Nonprofit organizations play an invaluable and yet overlooked role in New York. Social services nonprofits contract with government agencies to carry out essential functions, whether it’s protecting children, caring for the elderly or providing aid to the poor. Some nonprofits represent vulnerable New Yorkers in court while seeking criminal justice reforms as well. Others focus on homelessness, housing, immigration, public transit and access to health care, to name a few. These organizations, with rare exceptions, are led by idealistic executives who toil day after day to make New York a better place.
The Nonprofit Power 100, a partnership between City & State and its sister publication, New York Nonprofit Media, identifies the sector’s most important and effective leaders. It also highlights top government officials and heads of major philanthropies whose funding and oversight drive the work of New York’s nonprofits. (The list, however, excludes other kinds of nonprofits, including institutions of higher education and media organizations.) Read on to see where everyone stacks up in the 2022 Nonprofit Power 100 – including a No. 1 who’s new to this year’s list.
Profiles written by Ethan Geringer-Sameth, Phenix Kim, Jaylen Coaxum, Angelique Molina-Mangaroo and Jasmine Sheena
Twyla Carter took charge of The Legal Aid Society earlier this year, making history as the first Black woman and first Asian American to lead the storied public defender service since it was founded 145 years ago. Carter and Legal Aid have been at the forefront of recent efforts to protect the city’s “right to shelter” law amid an influx of asylum-seekers that has strained the Department of Social Services. In August, Legal Aid helped secure $200,000 from the New York City Department of Correction after suing the agency on behalf of victims of medical neglect in city jails.
Late last year, New York City Mayor Eric Adams named Sheena Wright to serve as his deputy mayor for strategic initiatives, one of five women named to key deputy mayor posts. Wright, who previously led the United Way of New York City, remains an influential leader in the nonprofit space, as perhaps the most important figure within City Hall dealing with the sector and the issues facing it. And the longtime Adams ally could be gaining more power, should her reported efforts to succeed Lorraine Grillo as first deputy mayor come to fruition.
Under Darren Walker, the Ford Foundation became the first nonprofit in U.S. history to issue a $1 billion designated social bond offering, which was aimed at strengthening and stabilizing nonprofit organizations negatively impacted by COVID-19. Before joining Ford, Walker was vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation and chief operating officer of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem’s largest community development organization. Walker also co-chaired New York City’s Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers.
Gary P. Jenkins brings more than three decades of experience at the Human Resources Administration to his new role as commissioner of the New York City Department of Social Services, which oversees both the Department of Homeless Services and the HRA. Rising through the ranks from the front lines, Jenkins previously served as HRA’s administrator, overseeing services including Medicaid, child support, emergency food assistance and the Fair Fares program. Jenkins has been under pressure to manage the influx of migrants that are overwhelming the city’s shelter system, and a two-week vacation in the midst of it didn’t help – although Mayor Eric Adams has offered steadfast support for the commissioner.
Jess Dannhauser’s appointment as commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services was lauded by youth and family advocates and city child welfare leaders. As the former head of Graham Windham, a major child welfare provider serving over 4,500 youth and their families, Dannhauser has experience helping the city’s disenfranchised young people. He was previously the Administration for Children’s Services associate commissioner for performance measurement, monitoring and improvement, and special assistant to the commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services.
Equally important to many nonprofits in New York City is the city’s Department for the Aging, which has been led since 2019 by government veteran Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. On her watch, the agency has increased the amount reimbursed to nonprofits for feeding seniors and just helped launch the new New York City Cabinet for Older New Yorkers to collaboratively address issues affecting older adults across city agencies, in order to better serve a large and growing part of the population.
Richard R. Buery Jr. is the CEO of Robin Hood, one of the nation’s leading anti-poverty organizations, after leading its community partner Achievement First in building a network of 41 charter schools across New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Previously, as New York City’s deputy mayor for strategic policy initiatives, Buery helped create citywide educational programs, including the universal pre-K initiative and School’s Out NYC, and launched mental health reform initiatives through the City University of New York system and ThriveNYC.
As head of the state agency responsible for child welfare and juvenile justice programs, Sheila Poole is leading a $100 million initiative to ameliorate child care deserts, part of a larger $2 billion investment in child care under Gov. Kathy Hochul. Last year, she co-chaired a blue-ribbon commission examining the use of certain types of controversial assessments in child custody cases. Poole was one of the first administration leaders to condemn then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s actions following the attorney general’s report on sexual harassment allegations against him.
When Christine Quinn wasn’t dispelling rumors that she might run for mayor last year, the former City Council speaker was steering the city’s largest family shelter and supportive housing provider in a role she has held for the past seven years. Quinn has long advocated for more resources for homeless services amid the city’s recent efforts to remove homeless encampments and an increase in migrants from the southern border. Quinn is also the executive committee chair of the state Democratic Committee.
Patricia E. Harris is the CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the former mayor’s charitable organization, which last year invested $1.66 billion around the world, impacting millions of people across 941 cities and 173 countries. She previously worked in the Bloomberg administration as first deputy mayor, the first woman ever appointed to that position. In addition to her work at Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harris serves on the board of the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum and is the vice chair of the board of trustees at Franklin & Marshall College.
