Project Leadership and Advisory Board
Thad Calabrese studies public and nonprofit financial management, broadly focusing on the management and governance of public and not-for-profit organizations, as well as the institutions that affect managerial decision-making in these entities. His research and teaching deliberately span both the governmental and not-for-profit sectors because both provide collective goods and services to the public – frequently in collaboration or through contracting arrangements. Thad's research focuses on two general themes The first is the general management problem of organizational slack resource management, which also includes debt management. The second focuses on the institutions and relationships between the state and not-for-profits, and how these influence decisions made by each. His research has appeared in the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Public Administration Review, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Public Budgeting and Finance, Nonprofit Management & Leadership, National Tax Journal, among others. He has co-authored three texts: Financial Management for Public, Health, and Not-for-Profit Organizations - 4th Edition (Pearson Prentice Hall), as well as the 5th and 6th Editions (CQ) - Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting: Concepts and Practices, 7th and 8th Editions (Wiley), and Accounting Fundamentals for Health Care Management, 2nd and 3rd Editions (Jones and Bartlett Learning). Thad was awarded the Editors' Prize for Best Scholarly Paper in Nonprofit Management & Leadership for 2013, and joined the journal's editorial board in 2015. He currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (JPART) and Public Budgeting and Finance as well.
Thad is the current Treasurer for the Association for Research on Nonprofit and Voluntary Action, and is the Chair-Elect for the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM). He also serves on the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council representing ABFM. In the past, he served on the Executive Committee of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management for three years, and also chaired the Conference Scholarship Committee for the Association for Research on Nonprofit and Voluntary Action in 2014. He also served for several years on the Audit Committee of the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, which provides consulting services, transition management, and training to nonprofit organizations primarily in New York and New Jersey. Before joining the Wagner School, Thad was on the faculty at the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College – CUNY. Prior to academia, Thad worked in the New York City Office of Management and Budget in tax policy and also as a financial consultant working with nonprofit organizations in New York City.
Martha Stark joined the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service as a Clinical Professor in Fall 2017.
Stark served as a Distinguished Lecturer at Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. In addition to teaching, Stark is a tax policy expert and serves as the policy director of a coalition of groups that has sued New York State and City claiming that the property tax structure violates the Constitution and various tax laws. She also recently helped craft an alternative to a proposed pied-a-terre tax and has a law firm that challenges property taxes on behalf of owners in court. She has served as a strategist, coach, facilitator, and management and leadership consultant for several nonprofit organizations including the Park Avenue Synagogue, Asphalt Green, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, the Ali Forney Center, and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. Before rejoining government, she was one of the first Portfolio Managers at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation when it changed its strategy to focus on helping organizations serving young people to grow through innovative and long-term funding, business plan development, and performance management systems.
Previously Stark served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance, the 2,400-person tax agency responsible for collecting at that time more than $22 billion in revenue to fund and support local services including education, police, fire, sanitation, and libraries. Her many accomplishments include: administering a tax amnesty program responsible for collecting $80 million in additional revenue and removing bad debt from the city’s books and records; implementing an innovative parking program for companies making deliveries in New York City that saved the companies and the city money and reduced the need for expensive parking hearings;
improving transparency by providing more access to Finance records about properties; and overseeing the management of the City’s cash flow without the need to borrow money against tax receipts. In her role as Commissioner, Stark served as a trustee on the boards of the New York City pension funds with assets of more than $100 billion, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the organization responsible for rebuilding the World Trade Center site, the Twin Towers Fund, and the Prospect Park Alliance.
Stark, a lawyer, served as a White House Fellow at the United States Department of State during President Bill Clinton’s Administration. She worked for both the Under Secretary for Global Affairs and the Under Secretary for Management.
Stark has served on several boards including Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, GMHC, the North Fork Women for Women Fund, and Tarragon Corporation. She currently serves on the board of The Black Institute and as a life trustee on the board of the New York University Law School Foundation. She returns home to NYU where she earned her Juris Doctor and bachelor’s degrees.
