Power Lists

The 2024 Brooklyn Power 100

The bigwigs in New York City’s most bustling borough.

City & State presents the 2024 Brooklyn Power 100.

City & State presents the 2024 Brooklyn Power 100. Alex Potemkin, iStock/Getty Images Plus

Brooklyn isn’t just the borough that boasts the largest population in New York City. It’s also indisputably the place with the biggest concentration of political power in the state. Majority leader of the U.S. Senate? Check. The potential next speaker of the House of Representatives? Check? State Attorney General? Mayor? City Comptroller? Check, check, check. Throw in multiple members of the mayor’s inner circle, the city’s public advocate and the top lawmakers overseeing budgetary matters in the Assembly and the New York City Council, and it’s no surprise that the Brooklyn Power 100 is one of the most exclusive lists published by City & State.

This annual power list, written and researched in partnership with journalist Aaron Short, puts a spotlight on the actions and accomplishments of all these political figures, as well as trailblazing prosecutors, innovative business executives, proactive advocates and dozens of other local and community leaders who have Brooklyn abuzz.

1. Eric Adams

New York City Mayor
Eric Adams / Adam Gray/Getty Images

It’s the Summer of Eric! Facing tepid poll numbers, a growing list of primary rivals and a sprawling investigation into his campaign contributions from foreign donors, the mayor has sought to be omnipresent in the borough. He has held town halls in Brownsville and visited Christian charities, unveiled a “green-collar” jobs plan, doled out $80 million to overhaul Red Hook’s port and defended police tactics during a pro-Palestinian protest in Bay Ridge to shore up his voting base. In the meantime, Adams is engaged in a cold war with the City Council by seeking to revise the city charter that could further strengthen him at City Hall.

2. Hakeem Jeffries

House Minority Leader
Hakeem Jeffries / Office of Representative Hakeem Jeffries

Bitter Republican infighting that ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and paralyzed the House last fall has Hakeem Jeffries salivating at a Democratic restoration next year. Republicans are slightly favored to hold on to the House in 2024 in what could be another narrow outcome. But Jeffries has been governing as if he already held the majority, providing the votes necessary to avert a shutdown and approve $95 billion in foreign aid and then thwarting far-right efforts to remove GOP Speaker Mike Johnson. Jeffries has also been a key player in Albany, weighing in on big issues like congestion pricing and redistricting.

3. Chuck Schumer

U.S. Senate Majority Leader
Chuck Schumer / Mike Groll, Office of the Governor

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer makes a point of visiting all 62 counties in New York every year, but the most important one for New York’s most powerful politician in Washington, D.C., is his home borough of Brooklyn. The transit-focused lawmaker waited a dozen years for the groundbreaking of the country’s “most important infrastructure project,” the Gateway Program, for which he secured an additional $6.9 billion in federal funding last summer. Construction on the $16 billion cross-harbor rail tunnel officially began in November and could start serving passengers by 2035, a capstone on the majority leader’s career.

4. Letitia James

State Attorney General
Letitia James / Kyle O'Leary

Before Donald Trump was convicted in his hush money trial in Manhattan criminal court, Letitia James had secured the most significant judgment against the former president. Following the attorney general’s three-year investigation into The Trump Organization’s business practices and a yearlong trial, a state judge found Trump liable for lying about his wealth and ordered him to fork over a $450 million penalty. James threatened to seize Trump’s assets if he didn’t pay up, and Trump posted a $175 million bond in response. James has also pledged to address her neighbors’ concerns over migrant shelters on Hall Street.

5. Brad Lander

New York City Comptroller
Brad Lander / Ayman Siam, Office of NYC Comptroller

Brad Lander got under the mayor’s skin almost as soon as both were sworn in. The Park Slope progressive warned that high job vacancies in city agencies would put essential services at risk after the mayor left positions unfilled, refused to approve DocGo’s $432 million contract for housing migrants and then restricted the mayor’s ability to award no-bid contracts for emergency services. The moves infuriated Adams, who accused Lander of “tying our hands,” while Lander promised to scrutinize DocGo’s replacement. Lander has also supported other progressive politicians, holding a joint fundraiser with Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

6. Eric Gonzalez

Brooklyn District Attorney
Eric Gonzalez / Brooklyn DA's Office

Progressive prosecutors have come under fire from Republicans across the country, but Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez has proudly embraced his role. He has sought to curb violent crime and gun violence, most recently by bringing charges against 18 gang members who engaged in a spate of shootings that killed two teenagers. But Gonzalez has also emphasized restorative justice and has limited excessive arrests while vacating 500 cases due to misconduct. And in January, he declined to prosecute people in possession of cannabis, citing flaws in state law.

7. Justin Brannan

Chair, New York City Council Finance Committee
Justin Brannan / Katrina Hajagos

New York City Council Member Justin Brannan has been touted as the kind of Democrat who may someday have a national platform. Southern Brooklyn has been tilting more Republican recently, but that didn’t keep the Bay Ridge council member from trouncing a fellow incumbent, Republican Ari Kagan, in a redrawn district by a larger-than-expected margin last year. Brannan abstained from pursuing a bid for Congress this cycle and instead battled with City Hall over the mayor’s contentious cuts to libraries, schools, cultural groups, homeless services and pre-K programs as head of the City Council Finance Committee.

8. Jumaane Williams

New York City Public Advocate
Jumaane Williams / New York City Council

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has continued to bolster his legacy as an effective lawmaker, capitalizing on an often overlooked aspect of his citywide post that allows him to introduce legislation. Earlier this year, the New York City Council made headlines by overriding mayoral vetoes on his bills to increase police transparency and ban solitary confinement. Williams has continued to be at odds with the Adams administration for the mayor’s position on the Israel-Hamas war and for the police department’s use of force at a pro-Palestinian rally in May.

9. Ingrid Lewis-Martin

Chief Adviser, New York City Mayor’s Office
Ingrid Lewis-Martin / Benjamin Polatseck

Ingrid Lewis-Martin may have the nebulous title of chief adviser, but nothing significant gets done in city government without the “Lioness of City Hall.” Lewis-Martin singlehandedly got the Sanitation Department to change its trash pickups, nixed street safety redesigns in Fort Greene and Greenpoint, and helped get Albany to extend mayoral control of schools. She has brought allies into the Adams administration, while those who cross her find themselves out of administration or on the wrong side of a social media beef. But the ordained chaplain may need divine intervention to make Randy Mastro the city’s top lawyer.

10. Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn

Chair, Brooklyn Democratic Party
Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn / Kristen Blush

Two years ago, some people wondered whether Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn would resign as Brooklyn Democratic boss after infighting with progressives. The county leader took a break to give birth, but returned as resolute as ever and did not support New York City Council Member Justin Brannan in a redrawn district. She has stood by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, suggesting that a fundraising probe into his campaign was racially motivated. This year, Bichotte Hermelyn has focused on advocating for minority- and women-owned businesses and passing laws to prevent infant mortality and improve Black maternal health.

11. Yvette Clarke, Dan Goldman & Nydia Velázquez

Members of Congress
Yvette Clarke, Dan Goldman & Nydia Velázquez / Shannon Finney/Getty Images for Green New Deal Network; House of Representatives; Celeste Sloman

For a first-term lawmaker, Rep. Dan Goldman has quickly gained a national profile. Goldman, whose district straddles parts of Brooklyn and lower Manhattan, has capitalized on his experience impeaching Donald Trump while also making headlines for supporting Israel and pushing for gun control legislation and independent ethics oversight of the U.S. Supreme Court. Further to the left along the political spectrum is veteran Rep. Nydia Velázquez, an anti-war lawmaker who has spoken out against continued military aid for Israel amid civilian deaths in Gaza. Rep. Yvette Clarke, who represents Central Brooklyn, has focused on tech policy in recent years, including expanding internet access and regulating artificial intelligence.

12. Breon Peace

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York
Breon Peace / U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York

Now that Donald Trump’s trial is over, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace’s prosecutors are leading the city’s most scrutinized investigation, which has focused on the Adams campaign’s potentially illegal straw donor practices. Little has leaked out since the FBI raided an aide’s Bronx homes in February, but Peace has also been busy shutting down an illegal gambling ring in a Brooklyn shoe repair shop and busting a Brooklyn sex trafficking ring. If that weren’t enough, the Eastern District collected $1.8 billion in criminal and civil penalties during fiscal year 2023.

