About Us

Staff Directory

  • User Staff Image 1

    Ben Hecht

    President & CEO

    Washington, DC / New York, NY

    Mr. Hecht was appointed President & CEO of Living Cities in July, 2007. Since that time, the organization has adopted a broad, integrative agenda that harnesses the collective knowledge of its 22 member foundations and financial institutions to benefit low income people and the cities where they live. Living Cities deploys a unique blend of more…
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    Juan Sebastian Arias

    Program Associate

    New York, NY

    Juan Sebastian Arias joined Living Cities in March 2012 as a member of the Collective Impact team. Before joining Living Cities, he served as a Commercial Revitalization Intern with WHEDco, a community development non-profit in the South Bronx. Prior to that, he was a Harvard Fellow with the New York City office of Enterprise Community Partners.…
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    Tonya Banks

    Senior Administrative Associate for Capital Innovation

    Washington, DC

    Before joining Living Cities, Tonya was the office manager for the National Cooperative Business Association, the oldest and largest national membership association representing cooperatives of all types and in all industries. Before that, she was the Compliance Manager for the DC Housing Finance Agency, a quasi-government instrumentality…
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    Elodie Baquerot

    Chief Operating Officer

    New York, NY

    Elodie Baquerot joined Living Cities in April 2011. As Chief Operating Officer, Elodie leads organization-wide operations and strategic planning efforts to make Living Cities' strategic vision a reality. In support of this, she drives the implementation of a performance, results-oriented culture; ensures that our systems and infrastructure support…
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    Tynesia Boyea-Robinson

    Director of Collective Impact

    Washington, D.C

    In February 2014, Tynesia Boyea Robinson joined Living Cities as the Director of Collective Impact. In this role, Tynesia works both internally and externally to provide clarity and guidance on effective methodologies for applying the principles of Collective Impact. Tynesia’s most recent experience as the President and CEO of Reliance Methods…
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    Arthur Burris

    Director of Public Sector Innovation

    Washington, DC

    Arthur joined Living Cities as Director of Public Sector Innovation in December 2010.He previously worked for ten years on the staff of the Budget Committee in the House of Representatives. He was a Budget Analyst for areas including education, social services, job training and employment services, and housing credit programs. He then served for…
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    Amy Chung

    Senior Investment Officer

    New York, NY

    Prior to joining Living Cities, Amy was a Vice President at Citi Community Capital, where she originated, structured and underwrote socially responsible investments with a primary focus on renewable energy and real estate tax equity transactions. Social returns from these investments include job creation and the production of green energy for…
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    Sherrie Deans

    Executive Director, Admiral Center

    New York, NY

    Sherrie Deans is Executive Director of the Admiral Center. A graduate of Columbia University, Sherrie has an extensive background in marketing, relationship management, fundraising, and strategy development. Most recently, Sherrie was Vice President, Marketing and Development for the I Have a Dream Foundation in New York City where she was…
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    Sara Draper-Zivetz

    Program Assistant, Public Sector Innovation

    Washington, DC

    Sara joined Living Cities in August 2012 as a Policy Assistant, and a member of the Public Sector Cluster. Prior to joining Living Cities, Sara served as a Project Development Coordinator with HandsOn Greater DC Cares, coordinating logistics for volunteer-based initiatives and facilitating partnership development with many of Washington DC’s direct…
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    Alison Gold

    Assistant Director of Knowledge & Impact

    Washington, DC

    Alison Gold is the Assistant Director of Knowledge & Impact at Living Cities, a collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest financial and philanthropic organizations working to transform the lives of low-income people and the cities in which they live. In this role, Alison is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to capture and…
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    Noël Harmon, Ph.D

    National Director of the Talent Dividend

    Washington, D.C

    Dr. Noël Harmon is the National Director of the Talent Dividend at Living Cities. Harmon currently leads the National Talent Dividend initiative, a joint initiative of Living Cities and CEOs for Cities, to foster success among network cities to increase the post-secondary attainment among their residents. In that role she directs the National…
  • User Staff Image 47

    Ronda Jackson

    Assistant Director of Public Sector Innovation

    Ronda Jackson joined Living Cities as the Assistant Director of Public Sector Innovation in August 2012. Prior to joining Living Cities, Ronda was the Project Manager for the Sacramento Safe Community Partnership Ceasefire Initiative to reduce street gang and gun violence. Prior to working for Sacramento Ceasefire, Ronda was the Senior Program…
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    Tracey Jarmon

