The people who work at NYCEDC are passionate about NYC, committed to building a sustainable and inclusive economic future for the city, and excited to help bring our business programs, infrastructure projects, groundbreaking studies, and more to fruition.
There's no such thing as a typical NYCEDCer. We're experts in everything from urban planning to real estate to marketing and public relations, and everything in between. Learn more about the individuals who move NYCEDC—and the city—forward.
President & CEO
Andrew Kimball is President & CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation, where he leads NYCEDC’s work growing an innovative and inclusive economy for all New Yorkers. Prior to his appointment in 2022, Andrew served as the CEO of Industry City, where he directed the transformation of the long-underutilized industrial facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Under his leadership, Industry City invested over $450 million in infrastructure and place-making initiatives, and grew thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies.
Andrew previously served as President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, overseeing the transformation of the 300-acre former Naval ship-building facility into a national model for the creation of innovation-economy jobs, sustainability, and community partnerships.
Prior to his time at the Navy Yard, Andrew served as director of operations for NYC2012, the privately funded bid to bring the 2012 Olympic Games to New York City, and as vice president of the New York Public Library.
Up until his appointment to NYCEDC, Andrew sat on numerous boards, including the Coro New York Leadership Center, where he served as chair; Prospect Park Alliance; Gowanus Canal Conservancy; Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; Citizens Budget Commission; and the NYS Regional Economic Development Council.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and is a graduate of the Coro Public Affairs Fellowship program. A life-long New Yorker, Andrew lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with his wife, Sarah Williams, and two children.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Fred D’Ascoli was hired as NYCEDC’s Controller in 2015. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Fred was the Controller and Deputy Chief Financial Officer at the New Jersey Transit Corporation. He has held positions as Assistant Treasurer, Budget Director, and Senior Director of Finance. He has experience in all areas of finance and he also has worked with NYCEDC's Human Resources, Management Information Systems, and Procurement teams and held a CPA certificate.
Meredith J. Jones
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Before joining NYCEDC, Meredith worked at corporate law firms and as counsel to a multi-national engineering and construction company. She also served as general counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and as Chief of the Cable Services Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and received her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.
Executive Vice President and Chief Infrastructure Officer
Josh Kraus is the Chief Infrastructure Officer at NYCEDC, where he works across divisions to ensure successful delivery of the corporation’s highest-priority capital and planning projects. Prior to Joining NYCEDC in April 2021, Josh served as Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Capital Project Development. There, since 2013, he managed complex, multi-stakeholder capital and planning projects across the five boroughs, from Pre-K sites and post-Sandy rebuilding to cultural institutions, parks, public plazas, and COVID care facilities. Josh also coordinated the City’s engagement on planning for regional infrastructure projects, such as the Gateway project, Moynihan and Penn Stations, and Port Authority Bus Terminal—a role he now continues to play at NYCEDC. Josh previously spent seven years in the Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner’s Office of the NYC Department of Transportation, where he supported the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site as well as reconstructing streets and utilities across Lower Manhattan following the 9/11 attacks. Josh holds a master’s in urban planning from McGill University and a bachelor’s in social geography and urban development from Boston University. He lives in the Bronx with his wife and three children.
Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
Cecilia Kushner is the Chief Strategy Officer, a role in which she leads multidisciplinary teams to deliver projects and programs focused on developing emerging sectors equitably and building neighborhoods of economic success. Prior to her current role, Cecilia spent over a decade working for the City on a range of infrastructure, transit operations, land use, and community development programs and policies, most recently as the Executive Vice President for Planning and NYC Ferry at NYCEDC, and earlier at the Department of City Planning in the Brooklyn, Resiliency, and Executive Offices.
Prior to immigrating to New York City in 2005 from France, Cecilia lived in London for two years, working on economic analysis for historic preservation. Cecilia received her bachelor’s degree from La Sorbonne and holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London, and a master’s degree in city planning from Hunter College, where she has taught planning as an adjunct. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff
As NYCEDC’s Chief of Staff, Jennifer Montalvo serves as chief strategist to the President & CEO, and oversees the management of the President’s Office and External Affairs division to help advance NYCEDC's agenda and move critical projects forward. Since Joining NYCEDC in 2019, she has served as Senior Vice President and Vice President of the Government and Community Relations department, where she managed short- and long-term government and community affairs initiatives that strengthened and built external relationships, public engagement, and community support for the full spectrum of NYCEDC’s work. She led the team and their inclusive community outreach for all NYCEDC’s legislative affairs, citywide transportation and industry initiatives, and projects moving through the land use and public approval processes.
Prior to NYCEDC, Jennifer served as the Senior Deputy Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), where she was responsible for advancing NYCHA's legislative priorities and public policies, as well as managing interdepartmental agency initiatives. Jennifer previously served as a Legislative Policy Analyst in the New York City Council under former Speakers Christine Quinn and Melissa Mark-Viverito, where she worked to enact the passage of key legislation, including IDNYC. Jennifer is an alumna of Siena College and lives with her partner on the Lower East Side.
