Past Fellows

The William R. Ginsberg Fellowships offer a unique opportunity to work on cutting edge research for an organization that has played a prominent role in shaping public policy in New York City since 1937. The Fellowships are designed to encourage and support careers in public service, establish strong links between experienced leaders and a new generation of housing and planning professionals, promote active civic engagement, advance practical research and creative thinking about New York City’s built environment, and to work to improve the quality of life in New York City neighborhoods.

Meet the fellows who have received this prestigious fellowship over the years.

Yashesh Panchal

Yashesh Panchal has a background in Architecture and Urban Design. Now, he is pursuing his M.S. in Urban Planning at Columbia University. His key interests are in Community and Economic Development. His prior research revolves around housing for the aging population in Japan. He now intends to further his research on housing for the elderly and the working class in New York City, while trying to look for strategies to optimize the affordable housing market, as it is one of the most pressing issues in many major cities around the world.

Dillon Massey

Dillon joined the Ginsberg Fellowship having only recently graduated from the University of Richmond with a BA in Geography and Environmental Studies, but with many accomplishments in his field of Geography and Geospatial Analysis. He has been an AmeriCorps Volunteer and his internship for the US Agency for International Development took him to Lima, Peru where he assisted local environmental and property rights efforts in the Andean Amazon with his skills in geospatial analysis and mapping.

Dillon served as a Bonner Scholar at the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement where he studied demography and urban planning.

He is a graduate of the inaugural class of the newly formed graduate program at Pratt Institute – Urban Place Making and Management headed by David Burney. Dillon has combined his graduate work with a full-time job at CHPC, which he officially joined upon completion of the Ginsberg Fellowship.

Katherine Leitch

Kate is a structural engineer who returned to school to study public policy and administration. She has extensive experience as a project manager and senior structural engineer working in a variety of cities in the US and abroad collaborating with teams including Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Daniel Liebskind.

Kate also served as a legislative aide to then Council Member Gale Brewer where she worked on a wide range of issues such as inclusionary zoning and 421-a Tax Exemptions. A published writer, an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and active in the civic life of NYC, Kate brought such a wealth of analytical and technical skills to her Fellowship position at CHPC that she ended up staying as a Policy Analyst.

Kate has a B.S. in Engineering from Brown University, a Master of Engineering from MIT, and a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Delfina Lopez Freijido

Fellow Summer/Fall 2013

Delfina Lopez Freijido recently graduated with a dual degree Master in Public Administration (MPA) from Columbia University and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, where she concentrated in Urban and Social Policy with a focus on Sustainability and a specialization in Management. She also holds an M.A. in International Economic Policy and a B.A. in International Relations.

Prior to the MPA, she worked for the Public Investment Department in the Ministry of Economy of Buenos Aires Province and for the Argentine National Congress, where she drafted among others a White Paper on architectural heritage preservation and on biogas for urban transport. She also conducted an internship at the Energy Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya, and field research on solid waste management in the City of Chennai, India.

Her professional and research interests concern the mainstreaming of sustainability in economic and urban development, through action in both, the supply and the demand side. The housing reality has been a specific focus and a major driver of her professional progress. At CHPC, Delfina supports primarily the efforts of the Green Building initiative, deep diving into the topics of energy efficiency in small and mid-size buildings.

Delfina enjoys biking to work and around NYC as a way to explore the context on which she is working.

Thomas Lovatt Martin

Ginsberg Fellow, Summer 2013

Thomas Lovatt Martin was born and raised in New York City’s Morningside Heights, and is currently studying for a degree in public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He holds a B.A. (Honors) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University. He also received a Master in Urban Planning with dual concentrations in Real Estate and Urban Development and Housing and Neighborhood Development from Harvard University.

Prior to his work as a Ginsburg Fellow at CHPC, Thomas worked in the Bronx as a New York City Teaching Fellow, as a Public Policy Fellow at Harvard University’s Rappaport Institute, and at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. As a summer fellow, he supported CHPC’s work on zoning, land use and residential development issues.

