New York City Youth Board / Youth Committee

Youth Board Executive Committee

Jackie Chang, Chairperson

Appointed by the Mayor as Chairperson of the New York City Youth Board on November 15, 2023, Jackie Chang has over 25 years of experience working in our city’s nonprofit, including El Puente, Groundswell Community Mural Project, BRIC Art|Media and Recess, supporting youth and families through creative programming and community building. She is currently a Professor of Social Science & Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and is a professional artist who has completed numerous commissioned public art projects around the nation.

In 2003, she was honored with the Brooklyn Arts Exchange BAXTen Award for “instigating change” in the field of Arts Education, and has applied her arts and education expertise on review and advisory panels for the New York Foundation for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Center for Arts Education, and New York State Council on the Arts. She has served on the board of Partnerships for Arts Education, a statewide arts education organization supporting partnerships between schools, artists and cultural institutions. Jackie Chang is a graduate of University of California, Davis (B.S. Environmental Design, 1986) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA, 1989).

Elizabeth R. Cribbs,Vice Chair 

Elizabeth R. Cribbs, is a Managing Director and President of the Neuberger Berman Foundation. She also serves as Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, leading all aspects of the firm’s award-winning global corporate and foundation based philanthropic efforts, with a focus on education, youth employment and employee engagement. Elizabeth previously worked at Lehman Brothers as a Senior Vice President of Corporate Philanthropy with a focus on the arts and strategic community partnerships. She spent ten years at HSBC North America, where she served in various leadership roles including: vice president of strategic planning and internal consulting; as well as director of community and philanthropic services, where she launched HSBC’s volunteer-based Corporate Social Responsibility program. She serves on the Executive Committee of Enterprise Community Partners New York Advisory Board. Elizabeth has a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Master degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.

Elizabeth has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Master in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Jordana Leigh, Secretary of Engagement 

Jordana Leigh is the Director of the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. The Atrium was launched in 2009 and is home to Lincoln Center’s free events including world-class performances, illuminating conversations, dance parties, and exclusive film screenings. Jordana is responsible for programming the Atrium performances series including the signature series Atrium 360°, ¡VAYA! 63, and the humanities series featuring dynamic talks and film screenings. Previously, she was a consultant for artists and festivals in the U.S., Europe, and Africa and served as the Associate Producer for MAPP International Productions from 2001–2008. During her tenure at MAPP she co-created the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium. Jordana received her BA from the New School for Social Research and her MFA from Brooklyn College.

Peter McCreeMember Representative

A senior operations and technology executive, Peter McCree has a strong track record building and managing successful businesses within workforce management and technology consulting. Peter’s 30+ year career in the IT industry has spanned operations, finance, sales, and marketing disciplines. Throughout his career, he has delivered rapid growth and profitability through expertise in mergers and acquisitions, financial and organizational turnarounds, national sales team management, C-level contract negotiations, and business development strategies. In addition to commercializing the VMS technology, he has brought several other software products through the development and marketing lifecycle.

Ebube NwaemeYouth Engagement Officer

Ebube Nwaeme, is a New York University student that is an experienced Youth Advocate with a demonstrated history of working with multiple youth organizations and councils. He is skilled in youth development, youth work, facilitation, volunteering, and leadership development. Strong community and social services professional with an associate’s degree. One thing that Nwaeme values highly is working with and helping younger people. He currently tutors students between the ages of 3 to 12 years in English and Math for Kumon Institute of Education. He is a volunteer youth leader with My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper Youth Council, where he refers youth to various resources available to them in New York City. Nwaeme is also a member of We the Youth, You the People, where he hosts and moderates town hall discussions on topics relevant to New York City youth. These two programs are part of the Department of Youth and Community Development; the town halls covered issues such as mental health, gender justice, gun control, policing and Media Studies from Borough of Manhattan Community College.


