Leadership Institute Class of 2015

Jennifer Berkeley Carr serves as a Director in the Department of Subways, Division of Capital Programs at MTA New York City Transit (Transit). She began her career in City government as an Analyst at the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Tax Policy before becoming a Senior Financial Analyst at the New York City Council. As Director, Jennifer is responsible for the overall coordination of the Telecommunications and Systems 5-year Capital program. She received a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and her master’s from New York University.

Andre Bethea is the Director for Program Operations and Policy at the Department of Correction (DOC). Prior to serving in this capacity, he was a Legal Coordinator providing law library and research services for the inmate population. Andre demonstrates the agency’s commitment to social justice by maintaining external relationships with community based organizations and research institutions. Writing policy, developing curriculum, identifying best practices, and managing programmatic initiatives for the adolescents and young adults are the extent of his profile. Andre’s career in public service began as a Communication Technician for the New York City Police Department. Before entering City government, he held positions in the Education and Corporate Law Firm sectors.

James Boyd Jr. serves as the Intergovernmental Affairs Associate within the Division of Communications and Community Affairs at the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). In this role, James serves as one of the agency’s lead contacts for elected officials, external stakeholders and the Mayor’s office. His responsibilities include tracking and following up on all constituent concerns from elected officials. In addition, he assists with the preparation of the Commissioner and other senior leaders’ participation in oversight and budgetary hearings. James began his career in public service as a Correction Officer at the Department of Correction. James’ keen ability to view a problem lends itself to advocating for strategic change that will benefit the vulnerable families that ACS serves. James graduated from CUNY John Jay College for Criminal Justice with a degree in Political Science.

Julia Breitman is the Senior Director of Youth Employment at the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), where she is responsible for policy and partnership development in support of the Agency’s youth employment programs. Julia took part in the redesign of the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and the development of the program educational component which this summer served over 47,000 young people. Prior to this role, Julia oversaw the launch and operations of the Ladders for Leaders program which has, since 2006, connected nearly 2000 young people to professional paid internships with some of the most prominent corporations in New York City. Julia joined DYCD in 2005, serving as the Special Assistant to the Commissioner where she prepared talking points, legislative testimony, and press releases and served as the liaison to elected officials, media and community partners. Julia graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Politics. 

Maureen Brooks is the Director of Administration at the Department of City Planning (DCP). Maureen oversees a wide range of fiscal; HR and personnel; operations and logistics; and facilities functions. She began city service as Director of Capital Planning at the Department of Environmental Protection and was promoted to progressively responsible managerial positions in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Maureen holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Opera from SUNY Purchase and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.


Shanna Castillo is an Assistant Director with the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability (REES). In this capacity, Shanna oversees the Intake and Outreach and Zone Coordination teams, both of which are core to executing NYCHA’s new outcome-driven resident economic opportunity platform – the Zone Model. During her two years at NYCHA, Shanna has created systems and protocols for designing, tracking and analyzing recruitment activities and outcomes targeted towards public housing residents and reorganized workflow to drastically decrease resident wait time and increase connection points. Prior to joining NYCHA, Shanna worked for 6 years as the Workforce Development Program Director of a leading New York City nonprofit. Shanna obtained her master’s degree in Public Administration from Bernard Baruch College.

Michael Chadirjian is the Deputy Borough Chief for Pre-Trial at the Law Department’s Manhattan Borough Unit. As Deputy Chief, Michael develops protocols and workflow systems to ensure that ligation follows a uniform and quality approach. Charged with oversight of pre-trial operations, Michael provides advice and direction to unit staff; reviews and edits legal documents; identifies, recommends, and refers matters for conflict resolution; interfaces with senior court personnel and client agency liaisons; and interfaces with City, State and Federal agencies to resolve personnel, staffing and discovery related issues. Michael holds a B.A. from New York University and a JD from St John's University School of Law.

Frank J. Chiara is the Chief Detective Investigator of the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. He started his career with the District Attorney’s Office as an investigator and has elevated himself through the ranks to his current position of Chief. He now supervises the Detective Investigator squad of 40 sworn personnel (police officers) and 12 security staff. He oversees the investigative case assignments, along with the internal and external security for the office. Frank also monitors the progress of long term proactive investigations as well as case enhancements to assist the attorneys with the prosecution of pending cases. He continually networks with various law enforcement agencies, social service agencies and other city agencies to meet the needs of all. Frank holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Lauren D’Attile has worked at the Department of Environmental Protection since 2004. In that time she’s been involved on projects including the Rondout-West Branch Tunnel leak, the Wards Island Plant Stabilization and a variety of other assignments. For the past 5 years Lauren has been dedicated to the Croton Water Filtration Plant, and will soon start work on the new Kenisco - Eastview Connection Tunnel, and investigations of the southern Catskill Aqueduct. Lauren graduated from Polytechnic University with a degree in mechanical engineering and an aerospace concentration. Lauren also holds a master’s in organizational behavior with a concentration in Management of change, and is a licensed engineer in New York.