A veteran of city and state government, James Sheehan has led the state Attorney General’s Charities Bureau over two administrations, monitoring – and, when necessary, suing – stakeholders in the largest philanthropic sector in the country. He had a key role in securing a $4.5 billion settlement with the Sackler family over Purdue Pharma’s role in the opioid crisis – a case that led to the dissolution of Purdue last fall. Since then, he has brought cases to protect pensions and crack down on embezzlement, fraud and mismanagement.
Brenda Rosen leads Breaking Ground, a supportive and affordable housing provider that serves more than 8,000 homeless and at-risk individuals annually. In August, the state awarded Breaking Ground $5.7 million to build 52 units of permanent supportive housing for seniors with mental illness and substance use disorders. This summer, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced an $8 million partnership with Breaking Ground to provide outreach and housing to homeless individuals with support from the Partnership for New York City and more than 60 businesses.
As the head of the Community Service Society for almost 40 years, David Jones is a leader in anti-poverty research, advocacy, and direct services for low-income New Yorkers. The nonprofit recently celebrated the hard-fought expansion of the city’s Fair Fares program, which provides discounted MetroCards to income-eligible New Yorkers, and the passage of state legislation to create the Public Housing Preservation Trust to fund needed repairs at the New York City Housing Authority. Jones currently holds a seat on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board.
Editor’s note: David Jones is a member of City & State’s advisory board.
Michelle Jackson has been a tireless advocate for New York’s human services workers and the 170 member organizations the Human Services Council represents. As a member of the city Joint Task Force to Get Nonprofits Paid on Time, Jackson played a major role in unlocking $4.2 billion in backlogged funding for city contractors. Jackson was a leading voice in calls for a cost-of-living increase for human services workers, which Gov. Kathy Hochul backed in the state budget this year to the tune of $500 million.
Lisa David is the head of one of New York City’s largest public health nonprofits, helping underserved residents and supporting over 200 community-based organizations. The nonprofit has partnered with the city to connect thousands of New Yorkers to NYC Care, the city’s low-cost health care access program. David has led calls for public funding for social safety net programs, which have been a lifeline to low-income households during the coronavirus pandemic. As the leader of a major abortion services provider, she has pushed for more state funding for reproductive health services.
As the head of one of New York City’s largest social service providers, Jennifer Jones Austin has become increasingly influential in racial justice reform efforts since protests against police brutality in 2020. In spring of 2021, she was named chair of then-Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Racial Justice Commission, which is putting three City Charter amendments on the ballot this November; this year, Jones Austin and the commission received $5 million from Mayor Eric Adams to promote the proposals. In February, Gov. Kathy Hochul appointed her to another racial justice commission.
Kevin Sullivan has been the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York for more than 20 years, overseeing a network of 90 human services agencies across 10 counties. This year, Sullivan and Catholic Charities partnered with the city and state to provide supportive housing, relief for survivors of Hurricane Ida, and legal services for refugees from Afghanistan, Ukraine and Haiti. In March, New York City Mayor Eric Adams appointed Sullivan to the New York City Districting Commission.
Eric S. Goldstein is the CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, one of the world’s largest philanthropies. Allocating nearly $150 million in annual funding, the organization expanded to include free legal services to 100,000 New Yorkers, COVID-19 relief hubs and mental health counseling sessions. The organization also served 9.6 million free meals, gave 16,000 kids the opportunity to attend Jewish summer camp and secured nearly $475 million in government funding to support vulnerable communities.
Jeremy Kohomban is the president and CEO of The Children’s Village, a 171-year-old child welfare agency serving families and youth in foster care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kohomban was named to then-New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Non-Profit and Social Services Sector Advisory Council to help guide the industry’s recovery. In August, Children’s Village was one of several community-based organizations to receive a grant from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to operate a youth gun violence prevention program.
JoAnne Page has held the reins at the Fortune Society, one of the city’s largest reentry and post-incarceration service providers, for more than three decades. This year, the Fortune Society partnered with the city and state on a number of projects to create affordable and supportive housing for formerly homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals. Page was also a vocal proponent of the Less Is More Act, a major parole reform, which Gov. Kathy Hochul signed shortly after taking office. Earlier this year, Fortune Society veteran Stanley Richards was named the newly created role deputy chief executive officer, a move some observers see as a sign that he’s next in line to lead the organization. Richards, who himself was formerly incarcerated, returned to the Fortune Society after a stint as a deputy commissioner at the city Department of Correction.
Donna Lieberman has led the New York Civil Liberties Union for the past two decades, compiling an impressive track record. This year, Lieberman saw lawmakers enact the New York Voting Rights Act, which the NYCLU played a major role in drafting. With the U.S. Supreme Court repeal of Roe v. Wade and New York’s concealed-carry gun law, Lieberman has been leading calls for stronger local protections, including an equal rights amendment to the state constitution, which received its first passage in a special session this summer.
Murad Awawdeh was tapped more than a year ago to lead the New York Immigration Coalition, an advocacy group of nearly 200 member organizations focused on immigrant rights, education, health, and civic participation. Awawdeh is a member of the New York City Civic Engagement Commission and sat on the Street Vendor Advisory Board, whose recommendations to modernize vending regulations were hailed by New York City Mayor Eric Adams earlier this year. Awawdeh has been named by both the mayor and governor to serve on pandemic advisory panels.
