Governors Island Boards – members and backgrounds

Below are names and background information for people that make up the two boards for that run Governors Island – the The Trust for Governors Island and The Friends of Governors Island.

Jan 2024 – NOTE: This list is partially outdated and will be updated. 

You’ll see a Wall Street who’s who, many with real estate and development firms, one with ties to the Hudson Yards over-development. Others have current and past work with McKinsey and Company, the people who gave us the 2007 Enron scandal, the Purdue Opioid death epidemic, ICE scandals, and ties to authoritarian regimes, etc. Several are Goldman Sachs alumni. There’s perhaps one environmentalist but not one historical preservationist, organic gardener, marine biologist, exercise or public health expert, or historian.


The Trust for Governors Island

Alicia Glen, Chair   Real Estate Developer
Former Deputy Mayor overseeing housing and economic development
Previously Goldman Sachs, Director of Urban Investment Group
Now owns real estate development company (MSquared)
“Alicia Glen is a nationally recognized expert in urban development, infrastructure finance, job creation and housing policy.”

Margaret Chin, Politician and Supporter of Luxury Development
NYC Council member, Supported Supertall Towers in Lower Manhattan

Carolee Fink, Real Estate Executive

Karen Brooks Hopkins, Former President of Brooklyn Academy of Music

Catherine Hughes, Entrepreneur
Radio and TV personality

Gaurav Kapadia, Private Investment
Also member of pro-development Friends of Hudson River Park that attempted to place 400,000 square foot office building on Hudson River Pier 40

Patrick M. Kennell, Wall Street Lawyer specializing in insurance coverage and litigation
He represents architects and engineers.
Partner at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP
Advises insurers on environmental policy coverage issues

Benjamin Lawsky,   Wall Street Lawyer
Runs legal and consulting firm
New York State‘s first Superintendent of Financial Services[2] serving through June, 2015, and former Acting Superintendent of Banks[3] serving through 2011.

Susan Mercandetti, VP Business Development and Partnerships at ABC News

Daniel Neditch,  “Real estate mogul”
President River2River Realty “top tier real estate firm”
Brokerage, landlord, property manager and developer
Tokumbo Shobowale, Exec VP for Business and Operations at New School
Former Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Economic Development
Previously with McKinsey as Deputy Manager for Environment

Daniel Squadron,  Politician
Former State Senator

Carl Weisbrod,  Former Wall Street Real Estate Developer
Currently a senior advisor to HR&A Advisors and a Senior Fellow at the New York University Marron Institute of Urban Management.
Weisbrod most recently served as Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the New York City Department of City Planning.[2]

He is a former member of the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority[3][4] and was the founding President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Weisbrod has also served as the President of the New York City Downtown Alliance, as an executive vice president of Trinity Church and President of Trinity Real Estate, the $6 billion the real estate development arm of the church.[5][6] Weisbrod served as one of the chairs of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s transition team,[7] as President of the 42nd Street Development Corporation he is credited with the redevelopment of New York City’s Times Square area.[8]


The Friends of Governors Island

Board of Directors

Chair: EB KellyTishman SpeyerDeveloper
Managing Director for Rockefeller Center, Acquisitions and Development
Debt Capital Markets

Vice Chair: Jennifer KurlandProduction GlueCorporate Consultant
Works for global brands including Nike, Tom Ford Beauty, Hul, Cornell University and Frieze.

Treasurer: Justin Ginsburgh,   Amazon

Secretary: Daniel ReynoldsCleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Wall Street Real Estate Lawyer

Hannah BlumenthalHannah Blumenthal
Interior Designer. Former analyst at McKinsey And Co.

Michael Burke, Hornblower Group COO of Cruise Line
Hornblower Yachts Inc. operates as a dining cruise and charter yacht company. The Company offers yachts for dinner and charter cruises, corporate events, birthday parties, weddings, and other services.

Betty ChenBYC ProjectsArchitect
Architect and former New York City Planning Commissioner. She is the principal of BYC Projects which provides planning and management consulting services for clients including major cultural organizations.

Peter EbrightNew York Cruise Lines
Lawyer for ferry service
Vice President & General Counsel for cruise line.
Tal Golomb, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
Wall Street Real Estate Attorney
Jamie Joyce, Rubenstein Corporate advisor
Managing Director for a strategic communications & reputation management firm

Jonathan LawMcKinsey & Co.   Corporate Advisor
Company advises on strategic management to corporations, governments, and other organizations.

Justine Lee25MadisonVenture Capitalist
Chief Impact Officer/General Counsel in venture capital firm.

Robert LevineRAL Companies and Affiliates LLCDeveloper
CEO of developer of luxury apartment, condominium and resort communities in New York, Colorado, Texas and Maryland.

Charlie Miller, Real Estate Broker

Jameson MonesBlackstone. Wall Street Hedge Fund
Managing Director, The Blackstone Group Inc. is an American private equity alternative investment management firm. Blackstone’s private equity business has been one of the largest investors in leveraged buyouts in the last decade, while its real estate business has actively acquired commercial real estate.

Robert PiraniHudson River Foundation  Environmental Research
As the primary resource and advocate for science and environmental research on the Hudson River and its watershed, the Hudson River Foundation (HRF) connects the scientific community, policy makers, and the general public with a wealth of information and analysis.

Sara QueenMapletree US Management, LLC
Real Estate Developer
Head of Operations and Asset Management for a leading real estate development, investment and capital management company headquartered in Singapore, with approximately $35 Billion invested worldwide. The US portfolio is approximately $3.5 Billion and growing.

Marc RicksSidewalk Labs
Corporate Development
Chief Operating Officer of Sidewalk Labs, where he also oversees the Corporate Development function.

Andrew RosenRelated Companies
Real Estate Developer
Stephen Ross’ the Related Companies got a $328 million tax break from the city for the construction of an office tower and a mall at its Hudson Yards megaproject, a spokesperson for the city’s Industrial Development Agency said.

Darren SchluterPJT Park HillWall Street Hedge Fund
Managing Director for PJT Park Hill provides global alternative asset advisory and fundraising services across four specialized verticals. Our platform includes deep expertise in private equity, real estate and hedge funds, as well as secondary advisory services.

Jackie Snyder, AECOM
Development Consultants
We are the New York division of a global network of experts working with clients, communities and colleagues to develop and implement solutions to the world’s most complex challenges.

Marc TreviñoSullivan & Cromwell
Corporate Consultant
Mr. Treviño is a recognized leader in structuring and counseling senior executives and boards in significant matters involving reputation, overlapping regulatory regimes, fiduciary conflicts and multiple jurisdictions, with a particular emphasis on matters involving financial institutions. Mr. Treviño teaches Corporate Crisis Management at the Yale Law School and is a co-author of The Public Company Deskbook (The Practising Law Institute), which has been hailed as “the bible for securities lawyers” by Fortune.

Lauren WolfNew York City Economic Development Corporation
Real Estate Development Consulting
Vice President in the Real Estate Transaction Services division of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). In this capacity, she leads transaction structuring and negotiation of public-private partnerships throughout New York City with a focus on East Harlem, the St. George Waterfront as well as office assets from Midtown Manhattan to emerging New York City office markets. She joined NYCEDC in 2012.

Executive Director:  Merritt Birnbaum