Karen A. Phillips, Commissioner
Karen A. Phillips was appointed to the New York City Planning Commission by the Public Advocate in July 2002. Ms. Phillips also provides professional consulting services in community development, urban planning and real estate development to private planning and development firms, community development corporations and public agencies. She is often a panelist or speaker on urban issues and shares her experience and expertise with educational institutions and community development professionals.
Ms. Phillips was one of the founders and, later, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC), a community-based, not-for-profit organizations established by the Abyssinian Baptist Church. ADC invested approximately $200 million in the Harlem community under her leadership, creating over 1,000 units of housing, fostering several large commercial real estate projects, providing educational and social services to the community and building the capacity of residence in civic engagement.
Ms. Phillips received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree at the School of Environmental Design of University of Georgia and graduated with a Master’s of Landscape Architecture Degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, with a concentration in real estate development and urban planning. She was Community Development Fellow at the Milano School of the New School University, and completed the Columbia University Executive Nonprofit Management Program. She was appointed by the Governor to the Board of the State of New York Mortgage Agency and New York State Housing Financing Agency, serves as a Trustee of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Studio Museum in Harlem [Mayor’s representative].
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