With a long career in the nonprofit sector, where she served in leadership roles at organizations such as Atlantic Philanthropies and as a founder of the Community Resource Exchange, Fran Barrett assumed the role of interagency coordinator for nonprofit organizations in 2012. Heavily involved in New York’s nonprofit industry and widely recognized for her work, Barrett serves on several nonprofit boards and has received a lifetime achievement award from the Nonprofit Management Association, as well as a Brooke Russell Astor Award.
As president and CEO of Graham Windham, Kimberly Hardy Watson oversees children and family services at 12 sites across Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, serving over 4,500 youth and their families. The organization is a leading provider of foster care and foster care prevention services, offering a range of programs from college readiness to family support. Watson has received citations for her work from then-Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, academic institutions and various publications.
Editor’s note: Kimberly Hardy Watson is a member of the advisory board of New York Nonprofit Media, the sister publication of City & State.
Liz Roberts is the head of Safe Horizon, a major victim assistance organization offering counseling, safe haven and legal services to survivors of domestic violence. In her current role and as a former deputy commissioner for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, Roberts has advocated on behalf of child abuse and sexual assault survivors, trafficking victims and homeless youth. She sat on the city Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Planning Committee, which helped craft New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ signature youth homelessness prevention plan.
Meg Barnette is the president and CEO of Nonprofit New York, a nonprofit association that champions and strengthens nonprofits through capacity building and advocacy. Last year, Barnette penned an op-ed with Maria Torres-Springer, now New York City’s deputy mayor of economic and workforce development, calling for on-time pay and health benefits for nonprofit contractors, an issue the Adams administration has taken steps to address. Barnette makes up half a power couple with New York City Comptroller Brad Lander.
As president and CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation since 2006, Ana L. Oliveira has led the organization’s expansion in grant-making, breaching a milestone this year of over $100 million in total awarded grants. The foundation invests in women and gender-expansive leaders to advance justice in their communities while supporting causes such as racial equity and criminal justice reform. Oliveira continues to advocate for reproductive justice rights while facilitating access to sexual health services.
As head of the YMCA of Greater New York, Sharon Greenberger is in charge of more than 20 facilities offering community programs. During the pandemic, the YMCA played a crucial role in providing school enrichment, emergency meals, and health and wellness information. Recently, Greenberger and the YMCA have hosted some of the biggest names in politics, from Vice President Kamala Harris to Gov. Kathy Hochul. In June, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Hochul named Greenberger to the “New” New York blue-ribbon panel, intended to guide policy decisions around the city's economic recovery.
Nathaniel Fields leads one of the largest domestic violence shelter providers in the country as the CEO of Urban Resource Institute. Fields has been a staunch advocate for abuse survivors, recently spearheading the institute’s opening of the first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in Queens. During the pandemic, he was named to then-New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Non-Profit and Social Services Sector Advisory Council. He has served on a number of other city and state advisory boards related to social services and domestic abuse.
Kwame Owusu-Kesse has led this family services provider and charter school network since 2020 as it expanded into six other cities, offering youth enrichment programming and pandemic relief for low-income children and families. In April, Harlem Children’s Zone received $100 million from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to cover operating costs, upgrade facilities and launch new remedial learning and health services. Last fall, Owusu-Kesse hosted the investiture ceremony of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, sharing a program with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Amy Freitag joined The New York Community Trust, a century-old public grant-making foundation, after working at the J.M. Kaplan Fund, a 75-year-old family foundation based in New York City. Freitag boasts extensive philanthropic and managerial experience, including as executive director of both the New York Restoration Project and the Tortora Sillcox Family Foundation. Early in her career, Freitag’s specialization in park restoration and preservation led to her being named deputy commissioner for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation during Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s administration.
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York is an independent, nonpartisan child advocacy group focused on public policy, research and civic engagement. After 30 years in the public and private sectors, including the past 15 as the group’s executive director, Jennifer March is well known as a crusader for early childhood education, youth involved with the justice system and homeless families. In April, the organization published a report tracking the devastating impact the pandemic has had on children and families.
A former New York City public advocate, mayoral adviser and senior official to several citywide organizations and agencies, Betsy Gotbaum now leads Citizens Union, a good-government group where she has worked to depoliticize the New York City Board of Elections, aiming for a more professional and well-run system. Gotbaum has also emphasized voter rights, including early and absentee voting and consolidated primaries, and was part of the successful push for ranked-choice voting in the city.
Since leaving the New York City Council in 2017, David Greenfield has led Met Council, one of the largest human services agencies in New York City, overseeing an organization of 20 affordable housing developments, 101 food pantries, and 15 Jewish community centers serving close to 300,000 people each year. Greenfield also teaches a class on zoning and land use as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School.
Editor’s note: David Greenfield is a member of the advisory board of New York Nonprofit Media, a sister publication to City & State.
Representing New York City Council District 26, which covers Long Island City, Sunnyside, Astoria, and Woodside, Julie Won serves her community and New York City at large by sitting on several committees and caucuses. She has chaired the Committee on Contracts since January. Won, who is the first woman and immigrant to represent the district, focuses on creating affordable housing, increasing internet access for all New Yorkers, and achieving greater equity in regard to education and health care.
Mitchell Netburn leads Samaritan Daytop Village, a trailblazing addiction services program that has expanded into health care and housing. This year, Samaritan partnered with the state to rehabilitate supportive housing in the Bronx and open a crisis stabilization center in the Hudson Valley. In July, the city tapped Netburn and Samaritan Daytop Village to provide services at the Bronx Support and Connection Center, a new short-term mental health and substance abuse treatment facility.