Joseph Pupello

Joseph Pupello began as a dancer and choreographer and built an outdoor theater in a community garden on East 8th Street. As a result, he was recruited by the Parks Council to lead a movement to include community gardens as permanent public open space by mapping them as public parks. In addition, he organized local park groups that grew into major NYC institutions such as The Randall’s Island Sports Foundation and Reviving Baseball in Inner cities (RBI). Recruited by Bette Midler as the Founding President of the New York Restoration Project and raising more than 30 million dollars, he created the first citywide “Conservancy of Forgotten Places,” restoring more than 300 acres of the most under-served parks with the highest crime rates citywide and organizing a landmark purchase of 114 community gardens from the auction block and creating the nation’s largest Community garden land trust, the New York Garden Trust.

Following this, Joseph became President of New York Evolution, a new company formed in response to the needs of non-profit organizations. He helped in the formation of the Fourth Arts Block (FAB), negotiate the acquisition of a major property and its renovation for LaMaMa Theatre and advised numerous private family foundations in being game-changers in the new economy.

He moved to Staten Island with his three teenage sons, after residing in every other borough of NYC, and was invited by the Citizens Housing & Planning Council to become the 2013 William R. Ginsberg Senior Practitioner Fellow and form a lasting response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. As a CHPC Fellow, Joseph has launched Zone A New York, helping people make difficult choices where housing meets the new challenges of the changing environment.

Du Jingqiang (JD)

Du Jingqiang (JD) recently graduated with his MPA from NYU Wagner School, and he holds a BA in Economics from Central University of Finance and Economics of China. Having spent his entire life living in mega cities, Du is especially interested in housing and sustainable development of populous metropolis like New York City. At CHPC, Du primarily supports the efforts of the Making Room initiative and a study examining the demographic transition of New York City neighborhoods from 2000-2010 .

Dedicated in public service, Du has experiences in the Chinese Ministry of Finance, as well as in the City of New York. He has rich research experiences on international development, housing and urban policy with leading research institutions in the field like NYU Furman Center, the Urban Institute, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, etc.

Outside professional world, Du Jingqiang is a folk songwriter, a starter rock-climber and a regular runner at Prospect Park of Brooklyn.

Ben Anderson

Ben holds a dual Masters degree in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development and International Affairs from American University in Washington, DC. His professional and research interests include climate change adaptation and mitigation, geographies of energy, and urban environmental policy.

In previous positions, Ben has worked for environmental organizations in the public, not-for-profit and private sectors on various issues within environmental management and urban sustainability.

At CHPC, Ben worked primarily on a project dedicated to improving energy efficiency policy directed towards multifamily buildings. Following the Fellowship, Ben was offered a position as a Community Development Officer at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

Megan Houston

Megan is a Brooklyn Law School J.D. candidate (expected in 2013), pursuing a concentration in Real Estate Law. Her student note “Eco-Label Programs and Consumer Misconception: A Hybrid Approach to Environmental Regulation” will be published in the Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law 2012-2013 edition.

Before law school, Megan attended the University of Florida, where she graduated magna cum laude with a major in interior design. After working at an architecture firm in Atlanta for four years, Megan moved to New York for graduate school. In 2010, she received an M.S. in Urban Environmental Systems Management from Pratt Institute.

Megan enjoys working at the intersection of urban policy and green building legislation. As a Research Fellow at CHPC, Megan wrote the article “Green Housing Ideas in NYC: Encouraging Progress.” Additionally, Megan developed a white paper that identified the need for a comprehensive and unified approach to energy-efficiency upgrades in the NYC small multifamilysector.

Hannah Gonzalez

Hannah is visiting CHPC from the Philippines. She holds a MA in Urban Design from the National University of Singapore as well as Diplomas in Urban & Regional Planning and Transportation Planning from the University of the Philippines. Her love of learning about cities goes hand in hand with her experience of living around the world – growing up in both Manila and Philadelphia, studying in Singapore, and working in Dubai.

Although her experience has mostly been in physical planning and the built environment, she has an increasing interest in urban policy. While in Dubai, she worked on master planning projects that pushed the boundaries of engineering and architecture. She then did a volunteer internship with the NYC Department of City Planning’s transportation division where she worked on parking policy. Before joining CHPC, she worked in a consultancy firm in Manila.

At CHPC, she is supporting the Making Room project while gaining valuable insight on the complexities of housing policy in New York City.

Jinny Khanduja

Jinny is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Urban Planning at Columbia University, where she is interested in economics and urban policy. She has an undergraduate degree from Emory University in Atlanta, with majors in International Studies and Spanish, and a minor in Arabic.