Youth Board Members

Saaif Alam

Saaif Alam is a longtime resident in Jamaica Hills Queens. He is passionate about disability advocacy especially for the youths with disabilities. He earned his Bachelors of Arts in Law and Society and Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice Management with minors in Psychology and Political Science in 2020 followed by a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 2022 from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is planning to purse a JD in CUNY School of Law in order to pursue a career in public service enhancing the quality of life for under-represented communities including people with disabilities. After graduating from John Jay College, he interned with State Senator Leory Comrie followed by Congresswoman Grace Meng where he assisted constituents regarding housing, immigration and navigating social services and was appointed by Queens Borough President Donavan Richards to the Queens General Assembly in Spring of 2023. He serves in the Queens Civic Engagement Committee promoting voter awareness for the residents in Queens.

Christopher Bastardi 

Chris Bastardi is co-founder of BARO Strategies. For the past two decades, he has led public affairs efforts spanning infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare, gaming, development, and more. Chris has also managed campaigns for both Republican and Democratic candidates at the federal, state, and local level. His experience includes seeing clients through crises such as active shooter situations, corporate malfeasance cases, product recalls, and criminal and civil court proceedings. Prior to establishing BARO Strategies, Chris headed the Public Affairs & Crisis practice at Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis. There, he oversaw both proactive and reactive crisis efforts for corporations, organizations, and individuals, including politicians, celebrities, executives, and activists. While at Edelman, Chris founded and led the real estate team at the firm’s New York office. Earlier in his career, he served as Director of Public Affairs and Communications for State Senator and Health Committee Chair Kemp Hannon (R). Chris earned his BA from Fordham University and MA from New York University.

Charles “Chuck” Clayman

Charles E. Clayman is one of Clayman Rosenberg Kirshner & Linder LLP’s founding partners and presently serves as the firm’s chairman. For more than four decades he has represented individuals in federal and state investigations and prosecutions throughout the United States and the world. These matters have included official corruption, RICO, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, tax evasion, securities fraud, money laundering, health care fraud, identity theft, cyber currency crimes, and internal corporate investigations. Chuck began his practice as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office under legendary District Attorney Frank Hogan. He later served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and as General Counsel to the Department of Investigation. In 2008, Chuck was honored by the Frank S. Hogan Association, and in the same year was selected as a “Super Lawyer” in the New York City Metro area.

Nailah Flake-Brown

Nailah Flake-Brown is a Managing Director in Brookfield’s Real Estate Group responsible for the origination, underwriting and asset management of Brookfield’s real estate finance funds. Ms. Flake-Brown joined Brookfield in 2017 and has over 18 years of real estate finance and capital markets experience. Prior to Brookfield, she was a Managing Director and Head of Originations for the Commercial Real Estate Lending Group at Morgan Stanley. Ms. Flake-Brown holds a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College.
Lucy Friedman - Former fellow, Pinkerton Foundation. Former Executive Director, Expand ED Schools.

Lucy Friedman

Lucy Friedman has always been up for a new challenge. In the 1980s she helped shape the city’s policy on drug abuse prevention which led to the creation of innovative schools (the “Beacons”) that opened their doors to the community in non-school hours. She founded and led Victim Services—now Safe Horizon–the nation’s largest assistance program for victims of crime and abuse. And in 1998, she launched The After-School Corporation (later rechristened ExpandEd Schools) to create and support new models for highquality after-school programs in the city. She then became a Visiting Fellow at The Pinkerton Foundation and focused on how work-based learning could be integrated into high schools which meshed with the Foundation’s commitment to supporting high-quality internship and job-training experiences for disadvantaged youth

George Hulse 

George Hulse George Hulse is the Vice President of External Affairs at Healthfirst, Inc. He oversees all local government and public affairs with responsibilities including developing, implementing and managing policy initiatives, community events, corporate partnerships and outreach. Mr. Hulse is an animate voice in assuring that underserved communities have access to statesponsored health insurance and is a frequent guest on local radio and TV programs. Mr. Hulse has also been the driving force in many company-wide event sponsorships, stemming relationships with organizations such as Asian Americans for Equality, Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad and Somos El Futuro. Before joining Healthfirst, Mr. Hulse was a real estate broker and commercial developer. Listed in Who’s Who in American Politics and Who’s Who in Community Leaders of America on various occasions, Mr. Hulse is a graduate of City College. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Services Executives and the Association of Hispanic HealthCare Executives.