Monsignor Gregory Mustaciuolo is the first CEO of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, which has quickly become one of the largest and most influential health foundations in the country. Since its 2018 launch, the foundation has awarded grants totaling $470 million to nonprofits serving the health needs of low-income and underserved communities. In his previous role as vicar general and chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York, Mustaciuolo addressed the financial needs of 2.6 million Catholics, while overseeing parishes, schools and charity organizations.
SCO Family of Services head Keith Little leads the agency’s residential and community-based child welfare, early childhood, youth development, family support, special needs and homeless services. He has held leadership positions at Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families, the state Office of Mental Health, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, and the New York City Department of Health. Little sits on the boards of several organizations, including Black Agency Executives and the Collaborative for Children and Families.
Michelle Yanche leads the operations and advocacy agenda of Good Shepherd Services, a family services provider helping 30,000 youth and families across 100 programs ranging from career readiness to youth justice. Good Shepherd currently holds a seat on the city’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Planning Committee, which played a key role in developing the Adams administration’s blueprint to prevent youth homelessness. This year, Good Shepherd hosted a series of community events across the Bronx as part of its gun violence interruption program.
Editor’s note: Michelle Yanche is a member of the advisory board of New York Nonprofit Media, a sister publication to City & State.
As president and CEO of Children’s Aid since 2014, Phoebe Boyer has been helping children living in poverty through the agency’s community schools, foster care programs, medical and mental health services, and more. Boyer was named to New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ transition committee on education, advising the incoming administration on education policy. During the pandemic, Children’s Aid developed interventions to make up for lost learning and delivered over 200,000 meals to struggling families.
Andre White leads what is frequently referred to as “the oldest and largest not-for-profit developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing in New York City.” A former deputy commissioner of youth workforce development at the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, White has also overseen the Summer Youth Employment Program; designed and launched Advance & Earn, a career pathways training and employment program; and served as a policy analyst for the office of the Brooklyn borough president.
Dave Giffen has been the executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless since 2012, having also served as vice chair of the organization’s board of directors. Giffen, who was previously vice president of the Mercator Corp., has made sure his organization continues to work diligently on the streets, in shelters, and with community leaders around New York City to find effective solutions to the city’s long-standing homelessness crisis.
One of the steps New York City Mayor Eric Adams has taken to follow through on his campaign pledge to tackle crime in the city is the creation of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in June, with Man Up’s Andre Mitchell appointed to lead the group alongside Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. Mitchell, who was dubbed the city’s “gun czar” as part of the announcement, is known for his “violence interrupter” efforts in his home borough of Brooklyn. Yet his nonprofit, which also partnered with the city during the de Blasio administration, has faced scrutiny for nepotism and financial mismanagement.
Wayne Ho is a leading advocate for Asian Americans, immigrants and low-income New Yorkers. The Chinese-American Planning Council has provided critical support to Asian communities across New York, offering COVID-19 testing and meal services throughout the pandemic. Last year, the group partnered with the city and state to provide relief to victims of Hurricane Ida. This year, it teamed up with the state to combat the rise in anti-Asian hate. Meanwhile, the organization has been at odds with lawmakers, including Assembly Member Ron Kim and New York City Council Member Christopher Marte, who allege underpayment of home care staffers.
Editor’s note: Wayne Ho is a member of the advisory board of New York Nonprofit Media, a sister publication to City & State.
Nicholas Turner, the first person of color to lead the Vera Institute of Justice, previously worked with Vera from 1998 to 2007. Since 2013, Turner has steered the organization toward an emphasis on ending mass incarceration, reducing jail and prison sizes, and reforming public safety practices. A graduate of Yale Law School, Turner has extensive legal experience and currently serves as a trustee for the Council on Criminal Justice, the Policy Academies and Vera Action, and chairs the advisory board of New York University School of Law’s Policing Project.
Ronald Richter, a former New York City Family Court judge and commissioner of the city Administration for Children’s Services, guides JCCA’s expansion of educational and vocational programs, wraparound family services and community-based health care. In April, New York City Mayor Eric Adams named Richter to his Advisory Committee on the Judiciary, which advises City Hall on appointments to New York City courts. In March, Gov. Kathy Hochul partnered with JCCA to operate a Youth Assertive Community Treatment team, part of a $21 million initiative.
Jilly Stephens has led City Harvest through some challenging times. Since 2006, Stephens has overseen the organization’s mission to meet increasing food and nutritional demands, with particular emphasis on access for low-income New Yorkers. Previously, she served as City Harvest’s senior director of program development and vice president of program services. During her tenure, the organization established its Food Rescue Facility in Long Island City, Queens, with the twin goals of expanding storage facilities for rescued food and creating space for deliveries.
As the deputy mayor for health and human services during COVID-19, Melanie Hartzog helped steer New York City through the worst of the pandemic via the city’s social services agencies and the vaccine rollout. Now she leads The New York Foundling – and its operating budget of over $200 million – serving close to 30,000 residents across the five boroughs and nearby counties and in Puerto Rico, offering programs for low-income children and families, people with developmental disabilities, youth involved in the juvenile justice system, and people with special health and behavioral health needs.
