What was your first job?
My first job out of college was working as a data analyst for an economic consulting company in Boston. I mainly worked on projects related to health economics and outcomes research, and dabbled a bit in energy and environmental projects as well.
How did your previous roles lead you to NYCEDC?
My college internships and first full-time job gave me opportunities to hone a lot of the research skills I use today at NYCEDC. I knew I wanted to use those skills to inform local policy issues in some meaningful way. When I moved back to NYC during the pandemic, I felt like it was the right time and place to make that change, especially as the city was in a position to recover from COVID and reinvent the economy to be more equitable and sustainable. NYCEDC felt like a natural fit for that kind of work.
When did you join the company? What’s your day-to-day role?
I joined NYCEDC in the summer of 2022. My role on the Economic Research and Policy team involves a mix of research into key policy topics and economic trends and conducting analysis to support and inform projects across the organization and city.
What skills do you need for that role?
Apart from the technical data skills, it's important to be able to communicate the context and meaning of our research—what question we're trying to answer, who it affects, and what sorts of interventions might it inform. Keeping that in mind shapes the direction of our research and makes our collaborations with other teams more fruitful.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? And the most challenging? (Is there a specific project or borough you enjoy working on?)
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing how our research translates to action. Maybe that's an immediate, concrete step or maybe it's knowing that people have a new way of thinking about some topic. Recently I've been helping with an internal tool that provides users an understanding of neighborhood vulnerabilities, working on ways to make the data more accessible for day-to-day use.
What would you be doing if you hadn’t decided to follow this career path?
I would probably be playing small forward for the Knicks. Or, more realistically, something in the world of ecology or conservation. I grew up camping almost every month and have always had a deep love for and appreciation of wildlife. Before studying economics, I had one internship in college where I lived and worked in a remote national park, helping two ecologists study local flower and frog populations.
How has working for NYCEDC changed your perspective on NYC?
Working at NYCEDC has taught me so much about different neighborhoods in the city, and in particular, how historical policy choices have influenced them to this day. I've also been exposed to so many new ideas about how we can better shape the city moving forward, and what it takes to make that change happen.
Christopher Carley was named NYCEDC’s “Employee of the Month” for January 2023.