Governing Board

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Robert Reffkin (Founder)

Founder and CEO, Compass

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Jamie Sholem (Chair)

Partner, TPG Real Estate

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Devin Thomas (Vice Chair)

Managing Director, Investment Banking, Jefferies

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Juan Uribe (Vice Chair)

Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

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Sebnem Giorgio (Treasurer)

Chief Financial and Operating Officer, The Nightingale-Bamford School

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Carla Ruiz (Secretary)

Senior Vice President, Global M&A, Shiseido

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Karim Abouelnaga

CEO, Practice Makes Perfect

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Dina F. Aronson

Founder, Advocate Consulting, LLC

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Eric Aronson

Partner, Stroock

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Cindy Helen Brea

Head of Pensions East Aladdin Client Engagement, BlackRock

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Linsey Davis

Reporter, ABC

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Joseph Gasparro

Head of Americas Capital Services Content, Credit Suisse

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Jeff Goldfaden

Managing Director, Head of Industrials, Warburg Pincus

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Sekou Kaalund

Managing Director and Head of Consumer Banking, Northeast Division, JPMorgan Chase

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Yusef Kassim

Managing Director, Advent International Corporation

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David Kirshenbaum

Managing Director, Virtas Partners

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Shahed Larson

Partner, Brunswick Group

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Roland Merchant Jr.

Senior Managing Director, Head of Institutional Advisory at CBRE Capital Advisors

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Aditya Sanghvi

Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company

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Albert Satija

Partner, Soroban Capital Partners LP

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Alex Sloane

Managing Partner, Garnett Station Partners

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Dan Smith

CEO, Raines International Inc.

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Stephen Smith

Managing Director, Suvretta Capital

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Martha St. Jean

Middle School Special Education Teacher, NYC Department of Education

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Paul White

Principal at Ram Island Holdings, LLC

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David Zussman

Chief Financial Officer, Related Companies

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Robert Reffkin (Founder)

Founder and CEO, Compass

Robert Reffkin is the Founder and CEO of Compass. Previously he worked at Goldman Sachs as Chief of Staff to the President & COO following five years working in the firm’s private equity arm. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he worked at Lazard Frères and McKinsey & Company. In 2005, he was appointed as a White House Fellow to serve as special assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury. He currently serves on the Board of the Citizens Committee for NYC, Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, and served as founding chair of Bronx Success Academy 1 charter school. He received a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. His primary philanthropic undertaking includes running 50 marathons, one in each U.S. state, to raise $1 million for youth education and enrichment programs (www.RunningToSupportYoungDreams.com).

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Jamie Sholem (Chair)

Partner, TPG Real Estate

Jamie Sholem is a Partner at TPG Real Estate, focusing on opportunistic real estate investing. He is based in TPG’s New York City office. Jamie joined TPG as a Vice President in early 2011. Previously, Jamie was an Associate with Goldman, Sachs & Co in the Real Estate Principal Investment Area (REPIA), focusing primarily on real estate debt and equity investing. He originally joined Goldman Sachs as an Analyst.

Jamie graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree concentrating in Business Economics. Jamie was raised in Champaign, Illinois.

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Devin Thomas (Vice Chair)

Managing Director, Investment Banking, Jefferies

Devin is a Managing Director in the Investment Banking division of Jefferies where he specializes in M&A Advisory for the software and internet sectors.  Devin has more than 15 years of corporate finance and M&A experience across TMT sectors.  Prior to joining Jefferies, Devin spent more than a decade at Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley where he focused on sourcing and executing M&A Advisory transactions across TMT sectors.  He has executed over $100 billion in transactions throughout his career and has worked across the spectrum of M&A advising on public and private transactions, subsidiary divestitures, activist-driven deals, sponsor-backed leveraged buyouts, and minority investments.  Prior to his investment banking career, Devin worked as an auditor and management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Devin earned his MBA from Georgetown University and was a Landegger honors fellow at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.  He earned his BS in Accounting from Clemson University.  Devin serves on the boards of America Needs You and Georgetown’s Graduate School of Business.  He lives in New York with his wife Dendy and their son, Gadsden, and daughter, Ellis.

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Juan Uribe (Vice Chair)

Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

Juan Uribe is a Partner and Managing Director at Boston Consulting Group where he serves clients primarily in the financial services industry. Juan has advised clients on issues related to general corporate strategy, marketing effectiveness, organizational structure, and M&A. In addition, Juan has worked as a buy-side analyst in the investment management industry analyzing public equities in the financial services, technology, and consumer sectors.

Juan holds a BA in International Relations from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Sebnem Giorgio (Treasurer)

Chief Financial and Operating Officer, The Nightingale-Bamford School

Sebnem Giorgio is the Chief Financial and Operating Officer of The Nightingale-Bamford School. She oversees finance, IT, facilities and HR. Previously, she was the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of DREAM (formerly Harlem RBI), a public charter school in NY. Before joining DREAM, Sebnem was the Founder/CEO of Nonprofit Strategic Partners, advising nonprofits with finance, strategy, operations, and human resources related projects. Sebnem is a founding Director of America Needs You. She also served as the CFO/COO of the organization, from the startup phase to a multi-million dollar budget.  Prior to that, she was the CFO/COO of New York Cares, a nonprofit that meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service. At both of these organizations, Sebnem was a proud member of the team that received the Nonprofit Excellence Awards.

Sebnem started her career as a real estate investment banker at Morgan Stanley, where she advised clients in mergers, acquisitions, initial public offerings, joint ventures, and asset sales. She also held a number of strategic positions within the firm.  After a successful career at Morgan Stanley, she transferred to Merrill Lynch to be the COO of Americas Debt Capital Markets, Financial Sponsors, and Private Equity Funds groups.  She was responsible for the day-to-day operations of a 155-person team with revenues of $650 million.

Sebnem graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Economics and German Studies from Ohio Wesleyan University.

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Carla Ruiz (Secretary)

Senior Vice President, Global M&A, Shiseido

Carla is a Senior Vice President, Global M&A at Shiseido.

Previously, Carla worked for Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) and led a number of acquisition and integration processes including: the acquisition of Hipoglos, a baby brand from P&G, the acquisition of Vogue International (OGX) in hair care, a joint venture agreement with Hallmark, and a partnership with Dr Ci:Labo, a Japanese dermocosmetic brand.

Prior to J&J, Carla was an Investment Banker in the Global Consumer Products & Retail Group at UBS covering the Household & Personal Care vertical advising a number of clients from large cap to growing entrepreneurial ventures. Carla has a broad M&A advisory, equity and debt financing experience including significant cross-border exposure. Before UBS, Carla worked as an Investment Banker for HSBC and Citigroup in their Latin America and M&A groups, respectively. Carla started her career as an Auditor at Ernst & Young.

Carla graduated from Universidad del Pacifico with a BS in Finance and Accounting and earned her MBA from Columbia Business School in 2006. She is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese.

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Karim Abouelnaga

CEO, Practice Makes Perfect

Karim is CEO of Practice Makes Perfect (PMP), a Public Benefit Corporation that partners with K-12 schools to help narrow the opportunity gap. He received over a quarter million dollars in scholarships to make his education possible. Karim founded PMP at 18. He is an author, a TED Fellow and Echoing Green Fellow. At 23, he was named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in Education, and at 24 was named to Magic Johnson’s 32 under 32 list. In 2016, he was ranked in the top 3 most powerful young entrepreneurs under 25 in the worldKarim’s TED Talk was named one of the 9 Most Inspiring Talks of 2017 and his Forbes day-in-the-life feature is Forbes’ most viewed video of all time, collectively garnering over 5 million views. He graduated in the top 10% of his class from Cornell University and has a Master’s in Education Policy from Columbia University.

