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Staff

Staff


Leadership | Design and Product | Enterprise Data Solutions | Finance & Administration | Poverty Research | Programs & Evaluation | Strategy & Operations | Technology


Leadership

Carson C. Hicks, Ph.D. | Deputy Executive Director

Carson C. Hicks is the Deputy Executive Director of NYC Opportunity. In this role she oversees the day-to-day work of NYC Opportunity and its staff. She also serves as an in-house consultant on evaluation design and methodology. Dr. Hicks has held various senior leadership positions since joining NYC Opportunity in 2007. From 2011-2014 she was the Director of Programs and Evaluation. Prior to joining NYC Opportunity, Carson was a Teaching Fellow at Columbia University and Managing Editor of the Journal of Sociological Methodology. She completed her undergraduate degree at New York University and received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University.

David S. Berman | Director, Programs and Evaluation

David S. Berman is the Director of Programs and Evaluation for NYC Opportunity. In this role, Mr. Berman helps to launch new NYC Opportunity initiatives, and oversees the NYC Opportunity team that works with City agencies on program development, implementation, performance monitoring and evaluation for all of NYC Opportunity's initiatives. David's past work at NYC Opportunity has included helping to create new performance management strategies, and overseeing innovative workforce development initiatives, as well as programs serving and disconnected youth and NYC Opportunity's public health programs. Previously, David worked with the AIDS Service Center of NYC (now the Alliance for Positive Change). He holds master's degrees from Columbia University in both Public Administration and Public Health, and graduated from Oberlin College.

Adam Cohen | Special Policy Advisor

Adam Cohen is Special Policy Advisor for NYC Opportunity. In this role, he works in a variety of areas, ranging from offering advice on policy issues and legal matters to helping to plan communications strategy. He has played a significant role in helping to draft a mayoral executive order on equity and in developing a privacy policy for the City's public housing broadband service. Prior to joining NYC Opportunity, Mr. Cohen was the chief speechwriter for the Mayor. Before coming to the City, he served as a senior policy advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

Christine D'Onofrio, Ph.D. | Director, Poverty Research

Christine D'Onofrio oversees NYC Opportunity's innovative methodology for measuring poverty in the City, along with NYC Opportunity's work in tracking other indicators of economic well-being. Dr. D'Onofrio's work includes overseeing the use of the NYC Opportunity's poverty measure as a tool in developing new policies in the areas of opportunity and inequality while recognizing the structural roots of poverty. She is a labor economist who has previously worked as a research and budget analyst and developed models to estimate the effects of taxation and tax credits on the poverty rate.

Elizabeth Kadernauth | Director, Administration and Finance

Elizabeth Kadernauth is the Director of Administration and Finance at NYC Opportunity. In her role, she works as a liaison with city and non-city entities to support and implement citywide policy expansion, and is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the budget, financing and operations of NYC Opportunity's digital product portfolio. Prior to NYC Opportunity, Ms. Kadernauth worked as a Medical Economics Analyst at the NYS Catholic Health Plan with a focus on transitioning long-term care services under a managed care system, and at the Mayor's Office of Management as a Budget Analyst for NYC's $6B Medicaid budget. She holds a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Management from Boston University, and a B.A in Economics and Biological Sciences.

Mari Nakano | Director, Design

Mari Nakano leads the Service Design Studio Team, which is focused on building up the capacity of our government colleagues to understand and apply service design methodologies to improve services, programs, and processes through evidence-based, user-centered and creative approaches. She oversees deep partnerships with City agencies tackling poverty and inequity and focuses heavily on building strategies to help scale design thinking across the City. Prior to NYC Opportunity, Mari served as the Design & People Interaction Lead for UNICEF’s Office of Innovation. She has extensive experience shaping how design functions and adds value in multi-disciplinary government and non-governmental spaces. Mari holds an M.F.A. in Media Design Practices from ArtCenter College of Design, and a B.A. in Asian American Studies and a minor in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Darnell Sessoms | Product Director

Darnell Sessoms leads the Product Team and oversees the strategy, ongoing delivery, and success of our digital products and services. The team’s portfolio connects millions of New Yorkers to benefits and services each year and supports City and community partners to better serve their constituents. Starting as a Product Manager on the team, he’s launched several products in our portfolio and led projects to help case workers digitize their workflow and improve the experience of LGBTQ youth and youth who experience homelessness. Darnell is a native New Yorker, with extensive lived experience navigating the social safety net. He has a BA in Anthropology from Skidmore College and MA in Communication and Technology Management from NYU.

Sara Shoener | Director, EquityNYC

Sara Shoener oversees EquityNYC, which supports City agencies in building their capacity to increase racial and social equity in New York City. This work includes the EquityNYC report, which is a digital hub for City data and strategies, and the Community of Equity Practice, which is a space for equity champions in City government to share best practices, develop resources, and promote healing in their work. Previously, Sara contributed to the development of NYC interagency initiatives such as the Unity Project, the Commission on Gender Equity, and programs to reduce the collateral consequences of incarceration on family members. Sara received her Doctorate in Public Health from Columbia University, where she studied gender-based violence survivors’ experiences with local government systems.

Tayyab Walker | Director, Enterprise Data Solutions

Tayyab Walker is the Director of Enterprise Data Solutions at NYC Opportunity. In his role, he oversees a strategic technology and policy framework that supports multi--agency data sharing and interoperability including an enterprise master data management (MDM) platform, a cloud-based data lake for collaborative research and Worker Connect - a federated data technology that integrates data across several NYC social service agencies. Prior to this, he managed several complex technology projects across the city's health and human services domain including the implementation of a multi-TB Oracle data warehouse at the NYC Human Resources Administration. Tayyab holds an Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

Design

Abigail Fisher | Design Lead
Lyndsey Marie Richardson | Deputy Design Director
Karra Tuluenga | Program Manager
Deana Yu | Communications Designer

Equity

Shehab Chowdhury | Assistant Director
Oonagh Jordan | Advisor

Enterprise Data Solutions

Shakil Assi | Sr. Systems Analyst
Nelson Cocorpus | Director, Integration Services
Vanessa Edwards | Director, Data Governance and Policy
Sandy Lee | Senior Developer
Sujin Lee | Deputy Director, Analytics
Che Liao | Deputy Director, Integration Services
Alicia Mathews | Implementation Manager
Sukhjinder Nahal | Developer
Adam Santos | Sr. Data Scientist
Aarti Shah | QA Engineer

Poverty Research

Anne Hill, Ph. D | Sr. Research Associate
John Krampner | Research Associate
Jihyun Shin, Ph.D. | Deputy Director, Poverty Research

Product

Aaron Baker | Product Manager
Jack Ding | UX Content Strategist
Bermet Kydykova | Product Manager

Programs & Evaluation

Sola Amusan | Assistant Director, Program and Performance
Yael Gil'Adi | Sr. Advisor
Parker Krasney | Associate Director of Programs and Partnerships
Joshua Serrano | Sr. Advisor
Madeleine Taylor-McGrane | Advisor

Strategy & Operations

Brigit Beyea | Deputy Director, Strategy & Operations

Technology

Devon Hirth | Digital Product Designer
Pavel Ilin | Software Engineer
Alisher Yuldashev | Application System Administrator