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About


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.


Staff


Jonathan Bowles  |  Executive Director  |  212.479.3347 |  jbowles@nycfuture.org

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  |  Deputy Director  |  212.479.3319 |  adowla@nycfuture.org

Ahmad Dowla has been with the Center for an Urban Future since 2006 and now serves as its Deputy Director. In this role, he manages the Center's various projects and oversees development, communications 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.

 


 

Jeanette Estima  |  Research Associate  |  212.479.3351 |  jestima@nycfuture.org

Jeanette Estima is a Research Associate for the Center for an Urban Future. She comes to the Center with a diverse background that is tied together by her love of analysis and interest in social justice. She previously worked as the Morgan Stanley/ANHD Community Development Fellow based at WHEDco in the South Bronx, where she did research and pre-development planning on affordable housing for elder musicians as well as research on the Bronx Music Heritage Center and access to healthy food. While completing her MS in Urban Policy Analysis and Management at The New School, she directed her studies with client-based projects in community and economic development and social policy. Prior to that, she wrote proposals and managed grants at Amnesty International USA, and managed membership for Lambda Legal. Before joining the non-profit sector, Jeanette completed graduate work in Philosophy at the University of Virginia, where she researched and taught in the areas of consciousness and ethics. Jeanette received her BA in Philosophy from Bard College. She lives in Brooklyn, where there is usually something growing on the fire escape and something cooking in the kitchen.

 


 

Adam Forman  |  Research & Communications Associate  |  212.479.3352 |  aforman@nycfuture.org

Adam Forman is a Research 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 |  dgiles@nycfuture.org

David Giles is the Center for an Urban Future's Research Director. During his six years at the Center, Giles has authored over a dozen reports and managed and edited over a dozen others. His work has covered issues in economic development, workforce development, community development and transportation. His research on New York City's public libraries has helped set a citywide agenda for better leveraging these assets in today's information economy. His work on the city's growing and underappreciated applied arts sector led to the creation of New York's first citywide, multidisciplinary design festival as well as other programs that support entrepreneurship among designers. As the author of a widely covered report on transportation and the working poor, he has also written about the growing challenges many commuters are having accessing jobs outside of Manhattan. Giles has testified before New York City Council, the State Assembly and the MTA's Transportation Reinvention Commission and appeared as a panelist or moderator at a wide variety of policy events and conferences. 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 lives in Queens with his wife and two children.

 


 

Christian González-Rivera  |  Research Associate  |  212.479.3341 |  cgr@nycfuture.org

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.

 


 

Amy Parker  |  Communications and Operations Associate  |  212.479.3348 |  aparker@nycfuture.org

Amy Parker is the Communications and Operations Associate for the Center for an Urban Future, a position which brings together her interest in urban policy issues and her experience managing communications and media relations. Before coming to the Center, Amy worked for the East Village Community Coalition, where she assisted small business owners in forming a local merchants association. In New York, she also worked as the Communications Manager for The Blossom Avenue, an Italian architecture and development firm that recently expanded to New York City. In 2013, Amy graduated with distinction from the London School of Economics with a masters in City Design and Social Science. She received her BA in Political Science from the University of Texas in Austin. Amy loves exploring the city, and learning about its history, architecture, and communities.


Board


Gifford Miller, Miller Strategies (Chairman)

Michael Connor, Open Mic (Vice-Chair)

Monisha Nariani, Citigroup (Treasurer)

Blake Foote (Secretary)

John H. Alschuler, HR&A Advisors

Margaret Anadu, Goldman Sachs

Jonathan Bowles, Center for an Urban Future

Jonathan Butler, Brooklyn Flea

Russell Dubner, Edelman US

Lisa Gomez, L+M Development Partners

Jalak Jobanputra, FuturePerfect Ventures

David Lebenstein, DTZ

Eric S. Lee, Bennett Midland, LLC

Max Neukirchen, JPMorgan Chase

Andrew Reicher, UHAB

John Siegal, Baker & Hostetler LLP

Stephen Sigmund, Global Gateway Alliance

Thomas Vecchione, Gensler

Robert Zimmerman, Zimmerman/Edelson Inc


Jobs


Senior Fellow - Workforce Development and Human Capital Issues

Senior Policy Researcher

Part-Time Editor

 


 

Senior Fellow - Workforce Development and Human Capital Issues

The Center for an Urban Future is accepting applications for a Senior Fellow with expertise in workforce development and human capital issues. The Senior Fellow will author commentaries, op-eds, policy briefs and in-depth policy reports about workforce development, adult education, higher education and other human capital issues. The successful candidate should have strong writing skills; a knack for persuasive writing; a proven record of authoring published op-eds, articles or policy reports; an ability to generate ideas for new publications; familiarity with the New York policy landscape; and expertise in workforce development and human capital issues. 