Ana Isabel Garcia Reyes

Dean Ana Isabel Garcia Reyes is the Dean of Community Relations at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY). She is responsible for planning, developing and directing different phases of the college’s community relations operation. As the community relations liaison and spokesperson, García Reyes maintains professional ties with policy makers, professional organizations, and numerous national as well as local networks. She is also a member of the President’s Cabinet, Extended Cabinet, and the College’s Strategic Planning, among other University Committees. She has received numerous national and international awards for her civic engagement, and service to the community. She has been involved in public service for close to 4 decades and has over 37 years of experience in student and community affairs. Dean García Reyes received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the City College of the City University of New York in 1979, and a Master of Science degree in Bilingual Education in 1989.

Imam Dr. Tahir Kukiqi

Tahir Kukiqi is an Imam/Clergy Leader for Albanian and Muslim Community in Staten Island and New York City at large. The role of the Imam is very much close to the role of a Rabbi or a Priest in Jewish and Christian tradition. As an Imam he works hard to guide his community religiously/spiritually to be productive in our city. He has been contributing during the past two decades to the building of bridges of cooperation and friendship between different communities in Staten Island and beyond. Honored by the Mayor’s office, the Staten Island Borough President’s Office, the NYPD, the Staten Island Immigrant Council, the Ilyrian Officers Society, Sen. Andrew Lanza and the NYPD Muslims, among others.

Erika Larsen

Erika Larsen works at Feeding America as a Senior Specialist on the Capacity Building Analytics team, where she helps food banks do more with their limited resources through data analysis and data storytelling. Erika graduated with her MPA from Princeton University in 2020. Prior to starting graduate school, she served as Wellness Manager at the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness, where she created, implemented, and evaluated strategies to promote chronic disease prevention. She was born and raised in Staten Island and is proud to call herself a native New Yorker.

Reggie Miller 

Reggie Miller joined Seeds of Peace in Spring 2017 as the Director of US Programs. Prior to coming to Seeds of Peace, Reggie directed a national AmeriCorps VISTA program at Hunger Free America for seven years and oversaw the Emergency Shelter Network, operated by the Partnership for the Homeless for five years before that. He holds a master’s degree in social work, with a concentration in organizational management from Columbia University, and teaches an introduction to social work course at Cabrini University.

Jeannette Rodriguez 

Jeannette Rodriguez is Nike’s North America Director for Government & Public Affairs. Jeannette is responsible for leading Nike’s engagement and partnerships with local government, focusing on key markets in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto. Before her current role, Jeannette was the North America Program & Partnerships Director on the Global Community Impact team leading the partnership and investment strategy that helped elevate youth sports and physical activity across the United States. Jeannette joined Nike in 2005 and has held various positions within Corporate Responsibility, Sustainable Business & Innovation, and Access to Sport. Prior to joining Nike, Jeannette held roles within education and sports companies including Madison Square Garden and the New York Knicks. A native of Brooklyn, Jeannette holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities and a Master of Arts degree in Urban Studies from Long Island University. She resides in Park Slope, with her husband and daughter where she owns a local business committed to giving back.

Krissy Suldano

JKrissy serves as Vice President of the Carson Family Charitable Trust, a private New York City foundation. From 2005-2021 she worked for the Robin Hood Foundation, the largest private funder of poverty fighting organizations in NYC. She held many roles at Robin Hood, including Chief Development Officer from 2015 to 2021. Prior to Robin Hood, she worked for the US Department of State under Madeline Albright and the United States Senate for John Kerry. She holds a B.A. from American University and a M.P.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She resides in lower Manhattan with her husband and daughter.

Nancy Wackstein

Nancy Wackstein previously served as the Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. From 2002 to 2015, she was Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses of New York (UNH), a federation of the City’s 38 settlement houses and community centers. Prior to her UNH appointment, she was the Executive Director of Lenox Hill Neighborhood House for eleven years. Ms. Wackstein served as Director of the Mayor’s Office on Homelessness and SRO Housing from 1990-1991 under Mayor David N. Dinkins. In 2009, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Columbia University School of Social Work Hall Alumni Association and in 2011 was named by the National Association of Social Workers - NYC as a Top Leader in the profession. Ms. Wackstein received a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University, State University of New York, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work.