Racquel Forrester is the Assistant Director of the NYU Urban Initiative. In her work, Racquel elevates NYU’s cross-cutting scholarly strength by fostering cross-discipline collaboration and discourse on urban environments while cultivating a community of urbanists. A Brooklyn native, Racquel spent 7 years advocating for low income New Yorkers. She’s implemented economic development programs that worked to preserve job-intensive land uses in industrial zones. She has organized resilience initiatives post Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn’s waterfront communities, with research published in “Prospects for Resilience: Insights from New York City’s Jamaica Bay.” Additionally, Racquel consults with nonprofits, aiding organizations on maximizing their impact, achieving their mission, and training front line staff. Racquel has a Bachelor’s from Rutgers University and a Master’s in Urban Planning from Hunter College. She recently completed Columbia University’s Executive Education Program for Developing Leaders in nonprofits and serves as a board member and property management chair of the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust.
ADVISORY BOARD LEADERSHIP
In 2013, Sherry Glied was named Dean of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. From 1989-2013, she was Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She was Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management from 1998-2009. On June 22, 2010, Glied was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services, and served in that capacity from July 2010 through August 2012. She had previously served as Senior Economist for health care and labor market policy on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 1992-1993, under Presidents Bush and Clinton, and participated in the Clinton Health Care Task Force. She has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and served as a member of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.
Glied’s principal areas of research are in health policy reform and mental health care policy. Her book on health care reform, Chronic Condition, was published by Harvard University Press in January 1998. Her book with Richard Frank, Better But Not Well: Mental Health Policy in the U.S. since 1950, was published by The Johns Hopkins University Press in 2006. She is co-editor, with Peter C. Smith, of The Oxford Handbook of Health Economics, which was published by the Oxford University Press in 2011.
Glied holds a B.A. in economics from Yale University, an M.A. in economics from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
Jamie Rubin is the 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 create programs to disbursing $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.
Robert E. Rubin began his career in finance at Goldman, Sachs & Company in New York City in 1966. Mr. Rubin served as vice chairman and co-chief operating officer at Goldman from 1987 to 1990 and as co-senior partner and co-chairman from 1990 to 1992. Before joining Goldman, he was an attorney at the firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York City from 1964 to 1966.
Long active in public affairs, Mr. Rubin joined the Bill Clinton administration in 1993 as assistant to the president for economic policy and as director of the newly created National Economic Council (NEC). At the NEC, he coordinated economic policy recommendations to the president and monitored the implementation of the president’s economic policy goals.
In January 1995, Mr. Rubin was appointed as the United States’ seventieth secretary of the treasury. He served for four and a half years, until July 1999, during which he was involved in balancing the federal budget; opening trade policy to further globalization; acting to stem financial crises in Asia, Mexico, and Russia; helping to resolve the impasse over the public debt limit; and guiding sensible reforms at the Internal Revenue Service.
From 1999 to 2009, Mr. Rubin served as a member of the board of directors at Citigroup and as a senior advisor to the company. In that capacity, he worked extensively with the firm’s clients around the world.
Mr. Rubin is one of the founders of the Hamilton Project, an economic policy project housed at the Brookings Institution that offers a strategic vision and innovative policy proposals on how to create a growing economy that benefits more Americans.
Mr. Rubin is the author of In An Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington (with Jacob Weisberg), which was a New York Times best seller as well as named one of Business Week’s ten best business books of the year.
Mr. Rubin is chairman emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is vice chairman of the board of trustees at the Mount Sinai Health System and chairman of the board of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which is the nation's leading community development support organization with thirty-eight offices nationwide. In June 2014, he completed a twelve-year term as a member of the Harvard Corporation and is now a member of its finance committee. Mr. Rubin joined Centerview Partners in 2010 as a senior counselor of the firm. In his role at Centerview, he serves as a sounding board and advisor to clients across the firm’s various activities, bringing years of experience in finance and public policy.