13. Antonio Reynoso

Brooklyn Borough President
Antonio Reynoso / Office of the Brooklyn Borough President

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso set progressives tongues wagging last summer when he attended a meeting to draft a primary challenger against Mayor Eric Adams, but he claims he’s not a candidate. Reynoso has sought to assist overburdened city agencies by redirecting Borough Hall’s resources to help Brooklynites waiting for NYCHA repairs and SNAP benefits, promoted his own zoning plan while panning mayor’s City of Yes initiative and gave $45 million to three hospitals to enhance pregnancy care. He also criticized the governor’s move to scrap congestion pricing, arguing it will backfire and hurt Democrats at the ballot box.

14. Meera Joshi & Maria Torres-Springer

Deputy Mayor for Operations; Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce, New York City Mayor’s Office
Meera Joshi & Maria Torres-Springer / Mayoral Photography Unit; NYC HPD

The deputy mayor duo of Meera Joshi and Maria Torres-Springer has been the brain trust behind City Hall’s most far-reaching policies on housing, transportation and immigration. Joshi, who oversees city infrastructure, has steered the transformation of the city’s trash collection and rat reduction policies, made streets safer by upgrading intersections and cracking down on e-bikes, and shaped the city’s transit expansion as a newly appointed MTA board member. Torres-Springer is the key architect of the mayor’s housing plan to create and preserve 500,000 homes and the administration’s zoning code overhauls that will fill vacant storefronts and allow denser residential construction.

15. Frank Carone

Founder and Chair, Oaktree Solutions
Frank Carone / Alex Towle Photography

Frank Carone isn’t the mayor’s chief of staff anymore, but he still has Eric Adams’ ear. The former aide turned his close ties with Adams into a lucrative government relations business that has hired former government officials and advised real estate companies bidding for casino licenses. Meanwhile, Carone has continued to lead the mayor’s reelection campaign, hold fundraisers for Adams’ legal defense fund and joined Adams in Rome to meet Pope Francis. Carone may be leaving Brooklyn too after listing his Mill Basin home for $6.9 million.

16. Jed Walentas

CEO, Two Trees
Jed Walentas / Two Trees

Leading a powerful organization representing developers driving the city’s real estate market is a different challenge than converting warehouses into artist lofts in Dumbo. But Jed Walentas, who took over the Real Estate Board of New York chair from Douglas Durst in January, is well-equipped to stabilize an industry grappling with record office vacancy rates and adjusting to renewed incentives to spur development. Two Trees repurposed the former Domino Sugar refinery into a 15-story office tower that opened in September and launched condo sales at a 39-story mixed-use building on the Williamsburg waterfront.

17. David Greenfield

CEO and Executive Director, Met Council
David Greenfield / Met Council

David Greenfield, a former politician who remains a power broker in Brooklyn, ensures that the country’s largest Jewish charity distributes food and health necessities to families in need. The Met Council received a $1 million grant to share produce in Canarsie, fed 300,000 New Yorkers during Passover, and helped the attorney general distribute 4,668 cans of baby formula across the city. A staunch supporter of Israel, Greenfield recently hosted 75 elected officials at his annual Israel Day breakfast, demonstrating that leaders can come together for charity despite having different viewpoints.

18. Maritza Davila, Erik Dilan, Jo Anne Simon, Latrice Walker, Helene Weinstein & Jaime Williams

Assembly Members
Maritza Davila, Jo Anne Simon, Latrice Walker, Helene Weinstein & Jaime Williams / State Assembly; Patrick McMullen, Getty Images; Kirsten Blush; New York State Assembly; NYS Assembly

As the chair of the influential Assembly Ways and Means Committee and the most senior member of the state Legislature’s lower house, Assembly Member Helene Weinstein is the epitome of institutional power in Albany. The loyal ally of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is set to retire this year, however, after representing southern Brooklyn since she was first elected in 1980. Other well-established Brooklynites serving in the Assembly include Election Law Committee Chair Latrice Walker, Social Services Committee Chair Maritza Davila, Ethics and Guidance Committee Chair Jo Anne Simon and Correction Committee Chair Erik Dilan. Walker has been one of the most outspoken advocates of bail reform, which has been scaled back in recent years, and she has been joined by Davila and others in a push for parole reform this year. Simon just fended off a primary threat from a pro-housing challenger, while Dilan, who has been a target of democratic socialists in the past, ran unopposed in his primary this year. Meanwhile, Democratic Assembly Member Jaime Williams was mistaken by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a Republican last fall due to the moderate lawmaker’s opposition to a migrant shelter in southern Brooklyn. Williams chairs the Real Property Taxation Committee, which would play a role in long-simmering efforts to reform New York City’s maligned property tax system. 

19. Zellnor Myrie

State Senator
Zellnor Myrie / NYS Senate Media Services

After months of speculation and fiery stump speeches, state Sen. Zellnor Myrie declared he would challenge New York City Mayor Eric Adams. The progressive lawmaker isn’t a household name and doesn’t have a huge campaign account, but he has pledged to run on competence and results. Others have noticed Adams’ poor polling, with Scott Stringer already in the mayoral race and others like Brad Lander, Andrew Cuomo and Jessica Ramos contemplating bids. Myrie has spoken out against the congestion pricing pause, and he’ll have an opportunity to win over angry New Yorkers during a long, hot summer.

20. Nicole Malliotakis

Member of Congress
Nicole Malliotakis / U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis is on a glide path to reelection this year after the redistricting commission kept her bifurcated district intact while excluding liberal enclaves. The new maps likely dissuaded Democratic heavyweights like New York City Council Member Justin Brannan, who was considering a bid, from jumping into the race. Meanwhile, Malliotakis defended President Donald Trump during his criminal trial and embraced him at his Bronx rally, accused Anthony Faucci of lying about the origins of COVID-19 at a congressional hearing and joined New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer in a bipartisan effort to halt congestion pricing.

21. Randy Peers

President and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Randy Peers / Provided

Three years ago, Randy Peers moved the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s offices to Industry City to attract talent to a more vibrant work environment. Peers has been just as attentive to the borough’s office market as he has to the needs of small businesses, which have finally begun to feel some optimism since the coronavirus pandemic. Peers has backed the mayor’s commercial zoning overhaul and advocated for a faster path for work authorization for migrant workers to help Brooklyn businesses. Peers also has called on lawmakers to address theft and inflation.

22. Carlo Scissura

President and CEO, New York Building Congress
Carlo Scissura / New York Building Congress

Carlo Scissura is a consummate political operator, marrying his experiences leading the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and as a top staffer in the Brooklyn borough president’s office to serve as an effective advocate for the building and construction industry in New York. In May, Scissura was named as chair of New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ new Charter Revision Commission, which will explore revising the city charter. Scissura was also among the business leaders who criticized the governor’s decision to indefinitely delay the implementation of congestion pricing.

23. A.R. Bernard

Senior Pastor, Christian Cultural Center
A.R. Bernard / Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

When Eric Adams revealed that God told him he was going to become mayor of New York City one day, he happened to be sermonizing to a like-minded congregation at A.R. Bernard’s megachurch. The pentecostal pastor has frequently advised public officials and welcomed them at his pulpit since he founded the Christian Cultural Center in 1978. Now, Bernard is leading a massive $1.2 billion redevelopment project that will transform 10.5 acres of church property in Starrett City into an urban village with 11 buildings and 2,000 apartments.

24. Iwen Chu, Simcha Felder, Andrew Gounardes, Kevin Parker, Roxanne Persaud & Jessica Scarcella-Spanton

State Senators
Iwen Chu, Simcha Felder, Andrew Gounardes, Kevin Parker, Roxanne Persaud & Jessica Scarcella-Spanton / New York State Senate Photography; Office of Senator Parker; Spanton

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes has solidified his standing since he narrowly ousted Republican Marty Golden in 2018, and he now chairs the Committee on Budget and Revenue and also served recently on Democrats’ secretive Working Rules group that helps determine which bills advance in Albany. Gounardes had a high-profile session this year, spearheading legislation authorizing New York City to set speed limits at 20 miles per hour and increasing protections for children on social media while also calling for state funding for Brooklyn ferry service to Governors Island.

