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About


The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) is a catalyst for smart and sustainable policies that reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy in New York City. An independent, nonpartisan policy organization, CUF uses fact-based research to elevate important and often overlooked issues onto the radar of policymakers and advance practical solutions that strengthen New York and help all New Yorkers participate in the city’s rising prosperity.

For 20 years, CUF has consistently shaped the policy debate around economic opportunity in New York by publishing reports that are widely covered in the media, highly readable and anchored in rigorous research rather than preconceived notions about outcome.

CUF’s efforts to create a more prosperous, equitable and inclusive New York span many topics and policy areas, and are unified by three common aims:

  • Growing New York City’s economy and boosting the number of middle income jobs; and
  • Helping more people develop the skills and credentials needed to access careers that put them on the path to the middle class;
  • Making New York City—and its many and diverse neighborhoods—a better place to live.

City Futures, Inc. d.b.a. Center for an Urban Future is a non-profit 501(c)(3) with 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 twelve 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 a guest contributor for the New York Times, the Daily News, and the Council on Foreign Relations on a range of urban issues including the need to diversify New York City's economy and the importance of 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.


Matt Chaban   |   Policy Director/Fisher Fellow, Middle Class Jobs Project   |   (212) 479-3353   |   mchaban@nycfuture.org

Matt A.V. Chaban is the Center for an Urban Future's policy director and Fisher Fellow. He spent his first decade in New York toiling at newsrooms across the city, starting with the Canarsie Courier and Architect's Newspaper, before working his way up through the ranks at the Observer, Crain's, the Daily News, and finally The New York Times, where he served as a reporter and columnist covering real estate, development, transportation, politics, and gefilte fish. Among his greatest achievements was getting Robert De Niro to pay taxes on his upstate estate and forcing the Trump Organization to restore a bench to the atrium of Trump Tower.

Matt now brings these sames skills to the Center, with the goal of expanding the organization's ambitions and output with more frequent pieces that will not only drive the conversation but also policy. A native of Pittsburgh, he studied journalism, philosophy, and outdoor education at the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. He now calls Jersey City home, where he lives with his wife and three cats in an 1890s rowhouse. He is not sure whether his love of cities springs from growing up with Legos or his hometown's singular skyline.


Eli Dvorkin   |   Managing Editor   |   (212) 479-3319   |   edvorkin@nycfuture.org

Eli Dvorkin is the Managing Editor of the Center for an Urban Future, where he oversees the development of all publications and guides CUF's numerous research initiatives. Prior to joining the Center, he served as a staff editor at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), editing and producing books, reports, and digital projects by CFR fellows and other experts on the most pressing issues facing U.S. foreign policy. Eli has been an editor and journalist for more than a decade, including stints at Kickstarter and Flavorpill in New York, and the Hurriyet Daily News in Istanbul, Turkey.

Eli is also a passionate arts organizer and founding member of Silent Barn, a multidisciplinary community arts space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He served as operations manager for the Sketchbook Project, a traveling library of artists’ sketchbooks from around the world, where he led two nationwide touring exhibitions. Eli curates a series of all-ages experimental music and art events under the name Black Plastic Bag. He graduated from Columbia University, where he co-hosted a radio program on WBAR. Eli lives with his wife, Hillary Reeves, in Ridgewood, Queens.


Christian González-Rivera   |   Senior Researcher   |   (212) 479-3341   |   cgr@nycfuture.org

Christian González-Rivera is a Senior Researcher at the Center for an Urban Future, where he focuses on workforce development policy and issues facing immigrants in New York City. Before coming to CUF, Christian researched housing policy 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. In 2016 City and State named Christian one of New York City's 40 Under 40 Rising Stars. 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 NewsNext CityCity and State, Gotham Gazette, 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 the world's most beautiful places.


Tom Hilliard   |   Senior Researcher   |   (212) 479-3379   |   thilliard@nycfuture.org

Tom Hilliard is a Senior Researcher at the Center for an Urban Future. He has authored numerous studies and commentaries for the Center, including influential analyses of youth in foster care, career pathways, and the changing national workforce development system. He has previously conducted public policy research and development at the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, the NYC Office of Public Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, and Earthworks. He has also worked as a consultant for organizations around the country, and as a freelance journalist, with articles in the Village VoiceThe ProgressiveCanoe & PaddleNewsday, and Metroland. He received a BA from Auburn University and an MPP from Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.