Mr. Rubin graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1960 with an AB in economics. He received an LLB from Yale Law School in 1964 and attended the London School of Economics. He has received honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and other universities.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Neil Barsky has enjoyed a varied career in the fields of journalism, finance and film. He is currently chairman and founder of The Marshall Project, the Pulitzer Prize-winning non profit journalism enterprise covering the American system of criminal justice with the goal of sparking a national conversation about reform. He has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, working for the New York Daily News and the Wall Street Journal. He also had a career in finance and served as an equity research analyst in the areas of real estate, casinos and hotels for Morgan Stanley. Neil went on to build two hedge fund businesses, Midtown Capital and Alson Capital Partners. Following his retirement from the financial world in 2009, Neil directed and produced the critically-acclaimed documentary film Koch, which aired nationally on PBS's POV series, and taught economics at Oberlin College. Neil is a graduate of Oberlin College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Mr. Berger is one of the founders of Odyssey Investment Partners, LLC and was a general partner of Odyssey’s predecessor firm, Odyssey Partners, L.P. (“Odyssey Partners”), from 1993 to 1997.
Prior to re-joining Odyssey Partners in 1993, Mr. Berger was Executive Vice President of GE Capital Corporation (1990-1993) where he was responsible for a diverse portfolio of operating companies, as well as for GE Capital’s lending and private equity activities. In this position, Mr. Berger was also responsible for establishing and growing GE Capital’s insurance annuity business, including acquisitions in excess of $1.1 billion. Mr. Berger served as Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 1985-1990. From 1983 to 1985, Mr. Berger was a principal with Odyssey Partners and before joining Odyssey Partners was Director of Corporate Development at Oppenheimer & Co.
Mr. Berger's public service positions also include: (i) Chairman of the New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century (2005 - 2007), (ii) Executive Director of the New York State Emergency Control Board for the City of New York during the height of New York's financial crisis in 1976 and 1977; and (iii) Chairman of the Board of the United States Railway Association, where he was the United States Government "Banker" responsible for structuring Conrail's emergence from bankruptcy.
A native of New York, Mr. Berger received his BA in History from Brandeis University. He also attended the University of Chicago on a fellowship to the Department of Political Science.
Zachary W. Carter served as the 78th Corporation Counsel of the City of New York from January 2014 through August 2019. As the chief legal officer of the City, he led the Law Department, which employs over 1,000 lawyers assigned across sixteen operating divisions to serve the multi-varied legal needs of the City, as well as its agencies, officers and employees. Mr. Carter advised the Mayor and City commissioners on all legal issues affecting City policies and operations. Prior to his appointment as Corporation Counsel, Mr. Carter was a partner in the firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. He served as head of the Trial Group at the firm’s New York City Office and co-chair of the firm’s White Collar Crime and Civil Fraud practice.
Mr. Carter served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York from 1993 to 1999 having been appointed by President Bill Clinton. His office prosecuted the full range of federal criminal cases, including official corruption, securities fraud, major narcotics, organized crime, civil rights and human trafficking. During his tenure, he oversaw the high-profile civil rights prosecutions against the police officers who tortured a Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima, in 1997, and the individuals charged with the bias motivated killing of a rabbinical student, Yankel Rosenbaum, during the Crown Heights riots in the summer of 1991.Mr. Carter has served on the bench, both as a judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York and as a United States Magistrate judge for the Eastern District of New York.
He began his legal career as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, ultimately serving as a deputy chief of the Criminal Division. Thereafter, he joined the law firm of Patterson Belknap as a senior litigation associate. Mr. Carter next accepted appointment as an Executive Assistant District Attorney in the office of the Kings County District Attorney.
Mr. Carter has served on the board of directors of Marsh & McClellan Companies, where he was chair of its Compliance Committee and a member of its Audit and Special Litigation Committees. He has also served on the board of Cablevision where he co chaired its Special Litigation Committee. Non-profit board service has included the boards of the Brennan Center, the Vera Institute of Justice and the New York University School of Law. Mr. Carter is a graduate of Cornell University and the New York University School of Law.
Sharon Chang is a future architect and the Founder of the Guild of Future Architects. Her work focuses on reframing the relationship between capital, creativity and impact through masterfully calibrated collaborations.
A philanthropist, entrepreneur and investor in transformational ideas and technologies, Sharon is also trained as an artist, designer and architect. Early in her career, she developed creative and business expertise at the nexus of Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Silicon Valley as an award-winning strategic mastermind. After nearly two decades exploring the most consequential intersections of these culture-making forces, she began to pioneer a powerful discipline – future architecture – that designs, translates and manifests the intangible to shape complex cross-sector collaboration. Since 2010, she has been remixing philanthropy, private equity and impact investment, social entrepreneurship, leadership development, design thinking and filmmaking into dynamic new configurations to challenge outdated systems.
As Sharon pursues her own journey toward mastery, her wide-ranging endeavors continue to design and test new systems that govern our everyday activities – the way we eat, shop, travel, learn, work, think, dream and create. From a film that inspires gender equality to a fashion brand that drives conscious consumption; a smart city operating system to a fair-trade apparel factory in West Africa, all her projects confront the status quo and help to make the world more beautiful for more people. By choice she remains an outsider to every industry and strives to be a native to all the communities that she works hard to cultivate.
Sharon lives in New York City and travels the world often. She makes spectacular martinis and loves snow-capped mountains and exotic ice cream.
Evan R. Chesler is Chairman of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and one of the most highly regarded trial attorneys in the nation. He joined Cravath in 1976 and became partner in 1982. Mr. Chesler became head of the Litigation Department in 1996. He was elected Deputy Presiding Partner in November 2005, Presiding Partner in January 2007 and Chairman in January 2013, the first person to be given that title in the Firm’s history.
Mr. Chesler has broad experience in both trial and appellate courts, and has tried numerous cases in federal and state courts all over the country. He handles a wide variety of litigation, including securities, shareholder derivative, intellectual property, general commercial, environmental, ERISA, contractual disputes and antitrust. His practice also includes the representation of clients in government and internal investigations. Mr. Chesler has represented companies and their management in virtually every industry, including technology, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and financial services.
Mr. Chesler is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a fellow of the New York Bar Foundation. He is also the President of the Institute of Judicial Administration. Mr. Chesler is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New York Public Library and Chairman of the Lawyers for the Library Committee. He is also a member of the Leaders Council of the Legal Services Corporation, a member of the Council of The American Law Institute, a Trustee of the Federal Bar Council and a Trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society. Mr. Chesler is an adjunct professor of law at New York University School of Law, where he teaches an Advanced Trial Practice Seminar, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of NYU and NYU School of Law. He is also the Chairman of NYU’s Board of Overseers of the Faculty of Arts and Science and Founder and Chairman of LAMP (the Lawyer Alumni Mentoring Program), which provides mentoring and curriculum enrichment programs to prelaw students.
Mr. Chesler has been recognized as a leading litigator in several practice areas by numerous professional publications, including Chambers USA, Chambers Global, The Best Lawyers in America, The American Lawyer, Benchmark Litigation, IAM Patent, The Legal 500 United States, Lawdragon and Super Lawyers. In 2018, Mr. Chesler was honored with New York Law Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was named to The Legal 500 Hall of Fame in the Leading Trial Lawyers category in 2017. He became the first recipient of Benchmark Litigation’s Hall of Fame Award in 2016 and was named by the publication as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America.” He was also named a nationwide “Legend” by Lawdragon.
Mr. Chesler is a recipient of a number of awards, including the Judge Learned Hand Award from the American Jewish Committee (2014); a Lifetime Achievement Award
from the Atlantic Legal Foundation (2014); the Judge Joseph M. Proskauer Award from the UJA-Federation of New York (2013); and the Judge Simon H. Rifkind Award from the Jewish Theological Seminary (2012).
Mr. Chesler received an A.B. degree, with highest honors in History, from New York University, an M.A. in Russian Area Studies at Hunter College and a J.D. cum laude from NYU School of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif, was Topics Editor of the Law Review, served as a junior fellow at the Center for International Studies, twice received the John Norton Pomeroy Prize for academic excellence and was awarded the Benjamin Butler Prize. Following graduation, Mr. Chesler clerked for Hon. Inzer B. Wyatt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Linda Gibbs is a principal at Bloomberg Associates and previously served as New York City Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services from 2005-2013. Supervising the city’s human service, public health, and social justice agencies, she spearheaded major initiatives on poverty alleviation, juvenile justice reform, and obesity reduction. Among her achievements are “Age-Friendly NYC”, a blueprint for enhancing livability for older New Yorkers; and “Young Men’s Initiative”, addressing race-based disparities facing Black and Latino young men in health, education, employment training, and the justice system.
Gibbs also improved the use of data and technology in human service management, contract effectiveness, and evidence-based program development. During her tenure, New York City has been the only top-20 city in the U.S. whose poverty rate did not increase while the national average rose 28%.
Prior to her appointment as Deputy Mayor, Gibbs was Commissioner of the New York City Department of Homeless Services and held senior positions with the Administration for Children’s Services and the Office of Management and Budget.
Colvin W. Grannum was born and raised in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY. Since 2001, under Mr. Grannum’s leadership as President and Chief Executive Officer, of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation has been instrumental in the formation of the Bedford Stuyvesant Gateway Business Improvement District and the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford-Stuyvesant and the partnership between Restoration and The Concord Federal Credit Union (launched by the Concord Baptist Church of Christ); the collaboration was part of the African American Credit Union Initiative, supported by Citi Community Development. In 2019, Mr. Grannum led the selection of famed architect Sir David Adjaye as the master planner for the Bed Stuy’s Restoration Plaza Reimagined project, which seeks to redevelop the Plaza as part of a five-year plan to “redefine Restoration’s role for the 21st century.” Prior to joining Restoration, Mr. Grannum served as the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Bridge Street Development Corporation, a faith-based not-for-profit community development corporation affiliated with Bridge Street African Methodist Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, NY, one of the oldest African American institutions in NYC. Before embarking on his career in community development, Mr. Grannum practiced law for over 17 years primarily as an Appellate and Litigation Attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Verizon, and the New York City Corporation Counsel. He is Chair of Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center, Inc. and is a member of the boards of directors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carver Federal Savings Bank, NYC Workforce Investment Board, Center for NYC Neighborhoods, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Association of Housing and Neighborhood Developers, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and the Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT, and has served on advisory boards at JPMorgan Chase, Fannie Mae, HSBC Bank, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In May 2020 he was appointed as a member of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Non-Profit and Social Services Sector Advisory Council. Mr. Grannum earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Grannum is licensed to practice law in New York State and the District of Columbia.
Bruce Katz is the Co-Founder (with Jeremy Nowak) of New Localism Advisors. The mission of the firm is to help cities design, finance and deliver transformative initiatives that promote inclusive and sustainable growth.
Katz regularly advises global, national, state, regional and municipal leaders on public reforms and private innovations that advance the well-being of metropolitan areas and their countries.
Katz is the co-author of The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism (Brookings Institution Press, 2018) and The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy (Brookings Institution Press, 2013). Both books focus on the rise of cities and city networks as the world’s leading problem solvers.
Katz was the inaugural Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution from January 2016 to March 2018, where he focused on the challenges and opportunities of global urbanization. Prior to assuming this role, Bruce J. Katz was a vice president at the Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.
Before joining Brookings, Katz served as chief of staff to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros and was the senior counsel and then staff
director for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs. After the 2008 presidential election, Bruce co-led the housing and urban transition team for the Obama administration and served as a senior advisor to new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary Shaun Donovan, for the first 100 days of the Administration.
Katz is a visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. He gives dozens of lectures and presentations annually before public, corporate, civic and university audiences across the world. In 2006, he received the prestigious Heinz Award in Public Policy for his contributions to understanding the “function and values of cities and metropolitan areas and profoundly influencing their economic vitality, livability and sustainability.” Katz is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School.
Melva M. Miller is the Association for a Better New York’s first Chief Executive Officer. Working with the Board of Directors, she is responsible for the overall success of the organization through economic development, long-term planning, stakeholder engagement, strategic partnerships, and the expansion and evolution of ABNY's membership.
Prior to this role, Ms. Miller led the organization’s Census 2020 initiative for an accurate count of New York. In addition to her new role, Ms. Miller continues to support census efforts underway by the US Census Bureau, State and City of New York, and in coordination with community-based organizations in an effort to help New York City and State achieve the most fair and complete census count possible.
Ms. Miller has also served as the Deputy Borough President of Queens, working with the Borough Presidents on moving Queens forward. Ms. Miller's achievements include the creation of the Jamaica NOW Action Plan, a $153 million stakeholder-driven strategy to increase quality employment, economic diversity and financial security in downtown Jamaica. She was also the lead organizer of the Western Queens Tech Strategic Plan, an initiative that produced a five-year, $300,000 planning initiative that produced a blueprint for equitable growth of the Long Island City and Astoria tech ecosystem. Ms. Miller has held several senior economic development roles throughout her career, including Director of Economic Development for the Borough of Queens and Executive Director for the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District. She serves on the Boards of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.
Ms. Miller holds a Bachelor’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Master’s degree in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work, and recently received a second Master’s Degree in Philosophy from The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Social Welfare program at CUNY's Graduate Center.
Richard Ravitch is an attorney, businessman, and public official, engaged in both private and public enterprise for more than fifty years. He began his career as a principal of the HRH Construction Corporation, where he supervised the development, financing, and construction of over 45,000 units of affordable housing in New York, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and other locations. In 1975, he was appointed chairman of the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC) by Governor Hugh Carey. The UDC, a “moral obligation” financing and development agency with 30,000 dwelling units under construction, had become insolvent and faced the first municipal bankruptcy since the 1930s.
From 1975 to 1976, Mr. Ravitch assisted New York City and State officials in resolving the city’s defaults. In 1979, he was appointed chairman and chief executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), where he recruited operating officials from the private sector with experience in marketing as well as management and operations, and developed a long-term capital plan, budget, and financing for a system
wide upgrade of operating equipment, roadbed, and signal capabilities. For his MTA work, he was awarded the American Public Transit Association’s Individual of the Year Award in 1982.
Following his MTA service, Mr. Ravitch led the effort to recapitalize The Bowery Savings Bank, once the nation’s largest mutual savings bank, arranging for its acquisition from FDIC by an investor group and serving as chairman and chief executive. Subsequently, Mr. Ravitch was retained by the owners of the Major League Baseball clubs to serve as president of the Player Relations Committee and oversee the creation of a revenue sharing plan and proposal for players.
In 1999, Mr. Ravitch was appointed co-chair of the Millennial Housing Commission to examine the federal government’s role in meeting the nation’s growing affordable housing challenges. He more recently served as lieutenant governor of the State of New York and was co-chair of the State Budget Crisis Task Force with former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul A. Volcker. Mr. Ravitch is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Columbia College and received his Bachelor of Laws from Yale University School of Law.
Juanita Scarlett is a Partner at Bolton St. Johns, where she advises clients in the healthcare, energy, economic development and education sectors on their public policy and public affairs objectives. Ms. Scarlett brings with her a wealth of government, communications, and private sector experience. Before joining Bolton St. Johns, Ms. Scarlett was a Managing Director at Park Strategies, a leading government relations firm and a Managing Director at McKenna Long & Aldridge, an international law and public policy firm.
Previously, Ms. Scarlett served in the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo as Executive Vice President for Strategy, Policy and Public Affairs at the Empire State Development (ESD) Corporation, New York State’s primary agent for economic development. There, Scarlett spearheaded the agency’s legislative and public policy agenda and managed its strategic business initiatives. She also served as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Ms. Scarlett also served in the administration of Governor Eliot Spitzer as the Executive Advisor for New York Government Affairs at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Ms. Scarlett was also Press Secretary to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer from 2000 – 2006, and also served as Speechwriter for the Department of Law.
Ms. Scarlett began her career in public service as Press Officer to former New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo. In addition to her extensive public sector background, Scarlett has held public affairs executive positions with the American Stock Exchange and MTV Networks.
Ms. Scarlett has extensive political campaign experience as well. She has served as a communications strategist for local, state and national campaigns including serving as the Communications Director for John Liu for City Comptroller in 2009, as a regional press secretary in the battleground state of Florida for the 2004 Kerry-Edwards Presidential campaign.
Ms. Scarlett has been recognized by City and State and one of the 100 Most Influential New Yorkers and one of the Top 50 Public Affairs Consultants (2021); received the Newland Award for Best Commentary by the American Society for Public Administrators; and received the 2015 “Woman of Courage” award from the Brooklyn Anti-Violence Coalition. She has written an Op-Ed healthcare column for the New York Daily News and was featured in a New York Times profile“How a Brooklyn Sisterhood of Black Women Became National Power Brokers” in December 2020.
Scarlett holds a B.S. from Syracuse University. Scarlett is the president of the board of Stars of New York Dance, an arts and cultural charity, serves on the boards of the Citizens Union Foundation, a good-government watchdog group, and Camp Fort Greene, a technology-based camp for youth.
Carl Weisbrod is a national authority on city planning, affordable housing policy, urban development, and public-private real estate development. In his four decades of
experience, Carl has brokered and led complex public-private partnerships and created innovative governance strategies to spur economic development. His record of visionary, innovative, and successful urban development initiatives has made him an internationally sought-after advisor.
Throughout his career guiding public agencies and transformative development initiatives, Carl has served the City of New York in many capacities– most recently, as Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the New York City Department of City Planning. Prior to these appointments, Carl was a Partner at HR&A, where he managed the successful rezoning of the Hudson Square area in Manhattan, which has transformed the neighborhood into a dynamic hub for creative industries and new housing, including up to 700 affordable units.
Preceding his initial tenure at HR&A, Carl led efforts to revitalize two of New York City’s most iconic neighborhoods – Times Square, from the late 1970’s through the early 1990’s, and Lower Manhattan, both pre- and post-9/11. His former positions include: President of New York State’s 42nd Street Development Project; Founding President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation; Director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation; Founding President of the Alliance for Downtown New York; and President of the Real Estate Division for Trinity Church and Executive Vice
President of Trinity Church-St. Paul’s Chapel.
Carl is the former chairman of the New York State Health Foundation, a non-profit entity which funds innovative healthcare programs throughout New York State. He is also a former Trustee of the Ford Foundation and the Urban Land Institute, as well as a former full-time faculty member at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, where he served as Academic Chair of the Concentration in Global Real Estate.
Carl was the inaugural recipient of the 2017 John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award from the Real Estate Board of New York, which recognizes citizens who have displayed exceptional accomplishments and service in the public’s interest. In 2011, Carl was recognized by the Center for an Urban Future as “one of New York’s most innovative economic development leaders over the past three decades” and, in 2002, Carl was honored by Crain’s New York Business as one of the “100 Most Influential Leaders in Business.” He has received both the “Chairman’s Award” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy (2000) and the “Public Interest Service Award” by New York University (1993).