Melissa Román Burch
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Melissa Román Burch is NYCEDC’s Chief Operating Officer and leads the Real Estate Transaction Services and Asset Management divisions. As COO, she oversees public/private developments involving City-owned property, and manages NYCEDC’s portfolio of 200+ unique and iconic assets spanning 64 million square feet and composed of commercial and industrial real estate, critical infrastructure, and energy assets. Melissa also leads the Strategic Investments Group, which structures impact investments through discretionary tax benefits and tax-exempt financing, and initiates catalytic investments that mobilize private capital and support the growth of strategic sectors.
Melissa joined NYCEDC in April 2022 after two decades as a leading property executive and developer of large-scale, mixed-use projects distinguished by investments in transportation infrastructure, environmental leadership, and innovative partnerships. Prior to NYCEDC, Melissa served as Executive General Manager for Lendlease, where she initiated and led all acquisition and development activities for the NY region. Melissa was previously Executive Vice President for Forest City Ratner, where she oversaw the development of Pacific Park Brooklyn, anchored by the Barclays Center Arena and composed of new market-rate and affordable housing, office space, transportation improvements, and parks.
A committed civic leader, Melissa proudly serves as a Trustee of the Henry Street Settlement and Coro New York Leadership Center. She was previously a Trustee and on the Executive Committee of the Citizen’s Budget Commission. Melissa is an active member of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Urban Land Institute (ULI), and W/X New York Women Executives in Real Estate. Melissa graduated magna cum laude in government from Harvard College and received her MBA from the Harvard Business School. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.
Executive Vice President and Deputy Chief Financial Officer
Elizabeth Verostek serves as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer. She oversees the Funding Agreements, Compliance, and Corporate Services departments. She also manages special projects for the CFO Division. Elizabeth joined NYCEDC in 2012 as the Budget Director. She led the City and grant components of NYCEDC’s budget; the Financial, Planning, and Analysis Team; and Funding Agreements. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Elizabeth worked for the NYC Office of Management and Budget and the NYC Department of Education. Her career started in Amman, Jordan, working with refugees with the UNHCR. She earned a BA and BS from the College of Charleston, a language certificate from the University of Jordan, and her master’s at the George Washington University. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and daughter.
Elizabeth T. Arnaiz, AIA
Executive Vice President, Capital
Elizabeth leads a multidisciplinary team, composed of engineers, architects, landscape architects, and technical project support staff, to deliver on a diverse portfolio of over 100 projects, representing nearly $6 billion in construction costs. The work implemented by the division provides critical citywide improvements, with particular focus on infrastructure, resiliency, open space, and civic projects. The team works closely with other City agencies to align on project goals, delivering projects to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers. As a registered architect, Elizabeth brings expertise to design, construction and the built environment. During her time at NYCEDC, Elizabeth has led the planning and building improvements for Health + Hospital’s billion dollar resiliency program, the reconstruction efforts for Orchard Beach, design and coordination for NYCEDC’s headquarters, and other critical projects across CAP’s portfolio. Before joining NYCEDC, Elizabeth worked at the architecture firm Ennead Architects, focusing on healthcare and resiliency in New York City. She is a graduate of Williams College and Columbia GSAPP, where she earned a masters of architecture. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Executive Vice President, External Affairs
Bernice Clark leads the External Affairs division, which comprises three departments: Government & Community Relations, Marketing, and Public Affairs. This division creates connection and engagement with the public, by building relationships with communities and stakeholders and communicating NYCEDC’s work to benefit New York City and New Yorkers. Bernice served as Chief Marketing Officer prior to her current role and spearheaded the launch of the digital-first targeted “Why NYC” business development campaign.
Prior to joining NYCEDC, Bernice was Senior Vice President, Marketing at Macy’s, the $24B omnichannel national retailer, where she held key senior marketing roles across digital media, ecommerce, marketing operations, brand, and product content that were critical to re-positioning and evolving Macy’s as a national brand and top-25 US advertiser. Prior to joining the Macy’s organization, Bernice worked at top-tier advertising agencies such as Leo Burnett, Young & Rubicam, and Saatchi & Saatchi.
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Bernice holds a BA from Barnard College/Columbia University with a double major in sociology and program in the arts/piano performance. She also holds an MBA in marketing from the Stern School of Business at New York University. Bernice and her husband are the parents of twin teenage sons.