Hayley Kaplan   |   Communications and Operations Manager   |   (212) 479-3351   |   hkaplan@nycfuture.org

Hayley Kaplan is the Communications and Operations Manager of the Center for an Urban Future, where she oversees communications, fundraising, and operations strategy. Hayley has a divergent background in business development and communications, as well as in public policy, real estate, and finance. Prior to joining the Center, Hayley was the General Manager of City & State Reports, an affiliate of City & State magazine, where she planned biweekly social responsibility events and conferences, edited publications, and managed integrated partnerships. She was also Business Development Associate at Hundred Stories PR, directing all new client and partnership development.

A journalist by trade, Hayley was a reporter and freelancer at the Real DealThe Deal, and the Hollywood Reporter, breaking numerous news stories and authoring dozens of features. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and a proud resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.


Judy Messina   |   Senior Fellow for Small Business and Entrepreneurship   |   () -   |   jmessina@nycfuture.org

Judy Messina is Senior Fellow for Small Business and Entrepreneurship at the Center for an Urban Future. Judy is an award-winning journalist with extensive experience covering business, technology, healthcare, higher education, and real estate. She launched Crain's technology coverage at the beginning of the first Internet boom and served as a senior reporter for more than a decade.

Judy's work has appear in Crain's New York Business, Advertising Age, Business Insurance, Investment News, Workforce, The Real Deal, CNBC.com and various Health Monitor Network magazines. Judy has authored several studies for the Center, including Breaking Through (2016), a groundbreaking report on women entrepreneurs. She earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Graduate School of Business and an MS with honors from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.



Board


Gifford Miller, Miller Strategies (Chairman)

Michael Connor, Open Mic (Vice-Chair)

Max Neukirchen, JPMorgan Chase (Treasurer)

Blake Foote, Management Consultant (Secretary)

John H. Alschuler, HR&A Advisors

Margaret Anadu, Goldman Sachs

Jonathan Bowles, Center for an Urban Future

Russell Dubner, Edelman US

Lisa Gomez, L+M Development Partners

Jalak Jobanputra, FuturePerfect Ventures

Kyle Kimball, Con Edison

David Lebenstein, Cushman & Wakefield

Eric S. Lee, Bennett Midland, LLC

Monisha Nariani, Citigroup

Andrew Reicher, UHAB

John Siegal, Baker & Hostetler LLP

Stephen Sigmund, Global Gateway Alliance

Thomas Vecchione, Gensler

Robert Zimmerman, Zimmerman/Edelson Inc


Jobs


Research Associate

The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) seeks a full-time Research Associate with exceptional writing skills to provide research assistance and programmatic support to CUF’s research team. CUF is a leading New York City-based think tank whose reports, commentaries, and data briefs serve as a catalyst for smart and sustainable public policies to reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy in New York.

The Research Associate will support CUF’s senior research staff by gathering and analyzing data, conducting phone interviews, providing literature reviews and background memos, preparing research memos, and ghostwriting op-eds. The research associate will also be responsible for researching and authoring data briefs, policy briefs, and summaries of CUF policy forums. The work will focus on a broad range of policy areas affecting New York City, including economic development, workforce development, higher education, urban planning, infrastructure, arts and culture, and transit.

This is an entry-level opportunity for an outstanding writer capable of distilling complex topics into clear, compelling, and accessible prose. In addition, the ideal candidate will be a strong researcher, interested in a range of city issues, with some familiarity regarding New York City’s policymaking landscape. By contributing directly to CUF’s research and reporting, the Research Associate’s work will have a meaningful impact on the city’s future.

Responsibilities

  • Support CUF’s senior researchers and fellows in their major research initiatives.
  • Collect and analyze data from a variety of sources related to demographic, economic, and social issues in New York and other cities.
  • Ghostwrite op-eds and commentaries that advance CUF’s policy recommendations and connect our research to current events.
  • Research and write compelling and informative short-form reports, data briefs, and commentaries on a variety of issues central to CUF’s work and mission.
  • Assist the Managing Editor in preparing reports for publication, including proofreading and fact checking.
  • Assist in developing data charts, graphs, tables, and maps for CUF publications.
  • Compile and summarize data and policy trends for public presentations.
  • Attend CUF’s high-profile events and other meetings, conferences, and forums, and draft key takeaways from the discussion.

