The Center for an Urban Future is a NYC-based think tank dedicated to highlighting the critical opportunities and challenges facing New York and other cities, and providing fresh ideas and workable solutions to policymakers. The Center’s primary focus is on growing and diversifying the local economy, expanding economic opportunity and targeting problems facing low-income and working-class neighborhoods. We consistently elevate important, but long overlooked, issues onto the radar of public officials—and we push policymakers to think differently about economic and workforce development.
The Center does this through publishing fact-based research reports that are accessible to a wide audience and holding high-profile policy forums.
Center for an Urban Future’s parent organization is City Futures, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3). EIN: 13-3185114.
Jonathan Bowles | Executive Director | 212.479.3347 | email@example.com
Jonathan Bowles is the Executive Director of the Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan-based think tank dedicated to independent research about key policy issues facing New York and other cities. During his 12 years at the Center, he has been the architect of the policy agenda for the Center and is responsible for making it one of New York's most innovative and influential organizations and one in which its policy ideas are well-respected and widely used by policymakers, business leaders, and nonprofit practitioners.
At the Center, Jonathan has authored more than two-dozen reports, including a widely acclaimed 2007 study about the significant impact immigrant entrepreneurs are having on cities' economies, an influential study about New York City's innovation economy and a report about how to retain and grow New York's middle class. He has been asked to be a guest contributor for the New York Times, the Daily News and The Council on Foreign Relations on a range of urban issues including New York City's need to diversify its economy and immigrant entrepreneurs. His research about key economic trends facing New York and its five boroughs, the value of small businesses to cities, and the economic impact of industries ranging from air cargo to biotechnology has been covered in publications ranging from the New York Times and USA Today to The Economist. Jonathan is a frequent moderator and speaker at conferences and panel discussions on urban policy in New York and nationally.
In November 2008, the New York Times' City Room blog featured him in their "Ask the Expert" column, in which he fielded questions from readers for one week about the challenges facing immigrant entrepreneurs. He served on Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's Small Business Task Force in 2008 to examine the threats facing mom and pop retailers in the borough. In 2006, City Hall News named him one of 35 "Rising Stars Under 40" and in 2005, Time Out New York named him "New York's Finest Troublemaker."
Before joining the Center, he worked as research director for former New York State Senator Franz Leichter and spent time as a freelance journalist.
Ahmad Dowla | Operations & Finance Director | 212.479.3319 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ahmad Dowla has been with the Center for an Urban Future since 2006 and now serves as its Operations & Finance Director. In this role, he manages the Center's various projects and contributes to the development and implementation of organizational strategies, policies and practices. He is also the developer behind the Center's website and the designer behind Center publications and materials. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and CUNY Hunter. Ahmad currently lives in Queens.
Adam Forman | Research & Communications Associate | 212.479.3352 | email@example.com
Adam Forman is a Research and Communications Associate for the Center for an Urban Future. He has interned at the Public Advocate’s Office and worked in tax and trade consulting and as a freelance writer. His work has been published in the New York Daily News, New York Post and an assortment of internet blogs. He received his BA from Colgate University in economics and an MA in political science from the University of Washington. He specializes in economic development and urban planning. Adam currently lives in Brooklyn.
David Giles | Research Director | 212.479.3353 | firstname.lastname@example.org
David Giles is the Center for an Urban Future's Research Director. During his four years at the Center, Giles has written extensively on a variety of public policy issues including transportation, technology and the arts. As a part of the Center's continuing research on the need for a more diverse local economy, he has researched New York's health information technology and applied arts sectors and written about the problems many small businesses are having accessing energy efficiency incentives. As the author of a widely covered report on transportation, he has also written about the growing challenges many New York City commuters are having in accessing jobs in the boroughs outside of Manhattan. His reports and op-eds have appeared in local and national media outlets including The New York Times, New York Daily News, National Public Radio and NY1. He has a BA from Boston College and an MA from the University of Chicago. He lives in Queens with his wife and two children.