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud is another veteran Brooklyn lawmaker who has served on the influential Working Rules group, and she also holds the leadership title of majority conference secretary and chairs the Social Services Committee. She sponsored the 2019 Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act and this year saw the governor sign her legislation requiring insurance companies to include coverage for biomarker testing.

Two other senior lawmakers from Brooklyn are state Sens. Kevin Parker and Simcha Felder. Parker has played a key role on energy policy as chair of the Energy and Telecommunications Committee, including recent efforts to tackle utility costs. Felder, a moderate who rejoined the Democratic conference in 2019 after being aligned with Republicans, now chairs the Committee on Administrative Regulations Review Commission.

Two of the newest lawmakers in Albany are state Sens. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton and Iwen Chu. Chu took office last year as the first Asian American female lawmaker in the state Senate. The ascendance of Chu, who chairs the Libraries Committee, exemplifies the rising political power among Asian Americans in southern Brooklyn. Scarcella-Spanton succeeded her mentor, former state Sen. Diane Savino, last year in a district covering parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island. Scarcella-Spanton, whose husband is an Army veteran, chairs the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee.

25. Teresa Gonzalez, Mike Keogh & Juanita Scarlett

Partners, Bolton-St. Johns
Teresa Gonzalez, Mike Keogh & Juanita Scarlett / Bolton-St. Johns; Evan Zimmerman, MurphyMade; Roger Archer

Bolton-St. Johns’ powerhouse team of government affairs specialists may not make headlines, but they’re behind some of the most significant campaigns and deals in the city. Mike Keogh, a former New York City Council finance director and District Council 37 legislative counsel, counts Verizon, Airbnb and Google among his many clients. (He’s also married to Secretary to the Governor Karen Persichilli Keogh.) Juanita Scarlett, a former Empire State Development executive vice president, advises health care, energy and education clients and sits on the board of Citizens Union Foundation. (She’s also married to NY1’s Errol Louis.) Teresa Gonzalez, a former Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit chief of staff, co-founded the strategic advising firms DalyGonzalez and Evolution Strategies and sits on the board of the New York Immigration Coalition.

Editor’s note: Juanita Scarlett is a member of City & State’s advisory board.

26. Lindsay Greene

President and CEO, Brooklyn Navy Yard
Lindsay Greene / JC Cancedda

Since her appointment to lead the Brooklyn Navy Yard two years ago, Lindsay Greene has positioned the former shipbuilding center as a lab for green technology. The Navy Yard put out a proposal request for a new manufacturing hub last year and then six months later welcomed a $25 million incubator for Black- and women-owned health and beauty businesses. Greene has continued popular community-minded events at the site, including a pop-up holiday market featuring Black-owned businesses and celebrated the opening of a new event center, Brooklyn Storehouse, at Building 293 on June 7.

27. Regina Myer

President, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
Regina Myer / Julienne Schaer

Regina Myer has made Brooklyn’s central business district more livable and walkable than perhaps any other civic leader in the city. The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership president supported the $50 million redesign of dated MetroTech Center with wooden benches and modern lighting, followed by a $40 million makeover of the surrounding neighborhood, including wider sidewalks along Flatbush Avenue, new trees on Fulton Street and a new bus lane. This spring, Myer celebrated the opening of Abolitionist Place park on Duffield Street to commemorate the area’s historic participation in the Underground Railroad.

28. Jennifer Jones Austin

CEO and Executive Director, FPWA
Jennifer Jones Austin / Robert White

Jennifer Jones Austin has been fighting to secure higher minimum wages and better working conditions for New Yorkers for much of her professional career. The anti-poverty leader led the New York City Racial Justice Commission, helping to craft ballot initiatives that voters passed in 2022 to create a citywide racial equity office and consider a new metric to tabulate the true cost of living in New York. She serves on an advisory group on implementing the ballot initiatives, and was also appointed by Gov. Kathy Hochul to serve on the state Community Commission on Reparations Remedies.

29. Sandra Scott

Interim CEO, One Brooklyn Health
Sandra Scott / Netstruc Media

Last year, One Brooklyn Health grappled with a cyberattack, a $500 million deficit and pushback over embattled CEO LaRay Brown’s closure of Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center’s emergency and dialysis services. The hospital board decided it was time for a change, and replaced Brown with Brookdale Hospital Executive Director Sandra Scott in November. Scott has sought to improve the system’s medical facilities by debuting a new laboratory diagnostic machine, launching remote patient monitoring and organizing an inaugural obesity walk.

30. Jabari Brisport, Phara Souffrant Forrest, Emily Gallagher, Kristen Gonzalez, Marcela Mitaynes & Julia Salazar

Members, Socialists in Office
Jabari Brisport, Phara Souffrant Forrest, Emily Gallagher, Kristen Gonzalez, Marcela Mitaynes & Julia Salazar / New York State Senate; Aneesh Bhoopathy; Assembly; State Senate; Rovika Rajkishun; Peter Frishauf, NYS Senate Photography

The Democratic Socialists of America have made significant gains in electing representatives to the state Legislature, and even though they’re facing stiffer opposition at the ballot box, they’ve been translating their political wins into policy accomplishments. State Sen. Julia Salazar, the most senior member of the Socialists in Office, championed “good cause” eviction legislation that passed this year, even if the tenant protection measure was watered down. Salazar is also the chair of the Majority Steering Committee.

The two other DSA state senators, Jabari Brisport and Kristen Gonzalez, also represent portions of Brooklyn. Last year, Brisport was part of the push for legislation creating a reparations commission and another measure allowing New York to develop publicly owned renewable energy. The chair of the Children and Families Committee has also secured increased resources for foster youth.

Gonzalez, who was elected in 2022, represents constituents in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. As chair of the Internet and Technology Committee, Gonzalez has led the way on defending digital rights and regulating artificial intelligence.

In the Assembly, the DSA-backed Emily Gallagher fended off a primary challenge from Anathea Simpkins, a gun control advocate who criticized the incumbent’s support for a street safety redesign on McGuinness Boulevard. Gallagher sponsored a new law requiring more transparency for LLCs and proposed a new state authority to finance and build affordable housing.

Assembly Members Marcela Mitaynes and Phara Souffrant Forrest, who both won election in 2020 with DSA support, have also pushed socialist policies in Albany. Mitaynes, a former tenant activist, has focused on rising rents and policies related to affordable housing. Souffrant Forrest, who chairs the Assembly Task Force on New Americans, teamed up with Salazar on legislation that would reform prison and jail policies and has also focused on tenant rights and expanded access to health care. She championed efforts to eliminate copays for insulin.

31. André Richardson

Principal, Paragon Strategies
André Richardson / Soul B Photos

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ inner circle is a good place to be these days, and few individuals are closer to the possible next House speaker than André Richardson. The political strategist has helped guide Jeffries’ path from the Assembly to the upper echelon of congressional leadership while having also advised such Brooklynites as District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, New York City Council Member Crystal Hudson, Secretary of State Walter Mosley and state Sen. Zellnor Myrie, who’s now challenging Mayor Eric Adams in the Democratic mayoral primary.

32. Gregory Calliste, Svetlana Lipyanskaya & Sheldon McLeod

CEOs, NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull; South Brooklyn; Kings County
Gregory Calliste, Svetlana Lipyanskaya & Sheldon McLeod / Samuel Rodriguez; NYC Health + Hospitals, Coney Island; Alexis Davis

Brooklyn’s public hospitals have been at the front lines of the city’s health crises, from superstorms to the coronavirus pandemic. Gregory Calliste quickly got Woodhull up and running after torrential rains forced the Bedford-Stuyvesant hospital to temporarily evacuate its patients in September. Svetlana Lipyanskaya piloted the opening of a $900 million, 11-story hospital building named for Ruth Bader Ginsburg that is hurricane-resistant. Lipyanskaya’s NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn, formerly known as Coney Island Hospital, was rebranded in 2021 as part of the major overhaul. And Sheldon McLeod launched a new mental health clinic at Kings County Hospital in November.

33. Linda Johnson

President and CEO, Brooklyn Public Library
Linda Johnson / Gregg Richards

Linda Johnson has been shuttling to City Hall, defending the services that libraries provide from the city’s budget scalpel. Library leaders staved off one round of cuts, but the mayor still plans to slash $58.3 million from the city’s three library systems as library use surges. If the cuts go through, Johnson warned that library hours would shrink to five days a week after already eliminating Sunday service in December, while adult literacy sessions, citizenship classes, and other youth and senior programs would be severely reduced.