JoAnne McLean Eronini serves as Deputy Director for Administration with the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In this role, JoAnne is responsible for oversight and direction for the daily operations of the non-clinical aspects of the program including; identifying and recommending opportunities for administrative improvements and change in legislation and office policy, providing direct supervision to four direct reports, managing several contracts, insuring that the AOT offsite psychiatric exam sites are staffed appropriately and well maintained, and insuring that staff and consumer records are transported to and from the exam and court sites. JoAnne received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Norfolk State University and a Master of Arts degree from New York University.

Aaron Feinstein serves as Deputy Director of Labor Relations for the Department of Environmental Protection. In that capacity, he advises Agency management regarding the Agency’s obligations under the New York City Collective Bargaining Law and collective bargaining agreements; hears and decides grievances at Step II of the contractual grievance process; facilitates release time for union business under Executive Order 75; assists the Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations in representing the Agency in grievance arbitrations and improper labor practice cases; trains Agency personnel in labor relations issues; and works with Human Resources, the Equal Employment Opportunity Office and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety to address issues of concern to labor and to individual employees. Aaron holds a BA in History from McGill University, an MSC in History of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and B.C.L. and LL.B degrees from the McGill University Faculty of Law.

Lakisha Grant is the Operations Manager for the Office of Payroll Administration. In this capacity, Lakisha serves as the Deputy Citywide Security Officer for the City’s payroll systems. She also manages the CPSM-NYCAPS team (Citywide Payroll Systems Maintenance-New York City Automated Personnel System) that assists agency payroll and human resources users. She has been called on to assist OPA’s Citywide Systems and Support Division as more payroll systems functionality is transitioned from PMS to NYCAPS. Lakisha previously worked for the Department of Citywide Administration (DCAS) as the Human Resources Lead at NYCAPS Central. In addition to her SPHR Certification, Lakisha holds a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. Prior to joining the City in 2007, Lakisha worked as a HR Consultant in the financial services industry. She has a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from the New School. .

Jocelyn Groden is is Director of Mental Hygiene Contracts at the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. In this role, Jocelyn has oversight of the coordination and finalization of all contract actions for the division and manages a team of budget analysts and other professional staff who work with community based providers and the division’s program bureaus to facilitate the registration of new contracts, contract and budget modifications, renewals and amendments for a portfolio of 1,000 mental health programs valued at over $280 million/annually. Jocelyn also manages the Division’s system of record for all contract and finance actions throughout the Division. She has worked to implement performance based contracting models and develop budget policies and procedures to support contract and budget oversight processes. She has worked with the City for 13 years serving in various leadership roles in the area of program development, project management, policy, planning, and budget. Jocelyn is a graduate of Columbia University with a Master of Science degree in Social Work with a concentration in Policy Analysis.

Kyle Ishmael is the Director of Employment Services for the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) at the Human Resources Administration (HRA). In this capacity, Kyle is charged with connecting noncustodial parents to employment so that they are able to meet their child support obligations. He is tasked with managing the staff and programs through which OCSE achieves its employment outcomes—ensuring their functional success, reporting outcomes, and implementing policies that strengthen and improve the department. Prior to joining HRA, Kyle worked as an associate for a family law non-profit that served thousands of New York City families each year. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Business from St. John's University, his Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and is a licensed member of the New York Bar.

Rebecca Kirchheimer is the Director of Business Process Innovation Projects for the Human Resources Administration (HRA). As Director, Rebecca is responsible for carrying out Benefits Re-engineering, a modernization initiative bringing 21st century technology to expand access to benefits for the 2 million New Yorkers receiving Food Stamps and Cash Assistance. Benefits Re-Engineering aims to expand HRA’s front door so that city residents can go online, use a mobile phone, find a community partner or a self service area at an HRA center to apply for benefits and maintain eligibility. Parallel to that, Rebecca is leading change initiatives impacting 3,000 workers. Improvements will include an on-demand call-in center for eligibility interviews, a redesigned case management system, and a citywide work assignment system. Rebecca is a graduate of Wesleyan University and New York University – Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service where she received a master’s degree in Public Administration.

Brian Krist is an Assistant Deputy Executive Director of Investigations at the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), where he oversees investigators and supervisors reviewing police misconduct allegations. He started City service as a summer intern with the Kings County District Attorney's Office and later at the Department of Investigation (DOI), where he began as an unpaid intern and worked his way up the ranks to Assistant General Counsel. At DOI, he worked on a number of large cases, and was cross-designated by the New York State Attorney General's Office to work on a multi-agency criminal investigation. He also served as a disciplinary prosecutor in the Employment Law Unit of the Administration for Children's Services prior to joining CCRB. Brian attended Washington College, where he double-majored in History and American Studies as an undergraduate and also earned a master’s degree in History, prior to obtaining his law degree from New York Law School.

