Ethel Sheffer serves on the Public Design Commission as the Mayor's Representative. She is an urban planner, civic and community leader, and educator. Ethel heads Insight Associates, a small consulting group providing research services and advice in community planning and development; land use; and collaborations among government, nonprofits, and the private sector. In the 1990s, she headed the Columbus Circle Tri-Board Task Force of Community Boards 4, 5, and 7 and the Riverside South Task Force. Ethel also served as President of the New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association from 2002 to 2008. She is a Board Member of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council and a member of the Municipal Art Society's Planning Committee, and she teaches in Columbia University’s Graduate Planning Program.