Grace Bonilla is United Way of New York City’s first Latina leader. A veteran advocate for racial and income equity, Bonilla previously served as the founding executive director of the New York City COVID-19 Racial Inclusion and Equity Taskforce and administrator of the New York City Human Resources Administration. Bonilla also has extensive experience in the city’s philanthropic community, having served as senior vice president for Latin America at Covenant House International and president and CEO of the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families.
Queens native Susan Stamler has led United Neighborhood Houses since the fall of 2015, coming to the role after working on a national campaign in support of state-based juvenile justice policy reform initiatives as senior vice president of M+R Strategic Services. Stamler, who was the group’s director of policy and advocacy from 2001 to 2010, is a noted advocate for youth development, education, women’s rights and health rights, and is one of the co-founders of the New York AIDS Coalition.
George Contos is the head of YAI, a network of human services agencies serving 20,000 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities across 300 programs in New York, New Jersey and California. Contos is leading YAI’s latest strategic plan, helping the organization transition to managed-care models. He has held seats on multiple city and state advisory boards, including the Joint Advisory Council for Managed Care at the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.
Since founding the Doe Fund with her husband, George McDonald, more than 30 years ago, Harriet Karr-McDonald has helped reach 30,000 homeless or formerly incarcerated clients seeking housing and social services. Led solely by Karr-McDonald since the death of her husband last year, the fund recently partnered with the city and state on projects ranging from affordable housing to workforce development. Last year, the fund played a major role in the New York City Cleanup Corps and recently teamed up with Mayor Eric Adams and private stakeholders on the Street Homeless Advocacy Project, a volunteer homeless outreach initiative.
Ken Zimmerman has big shoes to fill as the chief executive of Fountain House, which was previously led by New York City Health Department Commissioner Ashwin Vasan. But Zimmerman brings plenty of experience to his new role leading the national mental health nonprofit, including as director of U.S. programs with the Open Society Foundations and as senior adviser to then-U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. He assumed his new duties at the end of September, while the organization’s interim CEO, Mary Crowley, is staying on as executive vice president.
Hester Street interim Executive Director Rasmia Kirmani-Frye was recently appointed to serve on the City Planning Commission by the New York City Council. She served as the director of the Office of Public/Private Partnerships at the New York City Housing Authority from 2015 to 2018, managing external relationships with multiple city agencies. As an urban planner and nonprofit leader, Kirmani-Frye has spent her career finding solutions to housing and ensuring equity. She continues this work at Hester Street, an urban planning nonprofit that emphasizes and facilitates community decision-making.
John MacIntosh is the managing partner of SeaChange Capital Partners, founded in 2007 by alumni of Goldman Sachs to provide grants, loans and consulting services to nonprofit organizations that are facing challenges. Among its recent partners in New York are the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and Boom!Health, a merger of CitiWide Harm Reduction and Bronx AIDS Services. MacIntosh joined SeaChange in 2008 after having been a partner with private equity firm Warburg Pincus in New York, Tokyo and London.
Barika X. Williams leads the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, a training, research and advocacy organization focused on affordable housing and community-based services in distressed areas of New York City. The organization reaches 450,000 New Yorkers annually through anti-displacement, responsible banking, and housing programs. Williams was one of many stakeholders who advocated for the end of the tax exemption known as 421-a, which state lawmakers allowed to expire this year.
Dr. Jorge Petit took the reins of Services for the UnderServed in February, bringing with him a wealth of experience from 25 years working in public health care. Annually serving 37,000 clients across housing, employment and recovery programs, Services for the UnderServed has played a major role in several affordable and supportive housing projects in New York City and state. The organization will be the service provider on a $189 million supportive housing development in the Bronx that broke ground this summer.
Michael Seereiter is the president and CEO of the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation, an organization created by the merger of the New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies and the New York State Rehabilitation Association. Seereiter also has extensive experience with the state Office of Mental Health and the Executive Chamber, and as legislative director for then-Assembly Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee Chair Marty Luster.
As executive director of the Center for Court Innovation, Courtney Bryan works for a fair, effective and humane justice system. By collaborating with government and communities, the center develops program alternatives to incarceration, strengthens underserved communities through initiatives focusing on safety and economic opportunity and also conducts research. In her previous roles at the organization, Bryan promoted new initiatives against human trafficking and domestic violence and led the center’s Rikers initiative with the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform.
Kathleen Brady-Stepien, who has led the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies since 2014, has been instrumental in guiding the organization through the coronavirus pandemic. In her role, she manages the organization’s partnerships and oversees its finances while also supporting its advocacy on behalf of over 100 member agencies under the council’s umbrella. She brings experience from previous stints at Buffalo Public Schools and Catholic Charities to the job.
Alan Mucatel has led Rising Ground since 2009, in that time overseeing a notable transformation and expansion of the nearly 200-year-old organization, including helping Rising Ground rebrand itself – the organization was formerly known as Leake and Watts Services. He also helped flesh out the organizational chart with new leadership positions; facilitated a merger with Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families; and expanded the organization’s budget from $56 million to over $130 million.
This month, Wendy Stark will take over as president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, the reproductive health care provider whose 23 centers cover nearly two-thirds of the state. The hiring of Stark, who previously led the LGBTQ organization Callen-Lorde, comes as abortion rights activists are in retreat thanks to the overturning of Roe v. Wade – which could increase demand for Planned Parenthood’s services in the state as more out-of-state women come to New York for abortions.