Debora Mack has worked at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)for over 24 years. She currently serves as the Deputy Administrator for the Center for Health Equity. In this capacity, Debora oversees all of the financial, grant and contracting matters for three District Public Health offices, two programs with multiple grants, and the office of the Associate Commissioner. Prior to this, Debora was the Director of Administrative Services for the Division of Disease Control where she had direct administrative oversight of the personnel, budget and administrative areas for six Bureaus and their related grants and services. Debora holds many awards and commendations from DOHMH including Distinguished Services Awards for Managerial Leadership and 2 “A Team” Awards. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brooklyn College.

Ismael (Tony) Maldonado joined the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) over 6 years ago and is currently serving as the Executive Director for DCAS Logistics under the Office of Citywide Procurement. As Executive Director, he is responsible for the day to day operations of the Central Storehouse which is the logistical/supply arm of the city of New York. The Logistics team has implemented Lean Six Sigma techniques that have led to millions in savings, 60% reduction in requisition cycle time and an overall a leaner and more efficient operation. DCAS Logistics also plays a crucial role in Emergency Management and is a major partner of the Office of Emergency Management during all citywide emergencies. Tony is responsible for close to 50 employees 7 of which are direct reports consisting of logistics supervisors of various levels.

Beau Mitts  serves as the Deputy Director of Business Systems in the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). In this role, Beau is responsible for serving as the single point of contact with the Bureau’s master contractor, overseeing a contract portfolio consisting of over 300 contracts with more than 130 unique agencies. Additionally, he oversees the continued development and maintenance of the data reporting system used by all Bureau contractors. Beau also serves as a co-chair of the DOHMH LGBTQ Public Health Interest Group which strives to support DOHMH in addressing health disparities and health issues specific to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) populations in NYC. He received his undergraduate degree in Marketing from the University of Oklahoma and his graduate degree in Public Health from Tulane University.

Brian Newson began working for the City of New York in 1985. He currently works for the Office of Payroll Administration (OPA) as the Director of Support Services in the Administrative Services Bureau. As Director, Brian is responsible for directing and managing the agency’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP), as well as facilities operations, records management, the OPA intranet and website, and the Time and Leave Library. Brian received a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Queens College, City University of New York.

Brian Parise is a Computer Systems Manager at the Office of Payroll Administration (OPA). In his role, he leads new software implementations, manages business analysis, and engages directly with user agencies on a variety of projects and initiatives. Prior to city service, he worked for 6 years as a consultant on projects with the federal government, primarily the Department of Defense (DoD). Brian is experienced in project management, requirements gathering & analysis, process improvement, and software implementation.

Misty Teitel is the Director of Volunteer Services at Health and Hospital Corporation’s Coney Island Hospital. She has over 8 years of experience in service engagement and community volunteerism, and her efforts were recently highlighted in NYC Media’s "That's So New York." She also has experience caring for mature adults through various aging stages, including Alzheimer’s, having served as a Resident Services Director. In addition to her current role, Misty is actively engaged with the Greater New York Association of Directors of Volunteers, serving on both the local and state boards and as the recent past President. She is also a member of other community and fraternity organizations that raise money for various health related charities. Misty received her bachelor's degree in Health Administration from Auburn University in Alabama and earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from Pace University. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Health Information Technology from University of Colorado at Denver. 


Binu Thomas started her career in the private industry as a Human Resource Manager. In 2008, she joined the public sector as a Manager at the MTA Staten Island Railway and currently serves as Director of Operational Support. In this role, Binu oversees finance, payroll, human resources, training, employee policy compliance and procurement for the Railway. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Human Resource Management, with a concentration in Labor Relation from New York Institute of Technology.

Chris Tirado serves as a Supervising Program Evaluator for the Division of Policy, Planning, and Measurement’s Agency Program Assistance (APA) Unit with the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). In this position, Chris assists in the development and implementation of performance monitoring and program evaluation efforts for preventive child welfare service providers. As a member of APA’s leadership team, Chris is instrumental in developing and implementing uniform performance monitoring and evaluation frameworks that collect accurate data. He also provides guidance and technical support to other ACS Units and the preventive provider community on system-wide data trends and promising practices in child welfare. Chris earned his master’s degrees in Public Administration and International Relations from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. His areas of focus include: program evaluation and social welfare policy.

Yvette Towe is a General Superintendent at MTA New York City Transit working within the Division of Operations Planning assigned to Traffic Checking Operations. She is responsible for the Employee Compliance Unit which is responsible for all Labor Relations activities and functions that service a unionized workforce for approximately 300 hourly employees. She is also responsible for the Field Operations Unit which is responsible for manual collection of all ridership data for both NYCT bus and rail and the MTA Bus Company that is used to determine and set and adjust service levels via bus and train schedules. Yvette graduated from Baruch College, CUNY with a B.A. in Journalism and received her JD from Touro Law School.

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