She has extensive experience at the intersection of communications and policy, previously serving as the External Affairs Manager of a nationally-focused policy organization. Her research interests include the role of public and private entities in shaping the built environment, informality and efficiency in housing and retail markets, and the relationship of housing to the regulatory framework surrounding financial speculation.

At CHPC, Jinny is working primarily on developing the organization’s communications infrastructure. She also works on the Making Room project, which uses innovative new housing designs as a tool to evaluate the city’s housing policy.

Neelima Panoli

Ginsberg Fellow, Summer 2011

Neelima received her Bachelor in Architecture from the University of Mumbai and is pursuing a masters in urban design at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where her focus has been on analyzing housing and urban form as a function of development economics and planning policy.

She has worked on housing design and community development projects with architecture firms and urban research organizations in Mumbai, Biel and Dubai. Her research interests within the field of housing and planning have been directed toward understanding the changing notions of domesticity, and diverse physical & socio-cultural manifestations of housing within dense, heterogeneous urban conditions.

As a summer fellow, she supported CHPC primarily on the Making Room project which re-evaluates housing policy to understand its impact on the flexibility of housing design in the city.

“CHPC provides a great learning environment for young people, where as mentors they are committed to initiating discussions and sharing their insights on housing and planning policy. It was especially exciting to see how issues of housing could be approached through rather unique ways, triggering a range of interests that begin an effective dialogue in re-evaluating the industry. My fellowship was a seminal experience of being involved in such projects- embedded in fascinating research and raising questions through new lenses of inquiry.”

Kercena Dozier

Ginsberg Fellow, Fall/Winter 2009

Kercena received a Juris Doctorate from American University Washington College of Law and a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Real Estate from American University Kogod School of Business. In Spring 2008, Kercena worked as a legal intern assisting NY Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Chief Legal Officer in the day-to-day legal management of the organization’s affordable housing projects. At CHPC, Kercena assisted in the research, writing, and statistical analysis of NYC’s tax lien securitization and third party transfer program.

“The Ginsberg Fellowship provided me a plethora of opportunities that other young people starting out in their careers do not get; most notably, it provided me a seat at the table with industry heads as they formulated innovative, comprehensive solutions to extremely challenging issues. Being a part of those discussions has changed the way I view, approach, and assess problems for the better.”

Anna Grosso

Ginsberg Fellow, Fall/Winter 2010

Anna is a candidate for a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Rutgers New Brunswick’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. There she concentrates in environmental planning and is conducting research with the Center for Energy, Economic, and Environmental Policy on regional and interstate energy policy agreements. Before then she received a B.A. from the University of Delaware, where she studied sociology and geography.

At CHPC, Anna was involved in archival research as well as research regarding cost-effective mechanisms for increasing New York’s affordable housing stock while mitigating energy loss and waste. This project represents the intersection of her major interests: environmental stewardship, social equity, and urban design.

“CHPC has given me an opportunity from which any young planner could benefit: a chance to examine fledgling beliefs under the tutelage of some of the most respected housing experts in the field. The ability to avoid making convenient assumptions and to instead impartially examine every step of the decision making process to arrive at the most beneficial conclusion is a tool that I will carry through my career as a planner.”

Daniela Feibusch

Ginsberg Fellow, Summer 2010

Daniela graduated from UCLA School of Law with a specialization in the Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. At UCLA, she participated in the Skid Row Housing Clinic, served on the board of the UCLA Chapter of the American Constitution Society, and held internships at Inner City Law Center and Public Counsel Law Center where she concentrated on affordable housing and homelessness issues facing Los Angeles. Before attending law school, Daniela worked as a Community Development Associate for LISC NYC focusing on low income housing tax credit projects. She holds a BA in Sociology from Boston University. As a CHPC Ginsberg Fellow, Daniela was involved in various research projects on such topics as over-mortgaged multi-family homes and NYC zoning ordinances. Daniela was admitted to the New York State Bar by the Appellate Division, Second Department in February 2012.

“My experience at CHPC allowed me to work at the intersection of housing, government, and the private sector. It allowed me to fully delve into important issues affecting all New Yorkers and address these matters through a variety of means and perspectives including hands on meetings, legal research, and policy analysis. My work at CHPC not only furthered my understanding of the inner workings of New York City’s housing policy and programs, but also provided a unique opportunity to participate in these processes in a very substantial way.”