Carl holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law.
Vincent Alvarez was elected as the NYCCLC’s first full-time President and first Latino President in 2011, and was re-elected in 2015 and 2019. He had previously served as Assistant Legislative Director of the NYS AFL-CIO, spearheading various worker-related policy initiatives throughout the state. From 2007-2009, Vinny was Assistant to the Executive Director and then Chief of Staff of the NYCCLC.
A member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) since 1990, Vinny began his career with IBEW Local 3 in Flushing, New York, serving on numerous political campaigns, grassroots initiatives, and negotiating committees. During this time, he also coordinated hundreds of labor mobilization and campaign events on behalf of the NYCCLC’s affiliates and was the lead organizer and Marshal of the NYC Labor Day Parade, the nation’s oldest and largest worker parade.
Vinny is a Class C Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Board Chair of the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University; a Vice President of the Consortium for Worker Education; a Principal Officer of Climate Jobs NY; a Board Member of the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America; a Board Member of the New York Building Congress; and a Board Member of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition. He serves on the national AFL-CIO State Federation and Central Labor Council Advisory Board as well as on the Advisory Board of the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. He is also a member of Cornell University’s Worker Institute Advisory Council and the NYC Comptroller’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth through Diversity and Inclusion.
Vinny is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oneonta, where he majored in business economics.
Jonathan is a principal and co-founder at BerlinRosen and heads strategic communications, crisis management and media relations across the firm’s offices in NY, LA and DC. With extensive experience leading communications strategy for major global initiatives and sensitive high profile matters, he is a trusted advisor to CEOs, presidents of organizations and elected officials across the country. A graduate of NYU School of Law, Jonathan has been recognized by the likes of PRWeek and Crain’s NY Business – named to both publications 40 Under 40 lists. He is also a board member of the Brooklyn Museum, Congregation Beth Elohim and the Federal Defenders of New York. Jonathan lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Debbie, their two children and the latest addition to the family: Franny, a puppy they rescued.
Ruth Messinger served as President of American Jewish World Service, an international human rights and development organization, from 1998 to 2016, and is currently the organization’s inaugural Global Ambassador. Under Ms. Messinger’s leadership, AJWS grew exponentially—granting more than $270 million to promote human rights in the developing world and launching campaigns to end the Darfur genocide, reform international food aid, stop violence against women and LGBT people, end land grabs and respond to natural disasters around the globe.
Prior to assuming her position at AJWS in 1998, Ms. Messinger was in public service in New York City for 20 years. She served 12 years in the New York City Council and eight years as Manhattan borough president. She was the first woman to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor in 1997. Known in New York City government as the “conscience of the Democratic Party.” Among her numerous accolades, Ms. Messinger has been named one of the 50 most influential Jews of the year by the Forward for the last five years. In February 2006 in honor of her tireless work to end the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, Ruth Messinger received the Jewish Council for Public Affairs’ prestigious Albert D. Chernin Award. And in tribute to her life’s work, she was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2005. She received the Women’s Funding Network’s Changing the Face of Philanthropy Award in the spring of 2005.
A social change leader and advocate, Ms. Messinger works in the faith-based advocacy arena and is also, now, a social justice consultant, facilitator and instructor with various organizations.
Ms. Messinger graduated from Radcliffe College and received a Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma in 1964. She was the Democratic nominee for Mayor of New York City in 1997, losing to incumbent mayor Rudy Giuliani. She is married to an educator, has three children, eight grandchildren and two plus great grandchildren.
Wagner faculty oversaw students who completed brief background chapters with baseline information to ground the proposals. This information will include data on City expenditures and employment related to each area, contributions to the local economy, key de Blasio administration initiatives, proposals recently released by stakeholder groups, and impact assessments of existing programs