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Dina F. Aronson

Founder, Advocate Consulting, LLC

Dina is the Founder of Advocate Consulting, a legal search firm focused on the permanent placement of attorneys into top law firms and corporations in the New York metropolitan area. Prior to founding Advocate, Dina was the Director of Professional Personnel at a prominent Northern New Jersey law firm, where she oversaw all attorney hiring, managed the summer associate and intern programs and was responsible for attorney training and professional development. Dina is passionate about helping candidates at all levels to unlock their full potential and find meaning in their work. She regularly provides career counseling, and coaches her candidates regarding business development strategies.

Dina is also the creator of Patina, a lifestyle blog intended to inspire, uplift and celebrate midlife women (www.patinablog.com). She also designs and creates fashion jewelry for DNA Designs Jewelry, a company she founded with her mother.

Dina hails from Miami, Florida, and earned her BS and JD degrees from the University of Florida. She is a proud first-generation college student.

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Eric Aronson

Partner, Stroock

Eric S. Aronson is a business oriented trial lawyer with broad experience in both trial and appellate courts. He has tried cases in federal and state courts all over the country and has handled domestic and international arbitrations. He has argued appeals in numerous U.S. Circuit Courts and is admitted to practice before the Second, Third and Eighth Circuits, as well as the United States Court of International Trade.

Mr. Aronson handles a wide variety of litigation and routinely represents both public and private companies and their management teams on issues such as securities, environmental, construction, general commercial and contractual disputes, consumer class actions, and intellectual property. Mr. Aronson’s approach focuses on problem solving, and he is currently handling matters for financial institutions, closely held corporations, real estate developers, leading pharmaceutical companies, and various private equity groups and their portfolio companies. Mr. Aronson also advises companies and their management teams on risk management and litigation avoidance.

In addition to his professional practice, Mr. Aronson has served on a number of volunteer non-profit boards focusing their efforts on education and children’s health issues. Most recently, Mr. Aronson served on the Board of “Rock for Hope”, an annual New York City fundraising event supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Mr. Aronson graduated from Rutgers University with his B.A. and earned his J.D. at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.

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Cindy Helen Brea

Head of Pensions East Aladdin Client Engagement, BlackRock

Cindy Helen Brea, Head of Pensions East Aladdin Client Engagement, is a member of the Client Engagement team within BlackRock Solutions.  Ms. Brea works primarily with public and private pensions to maximize their use of the BlackRock Solutions enterprise investment system, Aladdin.  Her responsibilities include client strategy, coordination and support of BlackRock’s suite of analytics and applications across multi-asset class products, and new client implementations.

Ms. Brea joined BlackRock Solutions after more than a decade as a Fixed Income macro salesperson. She began her career at Credit Suisse within FX Sales covering hedge fund clients. Thereafter, she was responsible for Fixed Income coverage of institutional clients in Central America and the Caribbean, first at Credit Suisse and then at Morgan Stanley. Her focus was on financial institutions, providing both asset and liability side solutions through structured note ideas, financing and derivative transactions respectively.  Most recently, Ms. Brea was responsible for Emerging Markets Local Market product distribution to US institutional investors, both real money and hedge fund clients.

Ms. Brea graduated from Harvard Business School after spending two years in management consulting with Deloitte. She is a Robert Toigo Foundation alumna. Her undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering was received from Columbia University in New York.

Ms. Brea resides in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two children.

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Linsey Davis

Reporter, ABC

Linsey Davis is a reporter for ABC, filing reports for World News, Good Morning America and Nightline. Davis has covered a wide range of stories, including the Boston Marathon bombing, the Nairobi Mall massacre, the Haiti earthquake, the Casey Anthony trial, the miracle on the Hudson and the 2008 presidential election. In 2009 Davis made waves with her “Nightline” report, “Single Black Female.”

Davis joined ABC News in 2007 as a New York-based correspondent for ABC NewsOne, the network’s affiliate news service. Before joining the network in June of 2007, Davis anchored the weekend evening newscasts at WTHR-TV in Indianapolis. She joined the station as a reporter in 2003 and, during her time there, reported from New Orleans in wake of Hurricane Katrina, from Torino for the 2006 Winter Olympics, and from Athens for the 2004 Summer Olympics. From 2001-03 she was a reporter at WJRT-TV in Flint, Michigan.

