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Staff

Staff

Daniele Baierlein, Co-Executive Director

Daniele Baierlein, Senior Advisor & Director of Development

Daniele Baierlein is the Co-Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund. She previously served as Senior Advisor and Director of Development. With 20 years of fundraising, policy, and partnership building experience in New York, Washington, DC and throughout the country, Daniele has oversight of Development, Programs and Policy at the Mayor’s Fund. She leads the effort to foster public-private partnerships between City agencies, the private sector and the philanthropic community. Her prior experience includes positions with Madison Square Garden Company, the Podesta Group, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen. She serves on the board of the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation NY Chapter, which develops a global community of youth volunteers who are dedicated to leadership and service, and is the Leadership Seminar Chair of the New York Metro Chapter. Daniele is a member of the Jenkins Hill Society, a women's donor network built to close the donor gap. She has a bachelor's in environmental conservation and political science from the University of New Hampshire. While working full time, Daniele earned a Juris Doctor at the Catholic University of America School of Law. In 2017 she was named to City & State’s New York City 40 Under 40.


Jorge Luis Paniagua Valle, Co-Executive Director

Jorge Luis Paniagua Valle, Deputy Executive Director

Jorge Luis Paniagua Valle joined the Mayor's Fund in 2017 as Chief of Staff and now serves as co-Executive Director with oversight of Finance & Operations and Communications. Jorge Luis has more than ten years of experience working in nonprofit organizations, institutes of higher education, and local government. Before joining the Mayor's Fund, Jorge Luis served as the Assistant Director of Talent Development for the NYC Mayor's Office of Appointments, where he helped implement programs in support of career development for public servants. Before that, Jorge Luis served as the Programs Director for the Public Interest Law Center at NYU School of Law, where he helped managed the Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship Program and other programming for law students pursuing careers in the public interest. While working at NYU School of Law, he received the Podell Distinguished Administrator Award in recognition of inspirational and innovative service, and outstanding contributions to the Law School community. Jorge Luis has also worked as a conflict resolution associate at the Center For Conflict Resolution in Los Angeles, providing bilingual alternative dispute resolution services to low-income individuals largely from Spanish-speaking communities. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for Hispanic Family Services, which provides comprehensive family services in New York City. He has a BA from Loyola University Chicago and an MPA from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.


Irfan Ahmed, Senior Programs and Policy Manager

Irfan Ahmed, Programs and Policy Manager

Irfan serves as the Senior Programs and Policy Manager at the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. Irfan manages the New York City Soccer Initiative and oversees a diverse array of public-private partnerships. Prior to joining the Mayor's Fund in 2016 as the Programs and Policy Associate, Irfan served as the Financial Literacy Coordinator at the Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC), a nonprofit organization that provides culturally competent social services to recently arrived immigrants. Irfan joined AAFSC in 2014 as a Development Assistant, where he composed grant proposals for several direct service programs. He also successfully fundraised and designed the first-ever financial literacy initiative called, the Financial Revitalization through Economic Empowerment project, which provides personal economic planning courses and coaching services for immigrants and survivors of domestic violence. Previously, he worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations that specialize in areas of international education, interfaith relations, and global peace and security. Irfan is a graduate of Manhattan College and currently resides in Manhattan.


Aarthi Gunasekaran, Programs and Policy Manager

Aarthi Gunasekaran, Programs and Policy Manager

Aarthi Gunasekaran serves as the Programs and Policy Manager at the Mayor's Fund and oversees a diverse array of public-private partnerships, including ThriveNYC. Prior to joining the Mayor's Fund, Aarthi worked on the Field Team for the Beto O'Rourke for Senate campaign. She previously served as the Policy Advisor for the NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs, where she developed policy initiatives to showcase NYC's local efforts in building a more sustainable and equitable city on the global stage. In this capacity, Aarthi designed the Global Vision|Urban Action program, which produces analysis of how the UN's Sustainable Development Goals are implemented on the local level and shares best practices on how NYC will reach key environmental and social targets. She also steered a coalition of cities to influence the UN Global Compact for Migration – the first, intergovenmentally negotiated agreement seeking to address international migration and the rights and protections of migrants. Before joining city government, Aarthi worked at the Center for American Progress on the National Security and International Policy team focusing on the Asia-Pacific region. Aarthi is a graduate of Boston University. She grew up in India, Singapore, France and Texas, and currently lives in Manhattan.


Cesaryna Pena, Administrative and Programs Associate

Cesaryna Pena, Special Assistant

Cesaryna Pena is the Administrative and Programs Associate at the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. In her role, Cesaryna provides administrative and programmatic support across Mayor's Fund teams, which include serving as Deputy Agency Chief Contracting Officer. Prior to joining the Mayor's Fund, Cesaryna was an Administrative Assistant at a small middle-market investment banking firm while completing a full-time course load at Medgar Evers College. Cesaryna graduated with a Bachelor's in Public Administration in May 2015. She has also interned with the Fiscal Operations department at the Mayor's Office as well as with the public relations department at Bloomberg LP. Cesaryna was born in New York City and lives in upper Manhattan with her parents and three younger brothers.


Leah Prestamo, Legal Counsel & Director of Programs and Policy

Leah Prestamo, Legal Counsel & Director of Programs and Policy

Leah Prestamo serves as Legal Counsel & Director of Programs and Policy. In this role, Leah oversees the Programs and Policy team tasked with administering a diverse portfolio of programs and policy initiatives in partnership with City agencies. Prior to joining the Mayor's Fund, Leah worked as in-house legal counsel for the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), a national nonprofit. At NACA, Leah managed regulatory compliance, contracts, and litigation for the organization's loan brokerage and housing counseling programs. Leah has worked for a wide range of local, national, and international nonprofits, focusing primarily on food policy and access to legal and social services. She received a BA in philosophy from Adelphi University in 2008, a JD from Boston University in 2012, and a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Hong Kong in 2008-2009. Leah currently lives in upper Manhattan.