34. Kenneth Gibbs

President and CEO, Maimonides Medical Center
Kenneth Gibbs / Melissa Kaynas, Maimonides Medical Center

While other top health care systems have hospitals and other health care facilities all across the downstate region, Maimonides Health is primarily focused on serving Brooklyn. In addition to its Borough Park-based Maimonides Medical Center, which is the largest hospital in the borough, the system also has a children’s hospital, a community hospital in Midwood and an emergency department in Bay Ridge. Kenneth Gibbs, who has led Maimonides since 2016, has also sought to meet the needs of southern Brooklyn’s growing Asian population, supported local churches and celebrated its first all-female class of surgical residents.

35. Jocelynne Rainey

President and CEO, Brooklyn Org
Jocelynne Rainey / Inspired Storytellers

Jocelynne Rainey thought her nonprofit’s name was getting a bit staid, so last fall she led a $49,000 rebranding that swapped Brooklyn Community Foundation for Brooklyn Org while acquiring the Brooklyn.org domain name. But Rainey’s foundation hasn’t changed its core mission of supporting other nonprofits, disbursing $12.2 million last year alone and raising $1 million from its October gala. In January, Brooklyn Org awarded its annual Spark Prize that came with a $100,000 gift, and in June, Rainey unveiled a new marketing campaign to help grassroots nonprofits.

36. Alexa Avilés, Chris Banks, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Crystal Hudson, Rita Joseph, Farah Louis, Mercedes Narcisse, Sandy Nurse & Lincoln Restler

New York City Council Members
Alexa Avilés, Chris Banks, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Crystal Hudson, Rita Joseph, Farah Louis, Mercedes Narcisse, Sandy Nurse & Lincoln Restler / New York City Council Media Unit; Friends Banking on Banks; William Alatriste; Katrina Hajagos; Roman Vail Photography

The New York City Council has been positioning itself aggressively as a counterweight to the mayor, from Council Speaker Adrienne Adams on down to rank-and-file members. Rita Joseph, who chairs the key Education Committee, sponsored legislation requiring more transparency about class sizes and saw state lawmakers back her up with stricter class size limits in a deal to extend mayoral control of schools. Council Member Sandy Nurse, who co-chairs the Progressive Caucus and took on a new role as chair of the Criminal Justice Committee this year, has opposed the resumption of the city’s tax lien sale program, criticized city bureaucrats for not showing up at a hearing on a broker fee bill and has sought to ensure the closure of the Rikers Island jail complex.

Council Member Lincoln Restler, who chairs the Committee on Governmental Operations, State and Federal Legislation, is one of Mayor Eric Adams’ loudest rivals, clashing with multiple members of his administration. Technology Committee Chair Jennifer Gutiérrez has been calling for improvements to the city’s 311 system and investments in open data systems. Council Member Crystal Hudson halted City Hall’s proposed Crown Heights rezoning and has criticized the mayor for a lack of support for migrant shelters in her district. Immigration Committee Chair Alexa Avilés, a DSA-backed lawmaker, sponsored legislation to increase oversight over the New York City Housing Authority.

Even relative moderates in the legislative body have opposed the centrist mayor’s policies. City Council Member Chris Banks, who ousted Charles Barron last year with the backing of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, cited his fear of being arrested as a Black man amid a veto override of the mayor on police transparency legislation. Hospitals Committee Chair Mercedes Narcisse came around to support her colleagues on the override of the mayor’s veto of police reforms, while Council Member Farah Louis also backed the legislation.

37. Morgan Monaco & Iris Weinshall

President and Park Administrator; Chair, Prospect Park Alliance
Morgan Monaco & Iris Weinshall / Paul Martinka; Jonathan Blanc (NYPL)

Morgan Monaco had some pretty big garden shoes to fill when she replaced Parks and Recreation Department Commissioner Sue Donoghue at the Prospect Park Alliance two years ago. But Monaco along with Iris Weinshall, who has chaired the organization for a decade, have been excellent stewards of the borough’s crown jewel. They oversaw the $2.5 million renovation of Lefferts House, restored Fallkill Trail last fall, launched the Shirley Chisholm Welcome Center and led a public review of the $40 million restoration of the Prospect Park Vale, the park’s most significant capital project in years. Now the pair are vocally defending parks from absorbing significant budget cuts – while Weinshall, who’s also the chief operating officer at the New York Public Library, has also been fending of spending cutbacks for the city’s libraries.

38. Juan Mejia

President, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital
Juan Mejia / NewYork-Presbyterian Media

Juan Mejia has helped ensure quality medical care at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Park Slope satellite ever since he started out as a revenue manager there two decades ago. Since he was appointed president in August, he has focused on clinical growth and capital investments – and the hospital has been recognized as among the best in the nation for patient safety by Healthgrades. Mejia also helped the hospital system stay in network with Aetna health plans, and one of its pediatric emergency doctors made headlines for aiding a subway conductor who was stabbed in the neck.

39. Gary Terrinoni

President and CEO, The Brooklyn Hospital Center
Gary Terrinoni / Rick Schwab

In the nine years Gary Terrinoni has led The Brooklyn Hospital Center, he has launched a redevelopment plan for the 464-bed medical center, opened a physicians pavilion and dialysis center, integrated electronic medical records throughout his network and finished an emergency department renovation. Terrinoni also partnered with the Brooklyn Cancer Center, Brooklyn Imaging Center and the Mount Sinai Heart to provide comprehensive cardiac care to thousands of patients through a Cardiac Catheterization Lab. The hospital has also spearheaded vaccination outreach while addressing the health needs of North and Central Brooklyn.

40. Scott Lorin

President, Mount Sinai Brooklyn
Scott Lorin / Brian Schutza

Several years ago, Dr. Scott Lorin steered Mount Sinai Brooklyn out of the depths of the coronavirus pandemic that saw the number of patients in the emergency department skyrocket. Lorin, who has served as president of Mount Sinai Brooklyn since 2018, is also an associate professor of medicine at the system’s Icahn School of Medicine. On his watch, the system’s Midwood Branch put $4 million into an expanded cancer treatment center that opened last year and added a new MRI scanner.

41. Joe Tsai & Clara Wu Tsai

Co-Owners, Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty

Even though the Brooklyn Nets fired their coach midseason and missed the playoffs this year, Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai say they’re still having fun owning the team. Joe Tsai insisted the Nets need to rebuild the franchise through the draft and develop players while he stays in the background, unlike New York’s other professional sports owners. In the meantime, the Tsais can enjoy the winning culture of their other superteam, the New York Liberty, which came a few possessions short of winning a WNBA championship last fall.

42. Robert Carroll, Simcha Eichenstein & Stefani Zinerman

Assembly Members
Robert Carroll & Simcha Eichenstein / Assembly; Simcha Eichenstein for State Assembly

Seniority and strong relationships with leadership help pave the way to securing plum committee assignments, but chairing a full-fledged committee isn’t the only way to get things done in Albany. Assembly Member Robert Carroll, who leads the Commission on Government Administration and the Subcommittee on Museums and Cultural Institutions, has raised his profile in recent years, including as the sponsor of the Build Public Renewables Act. Assembly Member Stefani Zinerman, who chairs the Subcommittee on Emerging Workforce, recently survived a tough challenge from a DSA-backed rival after Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie showed up in her district to tout local investments. Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein, who heads up the Outreach and Oversight of Senior Citizen Programs Subcommittee, is a key representative of Brooklyn’s Hasidic community and a staunch defender of Israel.

43. Joni Yoswein

Founder and CEO, YNY
Joni Yoswein / YNY

Joni Yoswein has an inside-out view of politics in Brooklyn, having served in the Assembly and as a top aide before running her own government affairs shop for nearly 30 years. Yoswein has lobbied for some of Brooklyn’s most important institutions, including the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Brooklyn Defender Services, SUNY Downstate, the Brooklyn Public Library, Maimonides Medical Center, Two Trees and Wegmans. She led the campaign to build Ikea’s Red Hook branch, as well as Two Trees’ Domino Sugar rezoning and the developer’s River Ring project in Williamsburg.