Davis has received several honors for her reporting, including two Emmy Awards and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award. In addition, the Center for Leadership Development awarded her with the distinction of “Up and Comer.”

Davis earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Virginia and a Master of Arts degree in communications from New York University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and lives in New York with her husband and son.

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Joseph Gasparro

Head of Americas Capital Services Content, Credit Suisse

Joseph Gasparro is Head of Americas Capital Services Content at Credit Suisse. He advises on capital raising and operations for alternative asset managers. Prior to his current role, he executed M&A and capital markets transactions in the firm’s Investment Banking Division. Before Credit Suisse, he worked in the Investment Banking Division at BofA Securities and UBS Investment Bank. Previously, he was a Research Assistant at Harvard Business School for the Chair of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit.

He received his BA from Gettysburg College and his MBA from Rutgers Business School. He is a two-time recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, bestowed by the President of the United States. He is a board or council member of several organizations, including America Needs You, Youth INC, and the Guggenheim Museum. He is also an Editor of Investment Banking: Valuation, LBOs, M&A, and IPOs and The Little Book of Investing Like the Pros.

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Jeff Goldfaden

Managing Director, Head of Industrials, Warburg Pincus

Jeff Goldfaden is based in New York, joined Warburg Pincus in 2004, and leads the firm’s efforts in the Industrials sector. Mr. Goldfaden rejoined the Industrial and Business Services team in New York in 2013 after spending three years focusing on investment opportunities for the firm across a range of industries in the Asia-Pacific region. He has been involved from inception with the firm’s investments in Aramark Corporation, Jarden Corporation, Scotsman Industries, The Neiman Marcus Group, TriMark USA, Duravant, Pregis, Service Logic and Infinite Electronics. He is currently a Director of Duravant, Pregis, Gabe’s and Infinite Electronics and has previously served on the board of directors of Service Logic, TriMark USA, Scotsman Industries, Eagle Family Foods, Crossmark and Transpacific Industries. Jeff serves on the firm’s oversight committee and has been active in Warburg Pincus’ charitable giving and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, he was an investment professional at UBS Capital Americas and Hudson River Capital, both of which are U.S.-based middle-market private equity firms.

Prior to commencing his career in private equity, Mr. Goldfaden was an Investment Banker in the Leveraged and Syndicated Finance Group at Chase Securities (now JP Morgan). He received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

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Sekou Kaalund

Managing Director and Head of Consumer Banking, Northeast Division, JPMorgan Chase

With more than two decades of Wall Street experience, Sekou Kaalund has a proven track record of achieving revenue growth and developing highly profitable client relationships in start-up, turn around, and scale businesses. His unique background spans leadership experiences in staff and line roles across institutional and retail businesses. He has developed market strategies, managed strategic business transactions, and led complex organizations.

As head of Consumer Banking at Chase for the Northeast Division, Sekou oversees 1000 branches in five regions with 10,000 employees and over $325 billion in deposits and investments. He runs the largest division in Chase Consumer Banking, which as a standalone is the equivalent of the 4th largest bank in the country. Sekou has a strong track record developing talent, forming inclusive teams, and leveraging a vast network to connect people with opportunities.

Sekou has established key connections across client segments and industries. As part of JPMorgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank, he managed some of the largest, complex firmwide relationships with Asset Manager and Hedge Funds. He also was the Americas Head of Sales for Public & Corporate Pensions and Endowment & Foundations, turning around a low performing segment and growing business by 300%, while achieving four-years of record sales. He joined JPMorgan as Head of Private Equity Fund Services Business Development and built a global team, achieved 60% growth, and won new clients in countries previously unpenetrated.

Because of Sekou’s commitment to impact and experience building businesses, he was tapped to launch Advancing Black Pathways, the first global corporate initiative that leveraged a data-driven strategic framework to develop scalable programs to reduce the racial wealth gap. The success of this initiative—which included hiring thousands of black students, providing millions of dollars in capital to black businesses, and reaching over one million individuals with financial health content—led to a historic five-year firm-wide $30B commitment to advance racial equity.

Sekou’s contributions have been recognized by Ebony Magazine’s 2020 Power 100 list, “Titans of Industry”; SAID Institute 2020 Mark of Excellence; World of Money 2019 Wall Street Legacy Award; and Face2Face Africa’s 2019 “30 Black Stars”. He has been featured in publications, including BBC, Forbes, NBC, CNBC, Black Enterprise, and Essence. Sekou serves on several boards, including INROADS (Vice Chair) and America Needs You.

Additionally, Sekou held leadership roles at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Citi. He resides in Greenwich, CT with his wife and three children. Kaalund earned a Master’s of Public Policy from Duke University and a Bachelor’s from Hampden-Sydney College.

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Yusef Kassim

Managing Director, Advent International Corporation

Yusef M. Kassim is a Partner and Head of Business Development with Sunley House Capital Management, the public securities division of Advent International Corporation.  He leads Sunley House’s global marketing and investor facing activities.  Prior to joining Advent International, Mr. Kassim was a Managing Director within the Capital Strategies division at Blue Harbour Group, L.P., a multi-billion dollar investment fund employing a concentrated Active Ownership investment strategy.  Prior to joining Blue Harbour, Mr. Kassim was a senior member of the Investor Relations Group at Eton Park Capital Management, a global multi-strategy investment firm.  Eton Park had several hundred global institutional investors and $14 billion under management at its peak.  Before joining Eton Park, Mr. Kassim was a Partner and Head of Marketing & Investor Relations for R6 Capital Management, a multi-strategy hedge fund with a focus on corporate credit and asset-based lending.  Mr. Kassim has over 20 years of investor relations and business development experience, cultivating, and managing relationships with leading global institutional investors.

Prior to joining R6 Capital, Mr. Kassim joined a start-up, investment research firm, Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), where he served in various leadership capacities from 2001 to 2007.  He was promoted to Senior Vice President of the Sales Division, where he developed and managed the firm’s key relationships with hedge funds, private equity firms, mutual funds, proprietary trading desks, and global asset managers.  Prior to his senior role in the Sales Division, Mr. Kassim served as Co-Head of the firm’s Technology, Media & Telecom research practice from 2001-2004.  During this time, he broadened the firm’s research coverage to encompass private and publicly-traded technology, media and telecom companies throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.  As one of GLG’s first employees and throughout his tenure at the firm, he played an instrumental role in their strategic and business development efforts including growing the client base to over 400 of the leading investment institutions.  Prior to joining GLG in 2001, Mr. Kassim worked for Goldman, Sachs & Co. in the Prime Brokerage Sales Group, specializing in Merger and Convertible Arbitrage focused hedge funds.

Mr. Kassim has exhibited professional excellence throughout his 20 year career on Wall Street.  He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Science and a minor in Mathematics from the College of Arts and Sciences.  Mr. Kassim serves as the Chair of the Penn Fund Executive Board helping support and advise the fundraising activities to grow the University of Pennsylvania’s endowment and the Penn Fund.  He is also a strong advocate of mentoring programs for disadvantaged youth, and serves as a founding Board Member of America Needs You (ANY), a nonprofit whose mission is to fight for economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students through transformative mentorship and intensive career development.  In 2012, Mr. Kassim was one of 25 Americans selected to be a delegate to Germany and serve as a Young Leader by the American Council on Germany whose mission is to address current international challenges and strengthen German-American relations.  In 2015, Mr. Kassim was selected for The Network Journal’s 40 Under Forty Achievement Awards.  In 2016, he was selected as one of Institutional Investor’s Hedge Fund Rising Stars and for the Milken Institute Young Leaders Circle.  In 2017, he was selected as a CUP Catalyst Change Agent in Finance by the Council of Urban Professionals.

Mr. Kassim resides in New Jersey with his wife and three children.

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David Kirshenbaum

Managing Director, Virtas Partners

David Kirshenbaum is a Managing Director at Virtas Partners. Previously, he was the CEO of Emagispace. Prior to joining Emagispace, he was Sr. VP of Hilco Real Estate (HRE) and oversaw the Corporate Services function within HRE. David focused on business/relationship development while serving as team/project leader in connection with lease restructuring/renewal, advisory work for owned and leased property, and property acquisition and disposition transactions. David has overseen a number of lease restructure assignments in the For Profit College space (one of several industries where HRE has experience) on behalf of Private Equity and Operating Company clients.

David holds JD and MBA degrees from Northwestern.

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Shahed Larson

Partner, Brunswick Group

Shahed Larson specializes in advising clients on business critical issues, including litigation and crisis, regulatory investigations, corporate governance matters, management transitions, and mergers and acquisitions. She is a key member of the firm’s Litigation Communications specialist offer, advising companies facing complex legal matters impacting numerous stakeholders, including workplace conduct issues, class action litigation, trademark disputes, shareholder litigation and regulatory investigations. Shahed has significant experience in the consumer, tech and energy sectors.

During her time at Brunswick, clients have included Accenture, Anheuser-Busch, Best Buy, Dollar General, General Atlantic, Johnson Controls, Kate Spade & Company, KKR, Murphy Oil, Occidental Petroleum, Standard Chartered and United Rentals. She was also a member of the team that supported BP during the litigation stemming from the Deepwater Horizon accident.

Shahed began her career as an attorney in the Mergers & Acquisitions group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Prior to joining Brunswick in 2011, she worked at Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, a strategic communications firm based in New York. Shahed received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in political science and sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Roland Merchant Jr.

Senior Managing Director, Head of Institutional Advisory at CBRE Capital Advisors

Roland Merchant Jr. is a Senior Managing Director at CBRE Capital Advisors leading its Institutional Advisory practice. Roland has more than 20 years of experience in finance, sales, and real estate investment banking, and specializes in advising real estate investment management firms.

Before joining CBRE, Roland was a Senior Managing Director of Capital Markets. Prior to that, he spent 13 years with Eastdil Secured and previously worked in the investment banking groups within Cushman & Wakefield and Merrill Lynch. Throughout his career, Mr. Merchant has been involved in more than $20 billion of investment advisory, joint venture equity, debt placement and loan sales transactions.

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Aditya Sanghvi

Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company

Aditya Sanghvi is a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company where he leads the Global Real Estate Practice. He is also a leader in its Global Banking Practice, formerly co-led the Capital Markets Practice in North America, and co-authored McKinsey’s perspective on the future of banking in 2013 (“Breakaway: How the best banks lead in an age of differentiation). Mr. Sanghvi previously worked in the McKinsey Delhi Office as a Mckinsey Global Institute Fellow during which he co-published a report on India’s urbanization (“India’s Urban Awakening”). Finally, within McKinsey, Aditya is the Partner lead for the Business Analyst Program in New York.

Mr. Sanghvi also serves on the Board of America Needs You and the Boys & Girls Harbor. He is also a corporate member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Sanghvi joined McKinsey in 2006 after graduating from Harvard University with a BA in Computer Science and Economics.

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Albert Satija

Partner, Soroban Capital Partners LP

Albert Satija is a Partner at Soroban Capital Partners LP, a hedge fund, and focuses on investments in the technology, media and internet sectors.  He joined Soroban as an investment analyst in early 2014 and previously worked at hedge funds Glenhill Capital and TPG Axon Capital. Albert graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 2006 with a B.A in Economics.  He and his wife, Erica, have a son and live in Brooklyn.

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Alex Sloane

Managing Partner, Garnett Station Partners

Alex Sloane is a Managing Partner at Garnett Station Partners. Previously he was an Associate at Apollo Global Management, a New York-based private equity firm. Prior to joining Apollo, he was an Investment Banking Analyst at Goldman Sachs, focusing on the industrial sector. He received an AB with Honors in Government and Economics from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Alex is a Trustee of the Heckscher Foundation for Children, a private charity in New York whose mission is to level the playing field for needy youth, a member of the Board of Directors of Citizen’s Committee for New York City, and a Director of the New York Regional Board of Reading Partners.

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Dan Smith

CEO, Raines International Inc.

Dan Smith is the CEO of the NYC-based executive search firm Raines International Inc. He has served clients in the Financial Services, Consumer Goods, and Technology industries and has recruited C-level leaders, General Managers, and functional heads for multibillion dollar businesses and several leading private equity firms. Dan received a BA in Philosophy from the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

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Stephen Smith

Managing Director, Suvretta Capital

Stephen Smith is a Managing Director at Suvretta Capital, a New York City-based investment partnership where he leads the firm’s investment activities within the healthcare sector.

Previously, Stephen was a Senior Investment Analyst at Glenview Capital Management, a New York-based investment advisor where he also specialized in investing within the healthcare industry. He began his career as an investment banking analyst at Credit Suisse.

Stephen holds a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated magna cum laude and was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar.

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Martha St. Jean

Middle School Special Education Teacher, NYC Department of Education

Martha St. Jean is a native New Yorker, who works as a middle school Special Educator.

She is deeply interested in social justice. Prior to joining the New York City Department of Education, she worked as a Senior Program Manager, for a national nonprofit, focused on getting students in and through college, utilizing the power of mentoring. She is a great believer in the power of mentoring, and knows that relationships are key to growth and development. Helping students reach their full potential is her life’s cause. She believes in working with practical purpose. This year her goal is to continue to interact with students at different levels of schooling, coaching through challenges, making cultural connections to curricular content, and helping access resources.

She has presented her work at research conferences including the 34th Annual Winter Roundtable on Cultural Psychology in Education, Boston College’s Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture (ISPRC), and the 7th Annual Diversity in Research and Practice Conference at Teachers College, Columbia University.

She holds a Masters in Secondary Inclusive Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She also earned a Master of Science in journalism, from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from New York University.

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Paul White

Principal at Ram Island Holdings, LLC

From June 2003 – December 2007, Paul was an Analyst, Associate and Vice President at Forest City Ratner, the New York affiliate of Forest City Enterprises (NYSE:FCE). Paul was responsible for building and maintaining the pro forma’s for all development projects (including Atlantic Yards, the New York Times Headquarters, 8 Spruce Street, others), for building and maintaining its corporate roll-up model, for its hotel asset management and dispositions, for its New Markets Tax Credit program, and for underwriting new investment opportunities.

From December 2007- June 2014, Paul was an Associate and Vice President at Related. Prior to the financial crisis, Paul was responsible for underwriting, structuring and closing its Hudson Yards investment. After the financial crisis, Paul was tasked with building a new asset management business, which at the time of Paul’s departure in June of 2014 had seven investment vehicles representing approximately $3.0 billion of committed capital. Paul was intimately involved with fundraising and structuring of new investment vehicles. Paul was directly responsible for origination and execution of new investments, tax, investor relations, accounting and finance.

Paul is currently developing approximately 1,200 multi-family units and 1,500 storage units, primarily within the tri-state area. Paul earned a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Russian from Oregon State University and an MSRE with a concentration in finance from New York University. Paul is married with a three year old son, Steven.

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David Zussman

Chief Financial Officer, Related Companies

David Zussman is Chief Financial Officer of Related Companies where he oversees Related’s finance, accounting and treasury groups and is actively engaged in the company’s financial planning and capital markets initiatives. He is a member of Related’s investment committee and the investment committees for several of the funds managed by Related Fund Management.

Mr. Zussman joined Related in 2010 and has played a vital role in more than $18B in transactions across the company, and was intimately involved in the capital strategy, fundraising and financial management of Hudson Yards.

Mr. Zussman joined Related from Lazard’s Real Estate Investment Banking group and earned a BBA with High Distinction from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He was a member of the Partnership for New York City’s 2016-2017 class of David Rockefeller Fellows.