Christian González-Rivera | Research Associate | 212.479.3341 | email@example.com
Christian González-Rivera is a research associate at the Center for an Urban Future, where he primarily works on workforce development policy, and has authored a study on older immigrants in New York City. Before coming to CUF he worked at the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University, and spent four years as the research manager at the Greenlining Institute in Berkeley, California, where he authored and supported research on housing, philanthropy, diversity in the healthcare workforce, access to financial services, consumer protection, and the green economy. His work has been covered in both English- and Spanish-language media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, Next City, La Opinión, Univision, NY1, WNYC, KPFA, and others. He holds a BA in urban studies from Columbia University and a masters in urban planning from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He lives in Manhattan, and together with his partner Aleks he likes to go hiking and camping in America's most beautiful places.
Cordelia Persen | Deputy Director | 212.479.3345 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cordelia Persen joined the Center for an Urban Future as Deputy Director in 2013. Prior to coming to the Center, she served as the Executive Director of Princeton in Africa, an organization that sent recent college grads on yearlong service fellowships in Africa. Cordelia’s economic development experience comes from when she ran the Wholesale Flower Market Association of New York City, helping support an immigrant small business cluster located at 28th Street navigate city services and explore the possibility of a relocation. She also is very civically involved which has given her a deeper lens into New York neighborhoods. Cordelia serves as Co-Chair of the Alumni Board and sits on the Board of Directors for the Coro New York Leadership Center. She received her BA from Lehigh University and is currently pursuing an Executive Master in Public Administration at New York University. Cordelia lives in Manhattan.
Gifford Miller, Miller Strategies (Chairman)
Michael Connor, Open Mic (Vice-Chair)
Monisha Nariani, Citigroup (Treasurer)
Blake Foote (Secretary)
Margaret Anadu, Goldman Sachs
Jonathan Bowles, Center for an Urban Future
Gerrard Bushell, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Jonathan Butler, Brownstoner and Brooklyn Flea
Russell Dubner, Edelman Public Relations
Lisa Gomez, L+M Development Partners
Jalak Jobanputra, FuturePerfect Ventures
David Lebenstein, SIOR, Colliers ABR
Eric S. Lee, Bennett Midland, LLC
Andrew Reicher, UHAB
John Siegal, Baker & Hostetler LLP
Stephen Sigmund, Global Strategy Group
Thomas Vecchione, Gensler
Robert Zimmerman, Zimmerman/Edelson Inc
The Center will be seeking applications for the Winter/Spring 2013/2014 term in November. Placements are on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) is an independent nonprofit public policy research think-tank that produces innovative analysis on economic development and workforce development issues in New York City, with a focus on promoting economic diversity while creating opportunities for disadvantaged populations and lower-skill workers.
Our work seeks to highlight issues within our fields of focus that tend to fly under the radar in mainstream policy discussions. In recent years, CUF’s research has shined a spotlight on the role of immigrant entrepreneurs as economic engines for many outer-borough neighborhoods, the rise of the design and tech fields in the city, the role of public libraries as human capital institutions, and how community colleges are a crucial and underleveraged element in the city’s workforce development system.
The Center seeks interns with experience in journalism or public policy research to support our work. Responsibilities can include extensive phone interviews, Web research, data analysis, and writing. Other duties include coordinating meetings with government officials and attending policy meetings.
Skills and attributes we seek are:
- Strong writing and oral communications skills
- Ability to synthesize ideas clearly and concisely
- Ability to conduct effective interviews over the phone and in person
- High level of competency in using Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- At least some experience with public data sources like the US Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics
- An interest in economic development, urban planning, workforce development, and higher education issues
We prefer current graduate students or those with advanced degrees in public policy, urban planning, journalism, economics, government, social science, or related fields, though we will also consider accomplished undergraduate students. Our internship program is very competitive and attracts talented undergraduate and graduate students from across the country and around the world.
You must be able to commit to at least 20 hours a week. This is an unpaid internship that can be used for college credit where applicable. Send resume with cover letter to email@example.com.
We encourage people of all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, creeds, and sexual orientations to apply.
The Center for an Urban Future gratefully acknowledges the support of the following foundations: