2019 Rebuilding NY Summit

September 24, 2019  
Baruch College
55 Lexington Ave, Room 14-220, New York, NY 10010
9:00AM - 4:00PM
Repairing, Improving and Upgrading New York
Event Description

While the New York City subways have received many headlines for their state of disrepair, much of the city and state’s infrastructure is inadequate. Funding has been a big issue, and the problems have been exacerbated by letting infrastructure wear out before replacing it, rather than incorporating improvements to keep our roads, railways, bridges, utilities and other critical lifelines up-to-date. City & State’s Rebuilding New York Summit will feature discussions that dissect the biggest infrastructure issues, including funding for repairs, policy recommendations, and where the city and state has seen its biggest successes and shortcomings.

Rick Cotton
Rick Cotton
Executive Director, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Rick Cotton became Executive Director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on August 14, 2017. Prior to joining the Port Authority, Mr. Cotton served as Governor Cuomo's Special Counsellor for Interagency Initiatives, serving as the point person within the Governor's office for most of the Governor's major downstate infrastructure priorities including LaGuardia and JFK Airports, the Moynihan Train Hall and Penn-Farley Complex, the Mario Cuomo Bridge, the expansion of the Javits Center, and the MTA’s Second Avenue Subway project. Mr. Cotton joined the administration following 25 years at NBC Universal, where he held a number of positions beginning in 1989, including 20 years as EVP and General Counsel and four years in London as President and Managing Director of CNBC Europe. He also served as Executive Secretary to the Department at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare under Secretary Joseph A. Califano, Jr. and Special Assistant for Renewable Energy to Deputy Secretary of Energy John Sawhill at the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Cotton received an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Yale Law School, and served as a law clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Todd Kaminsky
State Sen. Todd Kaminsky
Chairman, Committee on Environmental Conservation
From the courtroom to the capitol, Todd Kaminsky has dedicated his life to public service. Todd first worked as a prosecutor for nearly a decade, bringing corrupt politicians, fraudsters, drug dealers and violent criminals to justice. As Acting Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York's Public Integrity Section, Todd took down corrupt elected officials who used taxpayer dollars to fund lavish lifestyles. These prosecutions included former State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr., Assemblyman Jimmy Meng and Congressman Michael Grimm. Todd also went after drug kingpins and other major felons, such as notorious gangster James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond, for which he was presented with the True American Hero Award from the Federal Drug Agents Foundation. Prior to his work as a federal prosecutor, Todd served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Queens County District Attorney’s office, where he prosecuted domestic violence cases, robberies, shootings and other crimes. After winning election to the State Legislature in 2014, Todd represented New York’s 20th Assembly District, where he passed the most bills of any freshman Assemblymember in the chamber's history and the fourth-most bills of the legislative session. He played a leading role in calling for ethics reform in state government. In April 2016, Todd was elected to the State Senate, where he has been a crusader for clean government, tax relief and quality education, and a vigorous advocate for the environment, individuals with disabilities, veterans, first responders, and Israel. Todd is a leader on ethics reform, sponsoring legislation to strip pensions from corrupt officials, ban outside income for politicians, strengthen anti-bribery laws, bolster penalties for public corruption and protect taxpayer dollars by increasing oversight of local government contracting.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
Gale A. Brewer
Manhattan Borough President
Gale A. Brewer is the 27th Borough President of Manhattan, with a role in deciding land-use and zoning issues in the borough, appointment of members to the 12 community boards, and the ability to introduce legislation in the City Council. Since she took office in 2014, her bills to reform the deed restriction process and remove criminal history from initial employment applications have been enacted, and her community land use planning groups have addressed development issues at the South Street Seaport and in East Midtown. Brewer previously served on the New York City Council for 12 years and passed legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for most hourly employees, requiring that all City data be published online, and protecting domestic workers from abusive practices-- the first such law in the nation. Brewer earned an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and did her undergraduate work at Columbia University and Bennington College.
Ydanis Rodriguez
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez
Chairman, Committee on Transportation
New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez has served as the Chairman of the NYC Council Higher Education Committee and is currently the Chair of the Transportation Committee. As Chairman of the NYC Council Transportation Committee, Council Member Rodriguez has championed many bills, including the passage of dozens of bills to ensure pedestrian and cyclist safety. He has been a key figure in supporting the effort to reduce traffic fatalities and expand transportation options into underserved communities. Some of his specific accomplishments include, supporting the implementation of Vision Zero and further expanding the program to ensure streets are safe by pushing for agendas that implemented civil penalties for hit and run crashes; increasing penalties against illegal street hails; making all acts of motorcycle exhibitionism illegal; leading the effort to lower the speed limit and install slow zones throughout the city; and successfully co-sponsoring legislation to create a local speed camera program that will allow New York City to impose liability on vehicle owners for failure to comply with maximum speed limits in school speed zones. Council Member Rodriguez has allocated millions of dollars to a wide range of initiatives, expanding from infrastructure creation and improvements, to the funding of hundreds of projects and programs, that include: the expansion of Citibike to every neighborhood in the five boroughs, investing over half a million dollars for the expansion of bike networks in Northern Manhattan that will result in the creation of a bike lane network to connect the community. He successfully advocated and supported Fair Fares, a city-run program that will distribute MetroCards to low-income New Yorkers at a reduced rate; and has allocated over $5 million dollars to construct a fully functional ferry dock, and infrastructure for a ferry access to the eco-dock at Dyckman Pier.
Alicka Ampry-Samuel
Councilwoman Alicka Ampry-Samuel
Chairwoman, Committee on Public Housing
Alicka has always been a visionary dreamer and a fervent believer in the better angels of our nature. Behind her signature glasses and smile rests her grit and empathy that has been forged from her upbringing in Brownsville. She’s carried this with her throughout her experiences which have guided her to North Carolina A&T State University, culminating with a Psychology degree and subsequently, on an almost yearly basis, a return to the Greatest Homecoming on Earth. She went on to earn a Juris Doctor degree from CUNY School of Law, and has continued to model the school’s motto – “Law in the Service of Human Need.” Alicka has worked in various capacities with City and State legislators and has spent years sharpening her servant leadership and perspective concerning marginalized individuals and their plights; locally and internationally. She worked as a community organizer in Brooklyn, and as a Child Protective Specialist with the NYC Administration for Children Services, prior to bringing her influences to Accra, Ghana – managing a Human Rights and Community Development portfolio under the auspices of US Embassy Accra. Upon returning to the US, she served as Chief of Staff to her State Assemblywoman and later served as a Senior Advisor for the New York City Housing Authority – Community Engagement & Partnerships Division. Despite her close and intimate understanding of the intersectionality of obstacles facing the many, she is among the few that remain actively hopeful and vocal about the much needed change that is imminent. Alicka is married to a United States Diplomat whom she met in college and they have one son who is an aspiring artist. She is an active member of Wayside Baptist Church and continues to volunteer through her sorority Delta Sigma Theta.
Robert E. Cornegy Jr.
Chairman, New York City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings
As the NYC Council Member for the 36th District, Robert represents the people of Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, and has emerged as one of the most effective lawmakers in the city. In just four years, he has fulfilled every campaign promise he’s made and passed legislation in almost every committee on which he has served. Since his election in 2013, Robert has ushered an impressive number of substantive bills into law — virtually unheard of for a Council Member of his tenure. Robert has led the charge, sponsored or authored several key initiatives. Alongside his legislative achievements, Robert is Chair of the Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings, Chair of the Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Task Force (M/WBEs), Chair of the Democratic Conference, and a member of the influential Budget Negotiating Team (BNT). He is also an active member of the Committees on Economic Development; Education; Finance; State & Federal Legislation; and Rules, Privileges, and Elections.
Leena Panchwagh
Leena Panchwagh
Chief Information Officer, NYC Dept. of Buildings
Leena Panchwagh serves as the Chief Information Officer of New York City, Department of Buildings. In this role, Leena oversees the department’s technology strategy including various functions within information technology, governance and compliance. The department’s technology strategy includes a “Building One City” plan that seeks to fundamentally reform the department and expedite the technological development needed to promote the safe construction and maintenance of a built environment that includes over 1.1 million buildings and 45,000 active construction sites. Digital transformation, driven as a strategic initiative, is the cornerstone of the modernization plan and requires both the integration of digital technology across all department units and the participation of all our stakeholders, both within and outside the department. Leena’s primary mission includes coordination and partnership with the Department’s senior leadership to ensure successful implementation of the “Building One City” plan and improve how residents interact with the department by creating more responsive and accessible digital services. Prior to joining Buildings, Leena served as the Chief Information Officer at NYC Department of Consumer Affairs and an Executive Director at Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.
Deborah Goddard
Executive VP for Capital Projects, New York City Housing Authority
Deborah Goddard joined NYCHA in August of 2016 as Executive Vice President for Capital Projects. In this role, Deborah oversees the Authority’s capital planning, design and construction activities. The capital portfolio includes the administration of over $200 million a year in federal funds, the City of New York’s funding of over $200 million year as well as the agency’s energy and water sustainability efforts and the $3 billion of FEMA funding dedicated to Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Deborah brings to her job extensive experience in community development, real estate development and law. Prior to joining NYCHA, she served as the Managing Director for Policy & Program Development at MassHousing, where Deborah led the agency’s efforts to develop policies and programs that advanced its mission of financing and sustaining affordable housing. Before joining MassHousing, Deborah served as General Counsel at the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. In this role, in addition to overseeing all legal matters relating to the agency, she served as a senior policy advisor for Massachusetts’ housing and community development programs and took the lead in key initiatives including housing preservation legislation, comprehensive fair housing policy, and the overhaul of the regulatory infrastructure of Commonwealth’s affordable housing zoning law.
Janno Lieber
Chief Development Officer, MTA
John (“Janno”) Lieber was appointed Chief Development Officer of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in May 2017. Reporting to the Chairman of the MTA, Mr. Lieber oversees the agency’s mega-projects, including East Side Access, the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway, Metro-North’s Penn Station Access project, the Canarsie Tunnel rehabilitation project, and the Third Track expansion of the Long Island Rail Road main line. In addition, he oversees the MTA Real Estate Department and is responsible for upgrading the MTA’s project management capacity and for integrating real estate planning and economic development into MTA infrastructure projects. From 2003 to 2017, Mr. Lieber served as President of World Trade Center Properties LLC, where he was responsible for managing all aspects of the Silverstein organization’s efforts to rebuild at the World Trade Center site, including planning, design and construction issues; business, financing and legal matters; and public affairs, government and community relations. Also active in civic affairs, Mr. Lieber has served on the boards of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, The Trust for Governors Island, St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Alliance for Downtown New York, and Project DOROT.
Youssef Kalad
Program Director, NYCx, Mayor's Office of the CTO
Youssef Kalad serves the City of New York as Program Director of NYCx, the emerging technology & innovation program within the Mayor's Office of the CTO. In this role Youssef splits his time between policy and hands-on operations, advising on a wide range of technology policy issues and designing practical citywide Challenge experiments to deploy and test emerging technology with the potential to deliver one major City priorities. His focus areas have spanned automation & the future of work, new mobility & autonomous vehicles, clean energy infrastructure, and broadband, among others. Prior to local government, Youssef served stints at Uber, Google, and in management consulting, leading initiatives and small teams in strategy & operations, product planning, and rigorous experimentation while spending time abroad in India and Canada. He has been a Member of or served on the Advisory Board of various organizations in that space, including Questbridge, Year Up, Citizen Schools, the World Economic Forum Global Shapers, and the How Institute for Moral Leadership. He earned a B.A. with Honors in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Chicago.
James Wong
Executive Director, NYC Ferry
James is the Executive Director for NYC Ferry. James led the planning and helped drive the implementation of NYC Ferry which launched in May 2017. Today, he manages a department in charge of contracting, finance, maintenance, operations oversight, customer service and construction coordination. James is a transportation planner and engineer who has consulted previously on major projects including street design, transit operations and corridor planning for cities in the United States and abroad. James has an undergraduate engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania and Masters in Civil Engineering and City planning from Georgia Tech.
Duncan Kisia
Duncan Kisia
Assistant Director of Planning and Regional Development, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Duncan Kisia is an Assistant Director of the Planning and Regional Development Department at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He is charged with helping shape and advance key agency initiatives as well as providing strategic decision support through the resourceful application of quantitative and qualitative analyses that across multiple dimensions of transportation economics, policy, and planning. Prior to joining the Port Authority, Duncan served as the Manager of Louis Berger’s (now WSP) Planning and Economics Department where he led consulting engagements on behalf of both public and private sector clients addressing infrastructure needs that spanned the gamut of transportation asset classes, with a specific focus on intercity passenger rail investments. He also served a stint as a highway and bridge design engineer with AECOM in Philadelphia. Mr. Kisia receive his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Drexel University, and Master of Public Policy from University of Chicago.
Lorraine Grillo
Lorraine Grillo
President, New York City School Construction Authority
During eight years as President of the NYC School Construction Authority Lorraine Grillo has overseen the rehab of City schools following Superstorm Sandy and the addition of almost 8,800 seats for the Mayor’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten initiative. The SCA began this school year opening eight new primary, intermediate and high school facilities, six new facilities for the UPK initiative and having completed over 300 capital improvement projects. In July, Lorraine added a completely new set of challenges when she also became Commissioner of the NYC Department of Design and Construction, the City’s primary capital construction project manager that builds public buildings and infrastructure projects for 29 client agencies. DDC’s 1,300+ employees are currently managing a portfolio approaching $14 billion in value. Her mission at the agency is to develop ways for DDC to streamline its practices, to better navigate the City’s complex regulatory environment and to renew focus on the timely delivery of great projects.
Melinda White
Melinda White
Chief Executive Officer, Transit Wireless
Melinda White leads Transit Wireless with more than 20 years of experience in the wireless and telecommunications industry. Most recently, Ms. White served as the CEO of Black Walnut Ventures where she advised companies on strategy and operations. Prior to joining Black Walnut Ventures, Ms. White worked at Frontier Communications for more than 12 years and most recently served as president of the West region. Ms. White has also held senior leadership roles at Wink Communications, Cox Communications and Cellular One. In addition to her professional achievements, Ms. White has received numerous accolades including the “2016 National Asian American Consortium Community and Engagement Leadership”, Catalyst “2016 Women on Board”, Portland Business Journal “2015 Women of Influence”, Fierce Telecom “2014 Women in Wireline to Watch,” and the National Organization for Women 2012 “Woman of Power and Influence” recognition.
Tyson Hackenberg
Tyson Hackenberg
Vice President, APTIM
Tyson leads the APTIM State & Local Government, Disaster and Recovery business line. He has particular expertise in assisting governments to leverage innovative funding and solve complex local challenges such as disaster recovery, urban blight, public housing, environmental damages, energy efficiency, and resilient infrastructure design and construction. He brings 27-years of professional experience, including project management for a range of clients. APTIM is a $1.4B/year company with 5,200+ employees and is a leading provider of disaster response and recovery services, coastal engineering, protection and restoration, environmental investigations and remediation, program and project management, construction management, and infrastructure engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services. Through our legacy companies (CB&I/Shaw), APTIM has been providing these services to public and private sector clients for decades. Tyson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics with a co-major in Ecology from Emory University.

Registration & Networking Breakfast


Introduction by Steve Cohen, NY Trustee, Gateway Development Partners

Keynote Speaker Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey 



Impact of Rebuilding New York’s Transportation Systems

New York is taking steps to meet its growing transportation infrastructure needs. The city is revamping its bus network, increasing ferry routes, and expanding bike sharing options to the outer boroughs. Albany has also passed congestion pricing, although the details are still to be determined, and legalized e-bikes and e-scooters. However, these improvements can have big impacts on people’s lives, most notably seen with the partial shutdown of the L train. In addition, major initiatives like the Gateway Program have faced resistance from the federal government. What impact can we expect when thinking about these transportation changes? What is the cost of refusing to make these changes?

  • Zachary Bernstein, Partner, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP (moderator)
  • State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Conservation
  • New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez, Chairman, Transportation Committee
  • James Wong, Executive Director, NYC Ferry Division, New York City Economic Development Corporation
  • Frank Reig, CEO, Revel
  • Rich Kassel, Executive Vice President, Capalino+Company
  • Scott Doering, General Manager, Roadway Charging and Management, Conduent Transportation

Getting Ahead of Issues in Aging Institutions and Infrastructure

From utilities to hospitals to housing and universities, New York’s public resources are showing their age. While overhauls of these critical assets will come at a high cost, it remains financially prudent and politically responsible to be proactive and address these concerns before they reach a crisis point. How can policymakers and industries prioritize long-term investment to get ahead of public resource and infrastructure needs? What are the necessary steps to fund and execute these crucial upgrades? How can sustainability and longevity be prioritized into these plans?

  • Suri Kasirer, President, Kasirer (moderator)
  • Deborah Goddard, Executive Vice President for Capital Projects, NYCHA
  • New York City Councilwoman Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Chair, Committee on Public Housing
  • New York City Councilman Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. Chair, Housing and Buildings
  • Lorraine Grillo, President, New York City School Construction Authority
  • Lawrence Roman, Chairman, WDF, Inc.
  • Tyson Hackenberg, Vice President, APTIM 



Innovations:  Transforming How We Think about Construction and Development

How can new technologies, practices and other new developments be harnessed to improve efficiency, safety, sustainability, and outcomes for the evolution of NY? What underserved areas of construction and development are most primed for technological disruption?  What is the role MWBEs play in this transformation process?

  • Annie McDonough, Tech & Policy Reporter, City & State (moderator)
  • Leena Panchwagh, Chief Information Officer, New York City Department of Buildings
  • Youssef Kalad, Program Director,  NYCx, Mayor’s Office of the CTO
  • Joshua Sohn, Partner, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Rebuilding New York Through Capital Planning & Public Private Partnerships

Effectively addressing New York’s building needs require public-private sector partnerships and strategic capital planning. Our panelist and industry experts will provide an assessment related to the planning, execution and management of assets for capital and public-private projects currently slated, or already in progress. Panelist will also discuss the tools which can be used to build innovative urban solutions that improve New York.

  • Steven C.F. Anderson, Managing Director, InfrastructureUSA.org (moderator)
  • Janno Lieber, Chief Development Officer, MTA and President, MTA Capital Construction
  • Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
  • Melinda White, CEO, Transit Wireless
  • Duncan Kisia, Assistant Director of Planning & Regional Development, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

Sessions Conclude

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