The Senior Fellow will be asked to do a significant amount of writing and researching about workforce development and human capital issues. This will primarily include authoring well-researched commentaries, op-eds and policy briefs, where the Fellow will weigh in on important workforce issues with opinions and policy prescriptions. Responsibilities will also occasionally include researching and authoring in-depth policy reports, editing publications written by other Center for an Urban Future staff, briefing policymakers and representing the organization at policy events. The Fellow must be able to competently brief public officials and lead meetings, forums and other events without supervision; and must be comfortable working with high-ranking decision makers, senior government officials, current and potential funders, and Center for an Urban Future senior management.

Ideal applicants should have at least three years of experience working on workforce development or human capital issues; a graduate degree in public policy, urban planning, journalism, economics, government, social science or a related field; and excellent communication skills.

This is a full-time position but we are open to considering a part-time consulting arrangement. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Only applicants meeting minimum qualifications for the position will be considered.

Send resume, cover letter and at least one writing sample to: WorkforceFellow@nycfuture.org. No phone calls please. The Center is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.

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.

 


 

Senior Policy Researcher

The Center for an Urban Future is accepting applications for a Senior Policy Researcher with exceptional writing skills and significant experience in reporting on or researching urban policy issues. The Senior Policy Researcher will serve as lead researcher and author on policy reports about key issues affecting New York City, with a focus on economic development and workforce development. The ideal applicant should have a proven record of authoring published policy reports or articles, be skilled at writing for a broad audience, and have a deep understanding of the New York City policymaking landscape.

The Senior Policy Researcher will conduct research, policy analysis, writing, editing and advising. Ideal applicants must also be able to competently lead meetings, initiatives, forums and other events without supervision; and must be comfortable working with high-ranking decision makers, senior government officials, current and potential funders, and Center for an Urban Future senior management.

We are looking for an entrepreneurial individual with strong writing skills; experience conducting interviews and analyzing data; experience with public data sources; and knowledge of the New York City policy landscape especially with regards to economic development, urban planning, workforce development or human capital development issues. Successful candidates should have at least two years of work experience in public policy, journalism or government; a graduate degree in public policy, urban planning, journalism, economics, government, social science or a related field; excellent communication skills; strong collaborative skills; and the ability to make independent decisions regarding planning, organizing and scheduling work.

The position is full time and salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Only applicants meeting minimum qualifications for the position will be considered.

Send resume, cover letter and at least one writing sample to: SeniorResearcher@nycfuture.org. No phone calls please. The Center is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.

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.

 


 

Part-Time Editor

The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) is accepting applications for a part-time Editor. The Editor will be responsible for editing policy reports, commentaries, policy briefs, proposals, press releases, newsletters, conference agendas and other publications to maintain the highest level of quality and to ensure that our written products are easy-to-read and accessible to a wide audience.

The Editor will edit a wide range of CUF written products to improve clarity and readability. The Editor will be part of editorial meetings during the research and writing phase of our publications, working closely with CUF’s research director as well as the authors of our publications. The Editor will then provide substantive edits—from basic copy edits to structural rewrites—that are needed to bring our publications to the finish line.

The ideal candidate should have a proven track record of editing policy reports, exceptional editing, writing and proofreading skills and a familiarity with the New York City policy landscape. Successful candidates should have at least two years of copyediting or editorial/writing experience in communications, journalism, publishing, or related field; a strong commitment to editorial and content accuracy with a keen attention to detail; excellent organizational skills; and a proven ability to meet deadlines.

The position is part time and the salary is commensurate with experience.

Send resume, cover letter and at least two writing/editing samples to: editor@nycfuture.org. No phone calls please. The Center is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.

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.


Internships


Policy Research Internship

We hire interns for three cohorts: Spring (January to May), Summer (May to August), and Fall (August to December). We accept applications on a rolling basis, so in the subject line of your email please indicate the cohort(s) for which you would be interested in applying.

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, but we provide a small stipend at the end of the internship to help offset travel expenses. Send resume with cover letter to intern@nycfuture.org.

We maintain a friendly and open working environment and encourage people of all backgrounds: age, race, ethnicity, gender, creed, and sexual orientation to apply.


Supporters


The Center for an Urban Future gratefully acknowledges the support of the following foundations:

FY12
July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012

ABNY Foundation
Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation
Charles H. Revson Foundation
Child Welfare Fund
Citi
ConEdison
F. B. Heron Foundation
Fund for the City of New York
IBM Foundation
Ira W. DeCamp Foundation
JPMorgan Chase Foundation
JobsFirstNYC
Kauffman Foundation
Met-Life
Pinkerton Foundation
UU Veatch Program
Working Poor Families Project

FY11
July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2011

Child Welfare Fund
Ira W. DeCamp Foundation
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation
Fund for the City of New York
Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation
IBM Foundation
Pinkerton Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation
Staten Island Economic Development Corp.
UU Veatch Program
Working Poor Families Project