    Program Associate

    Washington, DC

    Tracey Jarmon joined Living Cities in December 2011 as Program Coordinator for The Integration Initiative. Prior, she served as Philanthropic Advisory Services Officer at The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region where she worked with the Foundation’s donors to develop and implement strategic grantmaking initiatives on critical…
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    David Lafleur

    Director of Finance and Administration

    New York, NY

    David is responsible for managing and developing financial, administrative and other internal functions to support the growth of Living Cities. With an extensive background in finance, administration, and operations, David has worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations and associations in New England and New York. Most recently, he was Vice…
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    Eileen Neely

    Director of Capital Innovation

    Washington, DC

    Eileen Neely joined Living Cities in December 2012 as the Associate Director of Capital Formation. Prior to joining Living Cities, she was the Director of Strategic Planning at the District of Columbia Housing Authority since May 2011. In this position, Eileen oversaw the development, implementation and measurement of the Agency’s Strategic Plan…
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    Tamir Novotny

    Senior Associate, Public Sector Innovation

    New York, NY

    Tamir has spent the last eight years developing and implementing programs for Living Cities. His work has touched on, and occasionally influenced practitioners and policymakers in, fields including housing and community development, regional planning, economic development, civic technology and local governance. In his current role, Tamir is helping…
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    Elizabeth Ogunwo

    Special Assistant to the CEO

    New York, NY

    Elizabeth "Lyzz" Ogunwo joined Living Cities in March 2013 as Special Assistant to the President and CEO and as a member of the Knowledge and Impact Cluster. Prior to joining Living Cities, Lyzz worked for the Obama for America Campaign in 2008 and 2012 and for the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee as an Assistant Director for the National Day…
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    Nadia Owusu

    Assistant Director, Strategic Communications & Storytelling

    New York, NY

    Nadia joined Living Cities in September of 2011. As Assistant Director of Strategic Communications & Storytelling, she leads Living Cities' communications work, focused on harnessing the power of story, information, and technology to foster experimentation, co-creation, and adoption of promising approaches to address poverty and inequality in US…
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    John A. Portacio

    Operations and Development Associate

    New York, NY

    John Andrew Portacio joined Living Cities in March 2012. As Operations and Development Associate, John works with the Director of Finance, The President and the Cheif Operating Officer, to manage, develop and implement organization wide operational systems & technology. John also administers and maintains contracts and grants executed by Living…
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    Jeff Raderstrong

    Program Associate for the Integration Initiative

    Washington, DC

    Jeff Raderstrong joined Living Cities in May 2014 as Program Associate on The Integration Initiative. Jeff’s role for TII is to capture lessons learned from sites for sharing with Living Cities' members and the field more broadly. Before coming to Living Cities, Jeff worked as an Associate at Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), where he led the…
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    Brittany Ramos

    Program Assistant

    New York, NY

    Brittany joined Living Cities in November 2013 as the Collective Impact Program Assistant. Her previous service as an Army logistics officer and experience in strategic communications gives her a unique perspective and diverse set of skills to bring to the collective impact team. Her work with the Fund for the Public Interest and later her service…
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    Brian Reilly

    Director of The Integration Initiative

    New York, NY

    Brian Reilly joined Living Cities In August 2013, as Director of The Integration Initiative, Brian is an innovative leader with over 15 years of public and nonprofit sector program and policy experience in land use and economic planning, construction and real estate, public process design, community engagement and sustainable development. He has…
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    Carmen Rojas

    Associate Director of Collective Impact

    New York, NY

    Carmen Rojas is currently the Associate Director of Collective Impact at Living Cities where she plays a pivotal role in driving the work of the Program Cluster operations while ensuring cluster activities are carried out in a manner consistent with Living Cities’ mission, strategic framework, and organizational values. Prior to assuming the…
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    Elizabeth Vargas

    Strategic Communications & Engagement Associate

    Washington, DC

    Elizabeth joined the Living Cities Knowledge and Impact cluster in February 2014. As Strategic Communications and Engagement Associate, Elizabeth manages Living Cities’ web and social media production. She also focuses on expanding the organizations’ digital footprint. Prior to joining Living Cities, Elizabeth was Communications Coordinator at the…
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    Nigel Jacob

    Co-Chair, Boston Office of New Urban Mechanics, Urban Technologist in Residence, Living Cities

    Living Cities