Kasimir Hagendoorn

Visiting Fellow, Summer 2010

Kasimir holds two Masters in Real Estate and Spatial Planning from the University of Groningen. He also studied at the Eötvös Loránd University where he conducted a research project on neighbourhood dynamics in Budapest and aimed to advice the local governments how to improve neighborhoods and provide affordable housing. Before joining CHPC, Kasimir was an intern at DHV, a global engineering and consultancy company. He is now working in Bonaire, part of the Dutch Antilles, as a Real Estate Policy Consultant for Aert Swaens, a housing organization based in the Netherlands.

At CHPC, Kasimir conducted a research project on green housing; specifically how to best incentivize landlords to retrofit the existing rental stock. To reach this goal he studied best practice, especially from Western Europe, on how sustainable features can make the most cost savings and the most environmental impact and how financial programs have been designed to transform existing housing.

“As a visiting fellow CHPC offered me the opportunity to get acquainted with green housing in New York. CHPC stimulates a person to be proactive and offers a great network to help you to reach that goal. It has been a priceless experience to enable me to understand the world of sustainability, develop my skills and to apply the knowledge I gained through workshops, seminars and contacts with professionals in my current career.”

Stefanie Marazzi

Practitioner Fellow, 2009-2010

Prior to joining CHPC, she was an associate at Cohen & Perfetto LLP, a New York law firm specializing in commercial real estate. She holds a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. in political science from New College of Florida. Stefanie worked with CHPC’s Zoning Committee and assisted in research and writing on a variety of topics, including New York City’s tax lien securitization and third party transfer program. Stefanie is now an associate at Slater & Beckerman.

“My experience as a William R. Ginsberg Fellow could not have been more edifying or enjoyable. Working in an environment of impassioned housing policy debate was more than just inspiring; it helped me shape my career.”

Alnisha Maniaci

Ginsberg Fellow, Fall/Winter 2009

Alnisha joined CHPC while working toward her Masters of Urban Planning at Wagner School of Public Service. While working at CHPC, Alnisha developed a model that examined gentrifying change in NYC. Currently, Alnisha is a Housing Policy Researcher in the Housing Policy Research and Program Evaluation Group at HPD where she performs objective analysis to examine the impact of implementing housing legislation and programs.

Alnisha obtained her undergraduate degree from New York University in Metropolitan Studies. Prior to joining CHPC, Alnisha served as a housing policy intern at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office. She also worked in the national economic development department at Local Initiative Support Corporation, where she facilitated a national capacity-building community development conference.

“My time at CHPC has been invaluable in helping me gain an objective point of view that I will carry with me throughout my public service career. I’ve learned that the most effective housing policies are not spearheaded by a moral imperative to provide housing for the needy, but are entrenched in fiscally responsible objectives.”

Sulin Carling

Graduate Fellow, Winter/Summer 2009

Sulin is a Senior Analyst at HR&A Advisors, an industry-leading real estate, economic development and energy efficiency consulting firm where she works with public and private clients on a variety of urban redevelopment and real estate projects. She focuses on master planning and urban design, public and private development, and housing policy. After her fellowship at CHPC, she pursued a Masters in Urban Planning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where she concentrated in both Housing and Neighborhood Development and Transportation and Infrastructure. She also worked at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, the New York City Housing Authority’s Department for Development, and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City.

Sulin conducted a multitude of research projects at CHPC, on topics that included: the history of single room occupancy housing in NYC; global design examples of single person housing units; rent stabilization; gentrification; and issues surrounding overleveraged multi-family buildings. She gained strong skills in data analysis, mapping, and design.

“Working with accomplished experts who care deeply about mentoring young people interested in housing and urban planning has been invaluable. I cannot imagine a more fulfilling or instructive experience at this point in my career.”

Hannah Hesse

Visiting Fellow, Summer 2009

Hannah joined CHPC in May 2009 as a Visiting Fellow from Germany. She received a B.A. in Architecture and a Masters in European Urban Studies at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. She has experience in urban planning research; community based planning and visualizing planning and urban design issues. Hannah has worked in various architectural firms and planning departments in Germany and the U.S. and her main interest centers on improving the collaboration and communication between the fields of urban planning, public policy and architectural design.

At CHPC, Hannah conducted a detailed neighborhood profile for our new gentrification study. At the same time, she worked for her master’s thesis on the correlation of gentrification and displacement.