Executive Vice President, Strategic Investments Group
Brinda leads the Strategic Investments Group, overseeing the organization’s impact investing efforts. She is passionate about using finance as a tool for social change and has more than 20 years of experience in the investment space, the bulk on transactions with a dual mission around generating financial returns and social impact. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Brinda was the Chief Operating and Chief Compliance Officer at Elevar Equity, an impact venture capital firm that invests in Latin America and India. Earlier in her career, she managed impact investing portfolios—across asset classes—at The Rockefeller Foundation, Living Cities, and the Open Society Foundation. Brinda has also worked at Citigroup, in the corporate investment bank, covering healthcare clients; and at Charles River Associates, an economic consulting firm. Brinda graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a BA in economics and Spanish, and she holds an MBA from Columbia Business School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
Executive Vice President and Treasurer, Finance
Spencer oversees NYCEDC’s Finance Division, which includes the Accounting, Budget, and Grants Management departments. Previously, he assisted in managing NYCEDC’s Internal Audit group for many years. He is a life-long resident of Queens, NY and received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from CUNY at York College in Jamaica, Queens. He is a certified public accountant as well as a certified internal auditor. Before joining NYCEDC, Spencer spent several years conducting audits throughout the east coast for a hotel and restaurant employee’s union trust fund.
Executive Vice President, Real Estate Transaction Services
Hester oversees NYCEDC’s Real Estate Transaction Services department, leading the organization’s public-private partnerships involving City-owned property to support the growth of quality jobs, promote livable and affordable communities, and facilitate redevelopment projects that drive inclusive growth and positive return to the city. Prior to NYCEDC, Hester did real estate acquisitions and eventually went on to head the Debt Capital Markets team in J.P. Morgan’s Real Estate Asset Management division. Hester holds a master’s in real estate finance from New York University and a BA in economics and architectural history from the University of Virginia.
Executive Vice President, Initiatives
Faye Penn serves as Executive Vice President for the Initiatives division, overseeing NYCEDC’s efforts to seed equitable growth in emerging and expanding industries including offshore wind, life sciences, technology, venture capital, and other sectors. She is also Executive Director for women.nyc, an initiative designed to help New York City women succeed in their businesses and careers through a variety of innovative programs and partnerships. In previous lives, Faye was a small business owner as well as a top editor for titles including New York Magazine, The New York Post, The New York Observer, and InStyle, where she launched a partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama’s office and seven top American fashion designers to benefit Let Girls Learn, the Peace Corps’ global girls’ education campaign. Immediately prior to joining NYCEDC in 2018, Faye was a digital executive at Lifetime Television Networks, focused on developing women’s history content. She attended Smith College and received a BA in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Faye lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three children.
Executive Vice President, Planning
Jennifer Sun leads the Planning Division, which brings together the Land Use, Neighborhood Strategies, and Transportation departments to shape the growth of neighborhoods and business districts, and the sustainable movement of people and goods. She brings 20 years of neighborhood planning and economic development experience in the public and nonprofit sectors, including two prior stints at NYCEDC as the first Executive Director of Sunset Park in Asset Management, and as Senior Vice President leading Bronx and Upper Manhattan projects in Planning. In addition to NYCEDC, Jennifer has managed economic development initiatives in the Mayor’s Office and implementation of the Community Parks Initiative at NYC Parks. Prior to rejoining NYCEDC, Jennifer was Co-Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality, a NYC-based community development organization. She holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and East Asian studies from UCLA, and a master’s degree in urban planning from Columbia University. She lives in New York with her husband and two kids.
Executive Vice President, Internal Audit
Jennie Wallace oversees the Internal Audit function for NYCEDC. Jennie is a seasoned audit executive with a passion for the profession and over 20 years of experience partnering with company leadership to assess, manage, and mitigate risk. She started her career with 10 years at PwC, and then held audit and controls leadership roles at glacéau (part of The Coca-Cola Company), OnDeck Capital (FinTech startup, now public), and Horizon Media (largest independently owned media agency). Jennie is an active member and speaker with the NY Institute of Internal Auditors and a member of the Advisory Board at St. John's University's Internal Audit program. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of NY, a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).
Executive Vice President and Executive Director, NYC Ferry
James serves as the Executive Director for NYC Ferry. He began working at NYCEDC in 2014 in a planning role for passenger ferries, a nascent idea when the East River Ferry was still a pilot service. Since then, James has overseen the planning, implementation, and launch of the NYC Ferry system, which opened in May 2017 and now serves over 6 million riders annually. He built a dedicated department and leads an agency-wide effort to ensure the safe and efficient operation of ferries. Today, he manages a team that handles NYC Ferry contracting, finance, operations, and the fleet of vessels, while overseeing other NYCEDC work in connection with landing maintenance and delivery of new ferry facilities.
A transportation planner and engineer by education, James previously consulted on street design, transit operations, and corridor planning projects for cities around the United States and abroad. He has published multiple peer-reviewed research articles on transit data, operations, and system management. James has a bachelor’s of science in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and master’s degrees in civil engineering and city and regional planning from Georgia Tech. He lives in Brooklyn and is an avid volleyball player.