For more than two decades, Myung Lee has held senior positions at agencies and organizations in the public and private sectors serving children and families experiencing homelessness. As the head of Volunteers of America-Greater New York, Lee controls a $100 million budget for programs that serve some 30,000 children, adults and families each year. Lee is a member of the Joint Task Force to Get Nonprofits Paid On Time.
Elizabeth McCarthy’s tenure as CEO of Sheltering Arms has been defined by the organization’s growth and the expansion of its programs. She joined the nearly 200-year-old organization in 2011 after stints as chief operating officer at MercyFirst and senior vice president for programs at Safe Horizon, where she led the organization’s response to 9/11. She holds a master’s degree in public and nonprofit management from Yale University and received her bachelor's degree from Boston College.
Arva Rice leads the New York Urban League, which helps underserved communities access higher education, opportunities for social mobility and equal respect of their civil rights through programs, services and advocacy. As COVID-19 disproportionately affected African Americans and communities of color in New York City, the Urban League held online conferences to address structural and systemic issues, inequalities in public education and the pandemic’s economic impact. Rice, who previously served as the executive director of Project Enterprise, is now the chair of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Lisa Schreibersdorf is the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Defender Services, where she advocates for youth justice reform and the rights of clients in mental health, and drug courts, and serves in specialty court task forces throughout the nation. A recipient of the Women’s Bar of the State of New York’s Judith S. Kaye Access to Justice Award, Schreibersdorf previously served as president of the Chief Defenders Association of New York, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association.
Katy Gaul-Stigge leads Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the greater New York area. As president and CEO, she oversees 57 operational programs and 42 retail locations in New York City, northern New Jersey, Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Capital District. Gaul-Stigge garnered attention for developing then-New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Career Pathways strategy as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development.
Sam Schaeffer has led the Center for Employment Opportunities since 2009. Under his watch, the program, which assists individuals with criminal convictions in securing employment, has expanded beyond the New York City area to over 30 cities across the United States. Schaeffer, who has authored articles and been interviewed about cash grants for newly released prisoners transitioning back into public life, previously served as director of economic development for U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Hispanic Federation President and CEO Frankie Miranda leads one the nation’s most recognized Latino nonprofit membership organizations. Largely credited with the federation’s successful expansion into Florida and Puerto Rico, Miranda was influential in both mobilizing the organization’s civic engagement in Florida and establishing immediate and long-term disaster assistance strategies in Puerto Rico. Prior to becoming president and CEO, Miranda held various senior positions in the organization, managing its operations, expansion initiatives and annual gala, which raises more than $2.7 million annually.
Joe Pressley is the CEO of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, the nation’s oldest and largest organization primarily serving LGBTQ youth of color. A Brooklyn native, Pressley’s career has long centered around LGBTQ issues, particularly those concerning African Americans. Previously, he served as the community organizer and executive director for the New York AIDS Coalition, senior director of policy and government relations for Harlem United Community AIDS Center and director of special projects for then-New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Joanne Oplustil is the president and CEO of Camba and Camba Housing Ventures. Oplustil has spent four decades at the helm of Camba, which supports housing, community development and public safety initiatives, and seen it grow considerably to encompass 95 locations citywide. Today she oversees over 160 programs related to health services, economic development and legal services. She has helped raise over $1 billion for Camba and Camba Housing Ventures.
Jo-Ann Yoo leads the Asian American Federation, a research and advocacy organization and direct services provider working with 70 partner organizations to serve New York’s Asian communities. During the coronavirus pandemic, Yoo and her organization have helped distribute aid to hard-hit communities and received state funding to address anti-Asian hate. Yoo serves on both the New York City Racial Justice Commission and Mayor Eric Adams’ COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Task Force.
Leslie Gordon has led the Food Bank for New York City, the city's largest hunger relief organization, since 2020, taking the helm at a key moment when the pandemic was just beginning and the demand for emergency food provider services had increased. On her watch, the organization has fed an estimated 1.6 million New Yorkers – up from 1.1 million before the pandemic – while boosting its workforce to handle the increased demand. She previously led Feeding Westchester, where her efforts allowed the organization to increase its food distribution significantly as well. She also served in leadership at City Harvest.
As executive director of the New York City Office of Financial Empowerment, Debra-Ellen Glickstein advocated for innovative financial plans to enable asset building and wealth creation for low-income New Yorkers and neighborhoods. Now, as executive director at NYC Kids RISE, she helps kick-start the financial and academic futures of New York City’s kindergartners. NYC Kids RISE’s Save for College Program is automatically providing all New York City kindergartners with their own 529 savings accounts this fall.
Blondel Pinnock is the first female president and CEO of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp. since its founding in 1967. She was previously chief operating officer at the Greater Jamaica Development Corp. This summer, she took the reins from Colvin Grannum, who made the community and economic development organization a national model as it helped revitalize parts of Brooklyn. Grannum is staying on with the organization to assist with its Restoration Innovation Campus and an effort to make a more inclusive Fulton Street innovation corridor.
Michael N. Rosenblut is approaching two decades at the helm of Parker Jewish Institute, a major regional post-acute care center for adults located on Long Island, and its dialysis center, the Queens-Long Island Renal Institute Inc. Apart from guiding the medical institution through the coronavirus pandemic, Rosenblut is deeply engaged in the broader community, serving on the boards of the Association of Jewish Aging Services, Westchester Medical Center and AgeWell New York, a managed long-term care plan and Medicare Advantage plan.
Ever since its founding in 1968 by the Ford Foundation, the Fund for the City of New York has partnered with nonprofits to improve the quality of life of the city’s residents. It’s known for its support through its Cash Flow Loan Program, the Partner Project Program and its Sloan awards for teaching and public service. Lisette Nieves took over the major funder two years ago, succeeding Mary McCormick and continues to teach at New York University, where she’s a distinguished clinical professor at the Steinhardt School.
As executive director of Sanctuary for Families, Judy Harris Kluger has helped implement programs supporting college sexual assault survivors and incarcerated gender violence survivors. Kluger, who previously worked as a state judge for 25 years, serves on the New York City Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary and the New York City Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-based Violence, and is a recipient of the New York Women’s Bar Association 2019 President’s Special Award.
Editor’s note: Judy Harris Kluger is a member of the advisory board of New York Nonprofit Media, a sister publication to City & State.
Damyn Kelly leads Lutheran Social Services of New York and its $60 million annual budget to deliver a range of social services, from assisting older adults living independently to providing affordable supportive housing and finding families for children. The organization emphasizes social and racial justice to improve disenfranchised communities – a mission familiar to Kelly, who previously served as CEO of Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Centers, where he helped children and families access educational, vocational and behavioral treatment programs.
Frederick Shack is the CEO of Urban Pathways, which helps homeless New Yorkers via more than 800 transitional, permanent and low-income units in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. A former vice chair of the board for the Human Services Council and vice chair of the board for the Supportive Housing Network of New York, Shack was named to then-Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Nonprofit Resiliency Committee and Supportive Housing Task Force. A lecturer at the Columbia University School of Social Work, Shack teaches homeless policy and field supervision to the next generation of advocates.
Janelle Farris, who became the first Black president of Brooklyn Community Services in 2018, came to the organization after an extensive career in nonprofit leadership and management, including a nine-year stint as the associate director of operations at Pratt Center for Community Development. With over two decades of operations management experience and a master’s of public administration degree from Harvard University, she has successfully pushed Brooklyn Community Services – and its 35 programs, 20,000 clients and 600 staff members – through the pandemic.
William Gettman manages Northern Rivers Family of Services, a 193-year-old, $90 million Albany-based children’s and family services provider with behavioral health, foster care, education and foster care prevention programs. Gettman is also the chair of the New York State Justice Center Advisory Council, which helps protect people with special needs from neglect and abuse. Gettman was outspoken in calling on state lawmakers to pass cost-of-living increases for human services workers earlier this year.
Megan T. Allen is the new CEO of the New York Council of Nonprofits and its New York City affiliate, BoardStrong, which promotes high standards of board leadership and governance among the council’s 3,000 nonprofit members. Widely recognized for heading a grant-writing service at the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services that helped nonprofits, school districts and municipalities raise $105 million in funding, Allen also previously served as board chair of the Capital District Women’s Employment and Resource Center, where she led staff evaluation initiatives, board nomination processes, and a merger with another nonprofit.
Greg Berman, a renowned criminal justice expert, helped to found the Center for Court Innovation in the early 2000s and built it into a major player in the criminal justice reform space. After resigning as director of the center, he was named the inaugural Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Distinguished Fellow of Practice. He also remains actively engaged in the broader nonprofit community, interviewing leaders of noteworthy organizations and highlighting their impact in the city and also co-editing the policy journal of Vital City, a research organization he helped launch.
Editor’s note: Greg Berman is a member of the advisory board of New York Nonprofit Media, a sister publication to City & State.
Rosanne Haggerty is a crucial figure at Community Solutions, bringing more than 20 years of experience as founder of Common Ground Community to her role. After founding Community Solutions in 2011, Haggerty has gone on to support its work to end homelessness by solving difficult housing problems. Under her supervision, Community Solutions has led groundbreaking initiatives such as the 100,000 Homes and Built for Zero campaigns, which seek to end chronic and veteran homelessness.
Maria Lizardo came to Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp. in 1998, where she held a number of positions before becoming interim executive director in 2014 – and, shortly after that, permanent executive director. Lizardo, a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, youth development and women’s rights, is a co-founder of the Brides’ March, an organization dedicated to sounding the alarm on domestic abuse, and a co-author of “Latinx in Social Work.”
Alison Overseth brings more than 25 years of experience supporting youth to her role overseeing the Partnership for After School Education. The nonprofit partners with higher education institutions, local organizations and corporations to support young people in poverty in New York City. In the past, Overseth has worked with the Fund for the City of New York to strengthen nonprofits that are geared toward helping youth.
Muzzy Rosenblatt is president and CEO of the Bowery Residents’ Committee, an organization dedicated to serving homeless New Yorkers. His organization, a major New York City contractor on the front lines of the city’s effort to crack down on homelessness in the city’s subways, faced allegations of misspent funds in a state comptroller report late last year. Rosenblatt came to the position with notable political experience, having served under three New York City mayors: Ed Koch, David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani.
In January, Lymaris Albors was named CEO at Acacia Network, one of New York state’s largest Latino-led social services nonprofit organizations. Heralded as a visionary Latina leader, Albors has worked with Acacia Network President Raul Russi to expand the organization, which now provides community-based, culturally competent care to more than 150,000 individuals in multiple states and Puerto Rico. Since being appointed CEO, Albors has focused on new initiatives related to housing and health care.
