What was your first job?
When I was in high school, I interned at a New York City-based architecture firm—I’ve never strayed too far from the built environment.
How did your previous roles lead you to NYCEDC?
After several forays into architecture, urban planning, and public policy, all roads led to NYCEDC: given my interest in urban planning, real estate, and the built environment of NYC, it seemed like the perfect fit. As I learned more about NYCEDC, I came to understand the organization’s role in so many of the projects that shaped my interest in the first place. The High Line? NYCEDC was involved. The relocated Whitney Museum? My division, NYCEDC’s Real Estate Transactions (RETs) team, facilitated the transaction. Cornell Tech? One of RETs’ projects. All of the pieces seemed to fit together here.
Why was the mission of NYCEDC important to you?
NYCEDC is very much a place of action, where we make good on our commitments to equity and economic opportunity. We ideate—but then we implement. There are new milestones reached every week: construction projects completed, deals executed, and funding awarded. In other words, NYCEDC plays a real, substantive role in responding to the immense opportunities and challenges our city presents. It’s meaningful to be at an organization that drives this sort of change.
What would you be doing if you hadn’t decided to follow this career path?
This work has somehow always felt inevitable to me, so I’m not sure I can imagine myself doing something else—but I would love to be a part-time chef, doctor, or painter. Given my chocolate habit, maybe I should look into becoming a chocolatier. Or perhaps a cultural critic. I’ve also always wanted to try glassblowing. Clearly, I never gave other career paths the consideration they warranted!
How has working for NYCEDC changed your perspective on NYC?
Working at NYCEDC has made the city feel more accessible. I’m always attuned to how close I am (in street numbers or ferry stops or minutes walked) to distant corners of other boroughs. At the same time, my work has impressed upon me just how expansive our universe of eight-and-a-half million people is—how varied the hopes and needs of our neighbors are, and how amazing it is that our streets and subways link together such a multitude of experiences.