44. Yvette Buckner

Founder and President, Buckner Group
Yvette Buckner / Frank Guiterrez

Yvette Buckner has built up a distinguished career as a political consultant. In January, she struck out on her own with the Buckner Group when her business partner Amelia Adams went to work for Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado. Buckner has chaired the New Majority NYC, which got 31 women elected to the New York City Council in 2021, and she serves on the board of Vote Mama. Her firm recently helped pass legislation for the National Supermarket Association to increase safety protections for employees and provisions to combat retail theft.

45. Jo-Ann Yoo

Executive Director, Asian American Federation
Jo-Ann Yoo / Jenny Shin

Jo-Ann Yoo has been one of the most prominent voices calling attention to rising anti-Asian American violence since the pandemic and demanding public officials take action to combat it. Yoo has also sought to bolster mental health services for New York’s Asian community and destigmatize seeking care. Her Asian American Federation joined NYC Health + Hospitals in a campaign encouraging New Yorkers to enroll in the NYC Care program. And after a survey found that 65% of Asian Americans felt anxiety after a spate of hate crimes, Yoo held a mental health workshop at Hostos Community College.

46. L. Joy Williams

President, Brooklyn NAACP
L. Joy Williams / Margo Hagopian

The 100th anniversary of the NAACP’s Brooklyn branch was a joyous occasion, but L. Joy Williams knows there is much more to do to achieve social justice and racial equality in this country. That’s why Williams has helped lead a push to codify the Equal Rights Amendment and in 2021 sued to overturn the state’s 100-year-old law that prohibited providing food and water to voters in line. A state court agreed and struck down the law in May. Williams is also a veteran political consultant who has worked with top Democratic politicians.

47. Risa Heller

CEO, Risa Heller Communications

Risa Heller is one of the most recognizable crisis consultants in the country, which was reflected when New York magazine profiled her last year. After getting her start in politics with U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and steering Anthony Weiner through his sexting scandals, Heller has advised an array of embattled politicians, tech leaders and media executives, including Jeff Zucker, Mario Batali, Jeffrey Toobin, Elizabeth Holmes, Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents, and yes, even Elmo. Now Heller has set her sights on Hollywood, opening a Los Angeles office headed by a former Netflix executive.

48. Shahana Hanif, Darlene Mealy & Chi Ossé

New York City Council Members
Shahana Hanif, Darlene Mealy & Chi Ossé / William Alatriste; New York city Council; NYC Council Photography

As part of a leadership shakeup at the start of the year, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams stripped several progressive lawmakers of their committee chairs, including Brooklyn City Council Members Shahana Hanif and Chi Ossé. Hanif, an outspoken critic of Israel who serves as a co-chair of the legislative body’s Progressive Caucus, lost her oversight of the Immigration Committee and was reassigned to co-chair the Task Force to Combat Hate. Ossé was removed as chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and no longer heads any committee or subcommittee. Meanwhile, City Council Member Darlene Mealy, who previously served in the council from 2006 to 2017 and returned to office in 2022, has no full-fledged committee chair either, but does lead the Subcommittee on Senior Centers and Food Insecurity.

49. Mark Treyger

CEO, Jewish Community Relations Council
Mark Treyger / Provided

When Mark Treyger’s time in the New York City Council ended at the end of 2021, he took another government position as intergovernmental affairs director for the Department of Education. The role was well suited to the former New Utrecht high school teacher. Then, when the top job at JCRC opened last summer, Treyger believed he could forge ties across New York’s increasingly fractured Jewish community through outreach and education. He organized the group’s flagship Israel Day parade, which had a solidarity theme.

50. Jose Lopez, Arlenis Morel & Theo Oshiro

Co-Executive Directors, Make the Road New York
Jose Lopez, Arlenis Morel & Theo Oshiro / Make the Road New York

Last fall, Make the Road celebrated its 25th anniversary helping immigrants adjust to life in New York while also defending their rights. Its next generation of leaders, Jose Lopez, Arlenis Morel and Theo Oshiro, understand they have an uphill battle in an era when New York City officials set limits on shelter stays and the mayor suggested that migrants become lifeguards because they are “excellent swimmers.” The organization has fought back with facts, including a report released in February that found that Black migrants are more likely to lack food and warm clothing than Latino migrants.

51. Robert Brennan

Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn

Bishop Robert Brennan may not be as outspoken as his Manhattan counterpart, but he made headlines for disciplining a priest who allowed a pop star to film a salacious music video at a Williamsburg church. The bishop re-sanctified the church in November following the uproar while continuing to uphold the Catholic church’s traditions through welcoming the newly faithful at a conversion service and leading a national eucharistic pilgrimage on the Brooklyn Bridge. Brennan also allowed an independent monitor to oversee clergy abuse cases as part of a settlement with the state attorney general.

52. Inna Vernikov, Kalman Yeger & Susan Zhuang

Members, New York City Council Common Sense Caucus
Inna Vernikov, Kalman Yeger & Susan Zhuang / Office of Councilwoman Inna Vernikov; New York City Council; Submitted

With a resurgent conservative movement in New York City’s outer boroughs, it’s common sense for certain City Council members to ride the shifting political winds. For Republican Inna Vernikov and moderate Democrats Kalman Yeger and Susan Zhuang, that means being part of the bipartisan Common Sense Caucus, which now has nine members thanks in part to Zhuang’s victory in a new Asian-majority district a year ago. Yeger, who’s been in office since 2018, was stripped of a committee chair earlier this year but is a lock to win the Assembly seat being vacated by the retiring Helene Weinstein. Vernikov, who has served in the legislative body since 2022, has stood out for her stances on international affairs, highlighting both her Ukrainian heritage in response to the Russian invasion of the country and her staunch pro-Israel support in relation to the war in Gaza.

53. Michael Nieves

President and CEO, HITN
Michael Nieves / HITN

Before becoming a broadcast executive, Michael Nieves served as a political adviser to Democratic lawmakers and deputy chief of staff to three New York City Council speakers. Managing a range of demanding personalities and understanding the needs of constituents has helped him lead the largest noncommercial Spanish-language TV network in the country. Since he joined in 2015, the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network has added 10 million viewers, delivers programming to some 42 million homes, and expanded its headquarters into a 46,000-square-foot facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 

Editor’s note: Michael Nieves is a member of City & State’s advisory board.

54. Joseph Sitt

Chair, Thor Equities Group

Joseph Sitt’s vision for Coney Island hasn’t always aligned with New York City leaders, but he’s unafraid to take a bold position for its future. When the state announced it would award three new casino licenses, the Thor Equities developer prepared a bid with Saratoga Casino Holdings and the Chickasaw Nation. Sitt released renderings in May for his $3 billion proposal, including a 500-room hotel, a 2,500-seat concert venue, new restaurants and 90,000 square feet of event space. He’s also seen his push for better New York City airports come to fruition.

55. Ken Fisher

Member, Cozen O’Connor
Ken Fisher / Cozen O’Connor

Ken Fisher lobbied successfully to replace New York’s 421-a tax break, with a new affordable housing incentive approved this year. The former New York City Council member and land use attorney has also advised clients dealing with the fallout from Signature Bank’s collapse and was recently chosen to be co-chair of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s real estate committee. He has worked with developers such as Two Trees and Domain and on proposals for housing over a proposed light rail line and a large-scale battery storage facility on the East River waterfront.

56. Alyssa Aguilera & Jeremy Saunders

Co-Executive Directors, VOCAL-NY

Over the past 25 years the country has made progress ending the AIDS epidemic, but Alyssa Aguilera and Jeremy Saunders of VOCAL-NY continue to ensure those living with the disease have access to housing and medical services. Their organization lobbied state lawmakers for a housing voucher program to provide rental assistance for members, distributed needles in Clinton Hill and pushed for supervised consumption sites across the state so people have access to clean supplies to prevent HIV infections. After being displaced from downtown Brooklyn, the nonprofit recently moved into a permanent headquarters on Douglass Street.

57. Jelena Kovačević

Dean, NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Jelena Kovačević / NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Jelena Kovačević has made her mark as NYU engineering school dean. Since becoming Tandon’s first female chief in its 170-year history in 2018, Kovačević has emphasized interdisciplinary learning and collaboration as the tech industry embraces artificial intelligence and 6G. In 2022, she secured a $1 billion, 20-year investment in the campus to purchase 3 Metrotech Center and hire 40 full-time faculty and has since helped the school become a center for game development and biomedical innovation. Kovačević will step down in August and return as a faculty member.