A key figure in criminal justice reform, Aubrey Fox oversees an important partnership with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice through the New York City Criminal Justice Agency. In this role, Fox focuses on reducing the use of pretrial detention and instead monitoring individuals and providing mental health treatment and other services. He brings a diversity of experience to the position, including posts at the Center for Court Innovation and the Institute for Economics and Peace.
As president and CEO of Project Renewal, Eric Rosenbaum oversaw the nonprofit’s summer opening of Bedford Green House, a new supportive and affordable housing development in the Bronx. The LEED-certified building will provide 117 units of housing to formerly homeless individuals, families impacted by mental health issues and substance use disorders, people living with HIV and low-income New Yorkers. Rosenbaum was the CEO of Lantern and chief operating officer of Win, which both provide supportive housing and homeless services. He has served on the board of Homeless Services United.
Allison Nickerson is the executive director of LiveOn NY, a nonprofit coalition that advocates on behalf of over 100 members providing core services to seniors, from affordable senior housing, senior centers and elder abuse prevention to home-delivered meals, caregiver support and Naturally Occurring Retirement Community programs. Nickerson, who has worked at LiveOn NY for over a decade, previously served as director of development and sustainability.
Joanne N. Smith heads this Black feminist organization focused on the future leadership of Black girls and gender-expansive young people of color through policy change, advocacy, youth-led programming and narrative shifts. In 2020, Smith launched the Black Girl Freedom Fund, a 10-year, billion-dollar initiative to support Black women and girls. She also co-chairs the Young Women’s Initiative and advocates for survivors of sexual abuse by R&B singer R. Kelly.
Kathryn Haslanger has been CEO of the Jewish Association Serving the Aging, or JASA, since 2012. A board member for The Commonwealth Fund and New York eHealth Collaborative, Haslanger has had a career centered around providing greater access to care services for older, disabled and low-income individuals. At JASA, she manages a $120 million budget and over 50 locations across the city. She oversees efforts to bring various services to over 40,000 New Yorkers.
Scott Short has worked at RiseBoro Community Partnership for 20 years. In that time, he has helped expand the organization beyond its roots as a senior services provider in Bushwick and Ridgewood to reach other neighborhoods and populations. RiseBoro recently partnered with the state to administer addiction prevention and supportive housing programs. This summer, RiseBoro won majority ownership of three affordable housing buildings in Brooklyn as part of a settlement with the private equity behemoth Blackstone.
Both Anita Gundanna and Vanessa Leung joined the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families five years ago, forming a team that has allowed CACF to reach new heights in its advocacy. They both bring extensive experience advocating for minorities – a valuable asset for the only pan-Asian child and family advocacy organization in the United States bringing local organizations and youth allies together to fight for Asian American and Pacific Islander rights.
Jody Rudin leads this nonprofit serving 15,000-plus people annually with integrated, trauma-informed and recovery-oriented health care. Funding from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services helps the Institute for Community Living address disparities in mental and physical health in East New York through its groundbreaking East New York Health Hub, which provides comprehensive health, housing and employment services. Previously, Rudin was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Project Renewal and deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Homeless Services.
Adem Bunkeddeko leads the Coro New York Leadership Center, a civic leadership organization that runs training programs for future leaders interested in the government, nonprofit, business and education sectors. As executive director, Bunkeddeko draws on his vast managerial and civic experience – and the hard-won knowledge borne of two unsuccessful congressional primary runs against Rep. Yvette Clarke. Bunkeddeko previously served as senior adviser to Project 10X, a community investment initiative aimed at closing the racial wealth gap.
Editor’s note: Adem Bunkeddeko is a member of the advisory board of New York Nonprofit Media, a sister publication to City & State.
Quamid Francis, who serves as City Year New York’s executive director, came to his latest role after serving as deputy commissioner, chief of staff and chief diversity officer at the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services. Born and raised in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Francis is a veteran of the Marine Corps. He has staff experience in the New York City Council, the state Senate and the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services.
Lina Lee is a driving force at Communities Resist, an organization committed to supporting housing rights for low-income communities and preventing displacement and gentrification. The organization, which is led by people of color, was co-founded by Lee. With her at the helm, Communities Resist has worked to target neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens that have been rapidly gentrifying. She brings to the position prior experience working with immigrant tenants as a staff attorney at the MinKwon Center for Community Action, and previously served at Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A as deputy director.
Community Resource Exchange President and CEO Tiloma Jayasinghe is a human rights advocate who has focused on reproductive rights and gender justice. Before taking the reins at this nonprofit consulting firm, Jayasinghe served as executive director of Sakhi for South Asian Women, social affairs officer for the Division for the Advancement of Women at the United Nations and chief program officer at Nonprofit New York. Jayasinghe is on the board of the New York Women’s Foundation and the steering committee of the Asian Women Giving Circle.
Following in a long family tradition of public service, Ben Thomases has served as Queens Community House’s executive director since 2015. Prior to the role, he was the executive vice president for programs at Seedco, an economic development organization, and chief operating officer at Wildcat Service Corp. As executive director of Queens Community House, he has advocated for fair pay for human service workers and the expansion of voting rights. He has also helped lead the group’s growth through the renovation of its Forest Hills, Queens, headquarters.
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