Qualifications

  • Must possess exceptional writing skills
  • Experience conducting interviews, analyzing data, and doing online research
  • Strong oral communication skills
  • Strong interest in urban and/or economic issues
  • Detail-oriented and willing to learn
  • Self-starter and problem solver who can balance multiple tasks and responsibilities
  • Comfortable working with data
  • Ability to undertake research assignments with limited supervision
  • An undergraduate degree in public policy, urban planning, journalism, economics, government, social science, or a related field is required
  • High-level proficiency in Excel is required
  • Experience with PowerPoint and Adobe Creative Suite programs is preferred
  • Knowledge of IPUMS, CARTO, ArcView GIS mapping, Stata, and/or Python is a plus
  • Experience as a reporter or policy researcher is a plus

This position is perfect for a hungry researcher or reporter with a passion for New York City and the drive to understand the city’s challenges and opportunities.

This is a full-time position. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Recent graduates are welcome to apply.

The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) is a leading New York City-based think tank that generates smart and sustainable public policies to reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy. CUF has been shaping the local economic policy debate for more than 20 years, and is known for its data-driven solutions for increasing the city’s prosperity, advancing the number of higher paying jobs, and providing low-income individuals with a career pathway to the middle class. Through its distinctive research on diverse subject areas, populations and communities, CUF influences public policy that strengthens the economy for a more equitable, profitable, and inclusive city for all New Yorkers. For more information, visit nycfuture.org.

The Center for an Urban Future is an equal-opportunity employer committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

How to Apply

Send resume, cover letter, and at least two writing samples to researcher@nycfuture.org. Examples of non-academic writing are preferred. Please put “Research Associate” in the subject line. No phone calls please.


Events & Operations Assistant

The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) seeks a full-time Events & Operations Assistant to play a key supporting role on the organization’s communications, events, and development team. CUF is a leading New York City-based think tank that generates smart and sustainable public policies to reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy. We are seeking an entrepreneurial candidate with a diverse skillset who is eager to tackle a variety of challenges in a fast-paced environment and contribute to this mission.

This is an excellent opportunity for a candidate with a strong interest in New York City policy and politics, and the desire to gain hands-on experience with communications, events, development, and nonprofit management. The ideal candidate will be excited to join a small yet nimble think tank, which has a major impact on the key issues affecting New York City’s future, including economic development, workforce development, higher education, urban planning, infrastructure, arts and culture, and public transit.

Responsibilities

  • Work closely with CUF’s Communications Manager to coordinate the logistics for CUF’s high-profile monthly forums, release parties, networking events, etc.
    • Coordinate event notices and invitations
    • Track participant registration
    • Manage the preparation and distribution of event materials
    • Liaise with high-profile speakers
  • Assist in planning and executing the organization’s annual gala.
  • Maintain CUF’s website, including updating it daily with CUF’s latest reports, op-eds, commentaries, testimonies, etc.
  • Assist in designing CUF publications, including printed reports, website content, event invitation, and email newsletters.
  • Execute various research projects and conduct background research to support CUF’s communications, development, and events initiatives. 
  • Assist in writing and producing CUF’s written communications materials, including newsletters, press releases, etc.
  • Develop media lists and other materials to support CUF’s communications objectives. 
  • Track CUF’s grants and grant deadlines.
  • Perform research on foundations and potential new funding sources.
  • Provide support for day-to-day operations, which includes managing CUF’s vendors and contractors, assisting with daily finances, and handling daily office tasks.
  • Maintain organizational databases including tracking external affairs and policy impacts.
  • Develop social media content for Facebook, Twitter, and other channels.
  • Occasionally schedule appointments.
  • Prepare materials for staff, board, and stakeholder meetings.
  • Perform other duties and assist with special projects as needed.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Strong organizational skills and acute attention to detail
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent Internet searching skills
  • Self-starter and problem solver who can balance multiple tasks and responsibilities
  • Ability to work with a team
  • Interest in NYC policy and politics
  • Occasional early mornings and late nights required
  • Microsoft Office experience required; InDesign and/or Photoshop experience preferred

The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) is a leading New York City-based think tank that generates smart and sustainable public policies to reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy. CUF has been shaping the local economic policy debate for more than 20 years, and is known for its data-driven solutions for increasing the city’s prosperity, advancing the number of higher paying jobs, and providing low-income individuals with a career pathway to the middle class. Through its distinctive research on diverse subject areas, populations and communities, CUF influences public policy that strengthens the economy for a more equitable, profitable, and inclusive city for all New Yorkers. For more information, visit nycfuture.org.

The Center for an Urban Future is an equal-opportunity employer committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

How to Apply

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample to jobs@nycfuture.org. Please put “Events & Operations Assistant” and your name in the subject line. No phone calls or drop-ins!



Internships


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) and internship for which you would be interested in applying.


Policy Research Internship

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.