58. Elizabeth Yeampierre

Executive Director, Uprose
Elizabeth Yeampierre / Pete Voelker

It has been a long road putting New York on the path of fossil fuel independence, but Brooklyn’s most prominent climate activist has been notching some notable clean energy victories lately. Elizabeth Yeampierre helped double the amount of open space in Sunset Park and opposed Industry City’s rezoning project in favor of a plan to create climate change-related jobs on site (a documentary about the campaign debuted at Tribeca). Her vision for turning Sunset Park into a clean energy hub came to fruition when Equinor broke ground on a future wind hub at the 73-acre South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in June.

59. David Niederman

President and Executive Director, United Jewish Organizations
David Niederman / David Katz

North Brooklyn’s Satmar community is among the most politically savvy voting blocs in the city, so it was of little surprise that Rabbi David Niederman made the call to rank Eric Adams second in the 2021 mayoral primary, which helped him eke out a victory. Adams paid back the Orthodox community by pledging support for yeshivas and their independence. Niederman recently defended New York City Council Member Chi Ossé from dubious accusations of antisemitism for seeking to landmark two blocks on Willoughby and Hart streets in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

60. Kenrick Ross

Executive Director, Brooklyn Community Pride Center
Kenrick Ross / Joseph Jones

The Brooklyn Community Pride Center is expanding its role in the borough’s civic life. It opened a new headquarters in the Bedford Union Armory in October 2021, and last year chose Kenrick Ross, who previously led the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, to oversee programming and advocacy for one of the country’s largest and most diverse LGBTQ+ communities. The Pride Center hosts indoor basketball games, sponsors a 5K fun run in Prospect Park and collaborates with partners like the Park Slope Jewish Center and Romemu Brooklyn.

61. Sydney Altfield

Executive Director, Teach NYS
Sydney Altfield / Jamie Collins Photography

In her second year helming the Orthodox Union’s initiative to support nonpublic schools in New York, Sydney Altfield secured a record level of funding for private and religious schools from Albany. After leading an interfaith trip to the state Capitol last year, Altfield’s advocacy group boasted $470 million in funding from the state budget, $88 million above last year’s allocation and new funding to provide security to schools combating discrimination. Teach Coalition has already launched its next campaign, advocating for $1 billion nationally in security funding for religious nonprofits in 2025.

62. Adrian Benepe

President and CEO, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Adrian Benepe / Liz Ligon

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is beloved by treehuggers citywide for its breathtaking cherry blossoms, scintillating public art displays and impressive collection of native flora. It’s also increasingly under threat thanks to city budget austerity and profit-seeking developers. Luckily its caretaker, Adrian Benepe, knows how to fight back. Formerly a groundbreaking city parks commissioner, Benepe has lambasted the harmful impact of city budget cuts. He also warned that a proposed high rise on Franklin Avenue would have an existential threat on tropical plants that need full sun to survive.

63. Eli Cohen

Executive Director, Crown Heights Jewish Community Council
Eli Cohen / Provided

Rabbi Eli Cohen has made it his life’s mission to foster peace among diverse communities within Crown Heights since riots shook the neighborhood 30 years ago, when the Lubavitcher rabbi met regularly with spiritual leaders from different religions to develop a framework to ease tensions and have conversations about challenging issues. After the Oct. 7 attacks, Cohen worked with the NYPD to ensure that pro-Palestinian protests along Eastern Parkway didn’t endanger local Hasidic residents. He also helped organize transportation to a large “March for Israel” rally in Washington, D.C., in November.

64. Blondel Pinnock

President and CEO, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp.
Blondel Pinnock / Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp.

Blondel Pinnock is in the midst of leading a project that could transform her Central Brooklyn neighborhood for generations. Since becoming Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp.’s president and CEO in 2022, Pinnock has steered the redevelopment of Restoration Plaza, which will create 840,000 square feet of offices and cultural programing space with two 16- and 13-story high rises. The plaza will remain the longtime home of the groundbreaking Billie Holiday Theatre, which was honored with a National Medal of Arts award from President Joe Biden at the White House last year.

65. Alane Berkowitz & Jim Somoza

Chief Operating Officer; Managing Director, Industry City

When Andrew Kimball left Industry City to become the mayor’s economic development commissioner two years ago, he left the Sunset Park manufacturing complex in capable hands. Alane Berkowitz and Jim Somoza have made Industry City into a regional food destination, luring Ample Hills Creamery, Gun Hill Brewing and Bitter Monk, adding to its stalwart Japan Village. The complex has become a burgeoning design destination too, thanks to West Elm’s expansion and a design festival it recently hosted.

66. Lupe Todd-Medina

President, Effective Media Strategies
Lupe Todd-Medina / Celeste Sloman

When Brooklyn’s political hopefuls are looking for a savvy adviser to help them win higher office, they call Lupe Todd-Medina. The veteran Democratic consultant has advised Hakeem Jeffries, Ken Thompson and Kathy Hochul in their quests for public office. This cycle, she worked with Bedford-Stuyvesant Assembly Member Stefani Zinerman to fend off a challenger and guided Anathea Simpkins in her race against Greenpoint Assembly Member Emily Gallagher. Todd-Medina has also opined on using older social media platforms like Facebook, whether the mayor wants to follow that advice or not.

Editor’s note: Lupe Todd-Medina is a member of City & State’s advisory board.

67. Trip Yang

Founder and President, Trip Yang Strategies
Trip Yang / Mon Yuck Yu

Trip Yang knows how to position a political candidate for success. The longtime Democratic strategist has advised dozens of contenders seeking public office and has been a key force behind the surge of Asian American Democratic candidates as a consultant with the AAPI Victory Fund. Yang has also warned that Democrats must not overlook Asian American communities who have the power to deliver elections. Yang recently worked with AAPI Victory Fund to mobilize Asian Americans in four languages to vote for Rep. Tom Suozzi in the February special election.

Editor’s note: Trip Yang is a member of City & State’s advisory board.

68. Donald Boomgaarden

President, St. Joseph’s University
Donald Boomgaarden / Jorg Meyer

Since getting his contract renewed in 2020, Donald Boomgaarden has continued to make strides in positioning St. Joseph’s University as an attractive option for students seeking an intimate experience on leafy urban campuses in Clinton Hill and Suffolk County. Boomgaarden led the school’s transition from a college into a full-fledged university and held a groundbreaking for a new $17 million student center in Patchogue that was finished in 2023. In March, St. Joseph’s received a $1 million donation from Boston Red Sox part-owner Stephen Somers for student scholarships.

69. Amelia Adams

Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Governor’s Office
Amelia Adams / Max Schwartz

Amelia Adams had been running her political consulting firm Adams Advisors for six years, but when Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado called her to beef up his newly assembled team, she jumped back into public service in January. It wasn’t an unfamiliar move, since Adams had advised Kathy Hochul’s 2022 gubernatorial campaign and former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s runs. She has helped Delgado lead the state’s Hate and Bias Prevention Unit and bolster Democrats in several suburban swing districts hoping to get elected to Congress.

70. Bryan Grimaldi

Vice President, New York Corporate Affairs, National Grid
Bryan Grimaldi / James Diaz Photography

National Grid’s Bryan Grimaldi has played a key role helping the state transition from gas to electric power in order to meet its climate goals. The utility is investing $16 billion into its electric transmission network while its joint venture, Community Offshore Wind, received a 1.3-gigawatt contract for offshore development. National Grid has also been involved in lobbying lawmakers on the NY HEAT Act, which would have reduced ratepayer dependence on natural gas power but which failed to advance in Albany this past session.

71. Wayne Riley

President, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
Wayne Riley / SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

When the state announced plans to shrink or possibly close SUNY Downstate due to a $100 million deficit, Wayne Riley and SUNY leaders created a backstop to ensure patients wouldn’t suffer lack of care if the 342-bed hospital shuttered. Then Riley went to work assisting professors who rallied in Albany against the closure and lobbying lawmakers to add more funding for the SUNY hospital in the state budget. Riley and SUNY Chancellor John King secured $300 million for a new outpatient facility and $200 million to cover the hospital’s operating deficit for two years, giving them some breathing room.

