Commission Members

Ellyn Toscano

Ellyn Toscano, Senior Director for Programming, Partnerships and Community Engagement, NYU in Brooklyn: Ellyn Toscano is the Senior Director for Programming, Partnerships and Community Engagement, New York University in Brooklyn.  In this position, she is charged with fostering programming partnerships at the intersection of technology, new media and the arts, establishing new programming and strategic partnerships with Brooklyn’s civic, cultural, business and educational communities. Working with NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she is coordinating the expansion of Emerging Media Arts in Brooklyn and establishing Tisch as a laboratory for interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts, science, technology and business.

Before assuming these duties, Toscano was Executive Director of New York University Florence, Director of Villa La Pietra, a 15th century villa and historic garden that houses a collection of six thousand objects dating from the Etruscans to the 20th century, the founder of  La Pietra Dialogues, a year-long series of conferences and talks and the founder and producer of The Season, a summer festival that  assembles artists, writers, musicians and public intellectuals to produce new works or reinterpretations of classics  in the Villa’s expansive Renaissance revival gardens. Before arriving at New York University Florence, Ms. Toscano served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to Congressman Jose Serrano of New York for two decades, was his chief policy advisor on legislative, political and media concerns and directed his work on the Appropriations Committee. Ms. Toscano also served as Counsel to the New York State Assembly Committee on Education for nine years.

Toscano organized numerous international conferences and meetings on women and gender equity including: Vital Voices:  The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World (November 2018, Florence Italy); Trafficking in Women from Nigeria to Italy:  A Crisis of Modern Slavery (May, 2018); Violence Against Women:  Institutional Responses and Coordination (May 2018); Trans Identity and Fundamental Rights in Europe (November 2017). She produced, with Vital Voices, a performance of Seven, A Documentary Play in November 2017 as part of the City of Florence’s Festival of Rights and an exhibition of contemporary art entitled Picturing Women responding to the images of women in historical art.  She cofounded the La Pietra Coalition of Vital Voices, gathering fifty leaders from the private and public sectors and NGOs at New York University Florence to talk about the economic empowerment of women. 

A lawyer by training, Ms. Toscano earned an LLM in International Law from New York University School of Law.