“CHPC gave me the unique opportunity to work in a wonderfully motivating environment, mentored by an experienced and influential staff. As a visiting fellow I got extremely valuable insights in New York City`s current urban planning and policy issues and exposure to databases which helped me to shape my case study on gentrification.”

Saadia Chowdhury

Visiting Fellow, Summer/Fall 2008

Saadia has worked in affordable housing in the UK for nine years and has a Masters in Public Policy and Management from Birkbeck College at the University of London. At CHPC, Saadia carried out research on housing space standards and the history of SROs,which has been used in One Size Fits Some publications and presentations. She is currently Policy Manager for Ascham Homes, which works with public housing authorities in East London and Essex.

“I had an amazing experience and learnt so much just from being in the office and meeting some of the people who have helped to shape New York. It also gave me a great perspective on affordable housing in the UK; especially public housing where I am mostly involved.”

Carol Clark

Senior Practitioner Fellow, Winter/Spring 2009

Carol was the principal researcher for a study to identify and advance planning tools to help protect the integrity of New York’s older residential neighborhoods while facilitating appropriate development. To launch the project, Carol took leave from her position at New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development where she has served as Assistant Commissioner since 2002. During a professional career that spans over three decades in New York City, she has held leadership roles in both the non-profit and governmental sectors. Her expertise is in planning, land use, and preservation issues. Carol is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation where she is affiliated with the Historic Preservation and Urban Planning programs. She has also taught at New York University and Pratt Institute.

“The Senior Practitioner Fellowship presents an excellent opportunity to carry out an independent study with the support of a venerable organization that has, through its impartial research and nonpartisan advocacy, influenced public policy in New York City for over 70 years.”

Andrea Perkins

Graduate Fellow, Winter/Spring 2008

Andrea was born and raised in Detroit where she developed an interest in urban issues and politics. As a Ginsberg Fellow she worked on a variety of projects to support CHPC full-time staff, including looking at the role of Public Housing and issues surrounding green housing construction and retrofitting. After graduating from Wagner School of Public Service at NYU with a Masters of Urban Planning in the summer of 2009, Andrea became a Business Development Consultant at NMC Consulting.

Silvett Garcia-Tsuang

Graduate Fellow, Fall/Winter 2007

Silvett has Masters degrees in Urban Planning and Public Health from Columbia University. She has worked as a planner at Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMPJ), a community-based organization in the South Bronx, where she managed the South Bronx Waterfront Brownfield Opportunity Area program in addition to other community planning projects. Silvett’s interests are in community development, social and environmental justice, and planning for healthy communities.

At CHPC, Silvett researched new potential models for the production of public housing and helped coordinate a roundtable of affordable housing experts across the country.

Since graduating and completing her Fellowship at CHPC, Silvett has worked as the Parks Advocacy Coordinator and Housing and Community Development Coordinator at the New York Immigration Coalition. In this exciting endeavor, she advocated for the housing needs of immigrant New Yorkers and coordinated the organization’s efforts to fuel immigrant-led community development and overall park improvements. She is currently consulting for a community-based organization in Elmhurst, Queens.

“My experience during my fellowship at CHPC was incredible. The guidance and mentorship I received were invaluable. The knowledge and relationships I built have helped me advance my professional career. The staff is like family to me! “

Denali Dasgupta

Graduate Fellow, Spring/Summer 2007

Denali K. Dasgupta was CHPC’s very first Ginsberg Fellow in Spring/Summer 2007 and later continued at CHPC as a Research Analyst. She holds a B.A. in Linguistics from Yale University and a Master of Urban Planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.

While at CHPC, Denali contributed to projects on New York City demographics, housing formation, public housing, gentrification, and over-mortgaged multi-family housing. She later adapted her research on household composition and neighborhood change into a paper entitled “Brooklyn’s Roommate Belt.”

Since working with CHPC, Denali has pursued her interests in research-based urban policy at the Office of the New York City Comptroller and the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. Currently, she is an Associate Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, where she reaches and evaluates programs and policies related to youth development, teen pregnancy prevention, and children and family services.

“The Ginsberg program provides a rare chance for students to develop their own research projects. CHPC’s archives, data sets, and broad range of research interests are such that fellows are limited only by the scope of their ideas and interests. The work I did at CHPC made me a better student, a more thoughtful researcher, and a more attractive job candidate.”