72. Larry McReynolds

Executive Director, Family Health Centers at NYU Langone

For nearly 20 years, population health expert Larry McReynolds has been running one of the largest health center networks in the country, which provides more than 750,000 outpatient visits to 130,000 patients each year. Thanks to a Bezos family donation, McReynolds helped launch the Beyond Bridges initiative, providing a new model of community health care in Sunset Park. And last year, NYU opened a family health center in Red Hook with nine exam rooms, including two for dental care.

73. Tara L. Martin

Founder and CEO, TLM Strategic Advisors
Tara L. Martin / Provided

Tara L. Martin’s long road to operating her own independent consultancy started as a legislative director in the New York City Council, followed by stints on Howard Dean’s and Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns. Martin has since helped the retail workers and state nurses unions craft their communications strategy during groundbreaking labor campaigns, assisted Madison Square Garden’s campaign spending during the 2021 primary, and consulted on political campaigns with Dunton and Mercury. These days, she’s helping startups develop strategic messaging.

Editor’s note: Tara L. Martin is a member of City & State’s advisory board.

74. Charles Capetanakis

Partner, Davidoff Hutcher & Citron

Charles Capetanakis cares so deeply about the value of a classical education that he became the board chair of Park Slope’s Hellenic Classical Charter School two decades ago. It seems to be working. Nearly two-thirds of its student body passed the state’s English Language Arts exams in 2022, well above the state’s 47% average. In his day job, Capetanakis practices real estate law and white collar criminal litigation at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, which also has Sid Davidoff and Keith Wright on its team.

75. Tucker Reed

Co-Founder and Principal, Totem
Tucker Reed / Totem

Tucker Reed has battled the NIMBY mindset of government leaders amid a worsening housing crisis. But the former Downtown Brooklyn Partnership head isn’t just penning op-eds about the need for more housing – he’s taking action. His real estate startup Totem filed plans to rezone a triangular lot near Broadway Junction into a 1.5 million-square-foot complex containing two high rises with 596 units of affordable housing. In May, he partnered with TerraCRG’s Ofer Cohen to launch a new firm, Ailanthus, which aims to build 10,000 units in five years.

76. Gilford Monrose

Lead Pastor, Mt. Zion Church of God 7th Day
Gilford Monrose / Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

New York City Mayor Eric Adams often says that he has heard a message to “talk about God” and states that he disdains separating church and state, so one of the first actions he took was establishing a faith-based and community partnerships office and picking Gilford Monrose to lead it. The East Flatbush pastor held the same role when Adams served as Brooklyn borough president and helped religious and community groups handle tragedies, held special events and sought to prevent gun violence.

77. Janelle Farris

President and Executive Director, Brooklyn Community Services
Janelle Farris / Sheena Kim, Unique Lapin Photography

In 2018, Janelle Farris moved up from chief operating officer with Brooklyn Community Services to become the first Black leader to head the 158-year-old social services agency, which aims to shine a light on barriers that perpetuate inequity. She helped win city contracts to run suicide prevention programs for young people during COVID-19 pandemic and a $400,000 grant to boost the number of social workers. Farris has also spoken out against the city’s involuntary hospitalization efforts since her nonprofit provides services for unhoused individuals.

78. Patricia Ramsey

President, Medgar Evers College
Patricia Ramsey / David Patterson, Lauren Pierce

Three years ago as New York City was emerging from COVID-19, Patricia Ramsey became the first female president of Medgar Evers College. A botanist by training, Ramsey sought to do something about the health disparities in Central Brooklyn that the pandemic revealed. She secured a $20 million grant for a program that helps get students paid internships with organizations tackling sustainability, and she has also increased enrollment by 5% since 2022. This year, Medgar Evers College partnered with Onondaga Community College on a transfer agreement.

79. Eric Landau

President, Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp.
Eric Landau / Alexa Hoyer, Brooklyn Bridge Park

It’s shocking to think that Brooklyn Bridge Park wasn’t universally embraced when it opened in 2010, but Eric Landau helped transform the defunct industrial waterfront into one of the most visited green spaces in the city. Landau oversaw the park’s expansion with the opening of uplands on several piers, a redesign of the park’s greenway and the completion of Emily Warren Roebling Plaza in 2021. Last year, the board reappointed Landau as president. The park continues to see it's public support rise, raising $1.6 million at the annual gala for the park conservancy.

80. Leigh Clayton

Director, New York Aquarium
Leigh Clayton / Julie Larsen

After floods from Superstorm Sandy prompted a decadelong top-to-bottom renovation, the New York Aquarium fully reopened to the public in 2022 with a new underwater viewing exhibit of sea lions, otters and penguins. Six months later, Leigh Clayton joined the Coney Island aquarium from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and she has since unveiled a family-friendly Halloween-themed exhibit and a thought-provoking exhibit of 35 sea sculptures made entirely of marine debris in order to raise awareness about ocean plastics pollution.

81. Carlos Calzadilla-Palacio

President, Brooklyn Young Democrats
Carlos Calzadilla-Palacio / Eric Soucy

The Brooklyn Young Democrats sometimes found itself at odds with the party’s county leadership, which severed its youth arm three years ago in disagreements over endorsements. But new President Carlos Calzadilla-Palacio has kept the group focused on its primary goal of electing Democratic candidates and defeating Republicans as a “red wave” has crested over southern Brooklyn. In his day job as district director to state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, Calzadilla-Palacio has pushed for “good cause” eviction and demanded a corridorwide transformation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to reduce asthma.

82. Mohammad Razvi

CEO, Council of Peoples Organization

Mohammad Razvi founded the Council of Peoples Organization to support Muslim New Yorkers amid rising discrimination following the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The nonprofit has since expanded to serve the language and cultural needs of 270,000 South Asian immigrants annually through mental health and legal services. During the coronavirus pandemic, the council increased the number of people its halal kitchen served by 3,000%, providing 24 million pounds of food to 400,000 New Yorkers. Last fall, Razvi joined a roundtable with faith leaders at City Hall to discuss the rise in hate crimes.

83. Paul Mak

President and CEO, Brooklyn Chinese-American Association
Paul Mak / Brooklyn Chinese-American Association

Brooklyn’s Asian American community is finally getting more representation in government, thanks in part to the work of Paul Mak. The longtime BCAA president has established five senior centers, eight day care centers and multiple summer camps in the borough’s emerging Chinatown neighborhood. More recently, Mak has drawn attention to anti-Asian hate crimes and fought for more resources to combat them, and helped create a special New York City Council district for Asian Americans. The group has also engaged in a decadelong effort to obtain an ornamental archway from China.

84. Jelanie DeShong

Vice President, Real Estate, Kasirer
Jelanie DeShong / Rolland Smith

Jelanie DeShong didn’t defeat Brian Cunningham in the special election with his insurgent WFP-backed campaign. But he did the next best thing by joining the most sought after lobbying firm in the city. Kasirer brought in $16.8 million in revenue last year, topping the rankings as the city’s most compensated firm. DeShong brought his expertise on land use to the firm’s real estate and health care teams. He has also organized food deliveries for front-line workers during the pandemic and served as the governor’s assistant secretary of intergovernmental affairs.

85. Sabrina Lippman & Christine Paglialunga

Senior Vice President, Portfolio Management; Executive Director, Sunset Park Portfolio, New York City Economic Development Corp.
Sabrina Lippman & Christine Paglialunga / Anthony Collins; NYCEDC

The future of Brooklyn depends on a thriving waterfront, which happens to be in good hands with Sabrina Lippman and Christine Paglialunga. Lippman’s economic development portfolio includes iconic commercial properties in Downtown Brooklyn, Coney Island and Sunset Park. She’s currently working with cruise ship operators to extend a “mobile jib” in Red Hook that would connect ships to a power supply, expanding capacity of the terminal and reducing air pollution. Paglialunga has managed the redevelopment of 6 million square feet of city-owned property on the southern Brooklyn waterfront, led the implementation of the Climate Innovation Hub at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and is leading the transformation of the Made in New York Campus at Bush Terminal. She recently led a community engagement session concerning planned upgrades for the Bush Terminal Pier in Sunset Park.

