuberger Berman

Ksenia Koban is the Director of Fixed Income ESG Investing at Neuberger Berman, where she leads the integration of environmental, social and governance considerations in investment practices and investment strategies across the fixed income platform. Her years as an investment professional include  roles in credit research, portfolio management, and responsible and impact investing. Before returning to New York, she spent a decade at Payden&Rygel Investment Management in Los Angeles, most recently as a Senior Vice President, Co-Chair of ESG/Responsible Investment Practices and Head of Municipal Credit Research. Her career began in New York City government at the City Council Finance Division where she worked on intergovernmental priorities, and public finance policies and matters. Ksenia is a graduate of the New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Finance, and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Economics & Policy from UC San Diego. She is actively involved in finance industry groups and initiatives, and is a frequent commentator and public speaker on topics ranging from sustainable and impact investing to municipal finance and policy. 

 

Nathaniel Mattison (LAW ’18)                  
Legal Fellow, NYU School of Law’s Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy, and Land Use Law

Nathaniel "Nate" Mattison is an attorney in New York. Most recently, he was a law clerk to the Honorable Charles S. Haight, Jr., Senior United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut. Previously, Nate was an associate in the litigation group at Milbank LLP, with a particular focus on antitrust matters; he also has worked in fundraising for the University of Cambridge. Beginning in June 2022, Nate will be a legal fellow at NYU School of Law’s Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy, and Land Use Law.

 

James Rubin               
Former North America Chief Executive Officer, Meridiam

James "Jamie" Rubin is the former North America Chief Executive Officer for Meridiam, a global investor and asset manager. Prior to assuming his role at Meridiam, Jamie was the Director of State Operations for New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo. From May 2015 until January 2017, Jamie was Commissioner of NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the agency that finances the development and preservation of affordable housing statewide. Before that, he served as the Founding Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) where he was responsible for overseeing New York State’s recovery from storms Sandy, Irene, and Lee and created programs to disburse $4.4 billion in disaster recovery funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Prior to being tapped to lead GOSR, Jamie was New York Director of the US President’s Hurricane Sandy Recovery and Rebuilding Task Force and a Senior Advisor to then-HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Jamie was previously a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program working with cities including Buffalo and Detroit to identify and implement innovative economic development strategies.

Jamie spent 14 years as an investment banker and private equity investor. His experience in the private sector includes partner roles at BC Partners and One Equity Partners, JP Morgan’s private equity fund, where he was one of the founding partners in 2001. He is a 1993 graduate of Yale Law School and lives with his family in New York City.

 

Zac Townsend (WAG ’12)               
Co-Founder and CEO, Standard

Zac Townsend is co-founder and CEO of Standard, a life insurance startup. Previously, he was an Associate Partner in Digital McKinsey with a focus on business building in financial services. Zac served as the inaugural Chief Data Officer of California. He was the Co-founder and Head of Product of Standard Treasury, which built API platforms for banks and fintech companies. That company ultimately sold to Silicon Valley Bank. He graduated from Y Combinator and was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for enterprise technology, while his commentary on financial services—and particularly the intersection of regulation and technology—has appeared in the Financial Times, American Banker, Slate, TechCrunch, and several local newspapers. Zac is on the Board of Governors of the San Francisco Symphony and previously served on the boards of Bayes Impact and Alternative Family Services, and has had academic affiliations with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, the PRIISM center at NYU, and the Stanford Impact Labs.

 

Sascia Yuan (CAS ’10)               
Director, Credit Suisse

Sascia Yuan is a Director of Credit Suisse in the Investment Banking division, based in New York. She leads coverage of international pensions, sovereign wealth funds, and financial institutions in the derivatives product area. Previously, Sascia was an investment analyst at the Ford Foundation, where she managed the foundation’s hedge fund and public equity portfolios. She started her career in equity derivatives at Goldman Sachs. In addition to serving on the NYU Board of Trustees and the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service Dean’s Council, Sascia is on the Young Partner Board of the Public Theater.