86. Yamil Speight-Miller

Executive Director, Kings County Democratic County Committee
Yamil Speight-Miller / Joane Pillard

The Brooklyn Democratic Party has long contended with internal disputes, but Yamil Speight-Miller is comfortable in the chaos. Speight-Miller, who runs one of the country’s largest county-level political committees, pledged to keep Brooklyn blue and engage with “members from all corners of our diverse borough to feel included, welcome and inspired” when he came on in 2022. He has also sought to diversify the borough’s judicial branch with more Black candidates for Civil Court judge.

87. Bernard Graham & Rosemarie Montalbano

Kings County Surrogate Court Judges

Three years ago, Rosemarie Montalbano easily dispatched her county-chosen rival Dweynie Esther Paul to replace retiring justice Margarita Lopez Torres, thanks to the backing of the Democratic Party’s feisty reform wing. She was soon joined by Bernard Graham, a Park Slope attorney who had a neighborhood office for 18 years before serving as an acting Surrogate Court judge and winning a special election in 2023. Graham was sworn in early this year and has sought to expedite judicial communication and update the state’s e-filing system.

88. Somia El-Rowmeim

CEO, Women’s Empowerment Coalition of NYC
Somia El-Rowmeim / Kalid Elrowmeim

Somia El-Rowmeim has dedicated her life to engaging her community in Brooklyn civic life, mobilizing voters and stamping out anti-Muslim hatred. She founded the Women’s Empowerment Coalition of NYC four years ago with an aim of organizing the borough’s immigrant women across cultures and was a David Prize finalist for her idea. El-Rowmeim has since raised awareness about women facing discrimination for wearing keffiyehs and hijabs in public and pushed for a new legislation ordering the state to disaggregate data for Middle Eastern and North African New Yorkers.

89. David Bloomfield

Professor of Educational Leadership, Law and Policy, Brooklyn College and The CUNY Graduate Center
David Bloomfield / David Rozenblyum, Brooklyn College

One of New York’s leading – and most widely quoted – educational experts, CUNY’s David Bloomfield is adept at providing analysis on educational policy, yeshiva standards and school discipline. Last year, Bloomfield warned about the impact of school budget cuts and wrote that the Adams administration’s top-down paramilitary-like management of school administrators would not be effective. He recently explained the state Legislature’s conundrum in renewing mayoral control by noting that support for localized decision-making has grown.

90. Dordy Jourdain

Executive Director of the Prospect Park YMCA & Park Slope Armory YMCA, YMCA of Greater New York

The YMCA remains a place where you can make your dreams real thanks to the leadership of Dordy Jourdain. The YMCA veteran oversees the borough’s half-dozen branches, which serve thousands of residents, providing swim lessons, summer camp sessions and other activities and services. As the city emerged from the pandemic, Jourdain helped the YMCA distribute 300,000 pounds of food to 2,600 Brooklynites and opened two vaccination centers delivering 90,000 shots. His Park Slope Armory YMCA remains the home gym of former Mayor Bill de Blasio, even though he moved to a pad on the Upper West Side.

91. Aaron Shiffman

Executive Director, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations
Aaron Shiffman / Stephen Cardone, NY Headshots

Over nearly a quarter century, Aaron Shiffman’s nonprofit has helped more than 8,000 unemployed and underemployed individuals find a rewarding career path and access a living wage. Brooklyn Workforce Innovations has partnered with Industry City for job training sessions, tracked the progress of the Made in New York production assistant program and connected LGBTQ+ individuals with unionized jobs. This year, BWI partnered with the Port Authority to hire formerly incarcerated Brooklynites trained by the nonprofit in a woodworking class to build custom-made benches in front of the Oculus.

92. Beth Allen

Executive Director, Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance
Beth Allen / Leonard Sussman

The Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance was founded 14 years ago with a mission of connecting the borough’s cultural organizations to help them collaborate and advocate on behalf of the arts. Beth Allen, a Brooklynite since 2001, used her experiences as an arts administrator at multiple institutions to shape her work with DBAA, a 60-member organization she has led since 2017. Allen has transitioned the alliance from a volunteer-led entity to a growing 501(c)(3) nonprofit with formalized programming and advocacy on issues like ADA improvements.

93. Chad Cooper

Executive Director, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
Chad Cooper / Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

Eight years ago, Chad Cooper left Deutsche Bank to run a struggling Park Slope music school. His turnaround performance is as extraordinary as a Beethoven symphony. In his first two years, the conservatory increased assets by $400,000 and boosted attendance fivefold – and its budget rose to $8 million this year, up from $2.8 million when he started. In lieu of an annual gala, the school held an immersive annual house party in November. In 2021, Cooper launched the Open Stages outdoor music festival, now an annual event held throughout Park Slope.

94. Hewett Chiu

President and CEO, RaisingHealth Partners
Hewett Chiu / Periscope

Hewett Chiu decided to go into health policy after losing his mother to cancer as a child, and in 2010, he founded RaisingHealth Partners, which provides health and education programs tailored to immigrants in Brooklyn. His leadership and resourcefulness in the public health sector got him attention from the city’s health department, which chose him to oversee the city’s primary care and mental health integration at age 25. Chiu continues to work with NYC Care, which has expanded insurance access to immigrants, and sponsored a health fair for 1,000 immigrants in Sunset Park.

95. Evelyn Ortiz

Co-CEO, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow
Evelyn Ortiz / New York Association for Training and Employment Professionals

Evelyn Ortiz returned to lead Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow a year ago after serving as deputy commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Labor because she wanted to help Brooklyn and Queens residents find more worthwhile employment opportunities. Ortiz had worked at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow for nearly eight years in an executive role before that, and since her return the nonprofit has increased its government funding and partnered with the city’s economic development corporation to launch its Green Economy Action Plan to train New Yorkers for 400,000 green jobs by 2040.

96. Joel Rosenfeld

Director of Government Relations, Amidei Zion of Bobov
Joel Rosenfeld / Lenchevsky Images

Joel Rosenfeld has gotten to know more political hopefuls now that Borough Park’s Hasidic population has become a significant voting bloc. Democrat Andrew Yang courted Bobovers in 2021, Democrat Dan Goldman got their endorsement for his congressional primary a year later and so did Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin – and they all pledged to support yeshivas. Rosenfeld has also sought to combat the rise in anti-Jewish attacks and also met with President Joe Biden’s envoy to fight antisemitism in January.

97. Edward Lai

Treasurer, Chair of Health and Social Services and Chair of Budgets, Brooklyn Community Board 11
Edward Lai / Provided

As one of the few Asian American officers on a Brooklyn community board, Edward Lai has looked out for the health and safety of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach’s growing population of East Asian immigrants. Earlier this year, Lai’s community board voted for a zoning amendment that would allow three full casino licenses in New York City, which could eventually mean the construction of a casino in Coney Island. Lai also works as a senior vice president with Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and joined the board of Healthcare Choices NY.

98. Adam Friedman

Chief Strategy Officer, Research and Strategic Partnerships, Pratt Institute
Adam Friedman / Pratt Center

With over 40 years of experience in community development and nonprofit management, Adam Friedman has shaped the Pratt Institute into a world-class institute for art, architecture and design. Friedman foresaw Brooklyn’s resurgence as a manufacturing hub a decade ago, including the transition of older industrial buildings into startup sites. In 2021, he shifted into a new role to enhance Pratt’s partnerships with other institutions and develop the curriculum for a new school focused on design and social justice. He also served on Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso’s transition committee.

99. Suri Duitch

Interim President, Kingsborough Community College

When CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez asked Kingsborough Community College’s then-President Claudia V. Schrader to fill the vacancy at York College last fall, he wanted someone with deep knowledge of CUNY’s culture to take her place. So in January, he chose Suri Duitch, a CUNY graduate school alum and Office of Academic Affairs official, to lead the Manhattan Beach campus on an interim basis. During Duitch’s first semester, KCC was a semifinalist for the 2025 Aspen Prize for community college excellence and the school expanded certificate programs on cannabis entrepreneurship.

100. Shimonah Israel

Vice President, Community Relations Northeast, Citi

Shimonah Israel had compiled plenty of experience providing social services to thousands of Brooklynites through Goodwill Industries, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp. and Local Initiatives Support Corp. Two years ago, she joined Citi to manage the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act programs and Community Development Services that help 4,000 low-income residents annually. She’s also Citi’s top liaison providing financial assistance for outer borough nonprofits and remains a board member of YWCA Brooklyn and BloomAgainBklyn.