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15 April 2019

Van Alen Welcomes New Board Members Raudline Etienne (Daraja Capital), Daniel Maldonado (Skanska), and Nnenna Lynch (Xylem)

Media contact:  Sarah Haun, Van Alen Institute: shaun@vanalen.org, t 212 924 7000 x12

NEW YORK, April 15, 2019—Van Alen Institute, the 125-year-old not-for-profit organization that promotes design as a strategy for improving public life, today announced that Raudline Etienne of Daraja Capital and Daniel Maldonado of Skanska have joined its board of trustees. Nnenna Lynch of Xylem Projects also joins as a VANguard board member.

“We are honored to welcome Raudline, Daniel, and Nnenna to Van Alen’s board of trustees and appreciate the depth and variety of their backgrounds and expertise,” said Jared Della Valle, chair of Van Alen’s board and CEO and founder of Alloy. “As we celebrate our 125th anniversary year, it is a propitious time for us to bring new perspectives and talent into our network and conversations about design as a catalyst for change in cities.”

“At Van Alen Institute, our mission to improve the quality of life in communities can only be realized by bringing diverse disciplines and multiple perspectives to the table,” said Elissa Black, Van Alen Institute’s interim executive director. “I am delighted that Raudline, Daniel, and Nnenna are joining us in this endeavor, as Van Alen looks to advance design as a catalyst for positive change in cities, landscapes, and regions.”

The new members of Van Alen Institute’s board of trustees are:

Raudline Etienne, Daraja Capital

Raudline Etienne is the founder of Daraja Capital, an advisory firm providing strategic advice to start-up and early-stage boutique asset managers.

On joining Van Alen’s board, Ms. Etienne says: “In my view, the importance of design is underappreciated in our society, and Van Alen’s mission is as vital as ever. I am thrilled to be joining this dynamic organization at this juncture in its history. The energy and creativity of the team are inspiring, and I hope to play my small part going forward.”

Ms. Etienne has extensive experience serving on the boards of organizations in the financial services arena and currently serves as a trustee for the Janus Henderson mutual funds and on the advisory board of Brightwood Capital. Ms. Etienne is a senior advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group.

Previously, Ms. Etienne served as chief investment officer (CIO) for the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), the third largest public pension fund in the United States with assets of $207.4 billion. As CIO, she oversaw all aspects of CRF’s investment strategy, including asset allocation, policy and governance, investment structure, partner selection, and risk management. Previously, Ms. Etienne was a managing director, and co-head of the Non-Traditional Investment Group at Rogerscasey in Darien, Connecticut, where she advised institutional investors for more than 11 years.

Ms. Etienne earned a Bachelor of Science from the School of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was a Toigo Foundation Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley where she earned an MBA in finance.

Daniel Maldonado, Skanska

In his role as senior vice president of business development at Skanska, Daniel Maldonado is responsible for leading the company’s planning and execution of strategies to increase sales and company growth across a variety of sectors in the metropolitan New York region’s real estate and construction market.

“Building on rewarding experiences with the International Council last year, I welcome the opportunity to deepen my involvement with Van Alen Institute by joining the board,” said Mr. Maldonado. “I share the belief with Van Alen and Skanska that ‘Ideas can change the world.’ It’s exciting to bring my construction perspective to the conversation among leaders who are investigating opportunities to make our cities more livable and sustainable.”

Mr. Maldonado is a 29-year veteran of the construction industry and has spent more than 20 years working in various Skanska offices worldwide, including the New York office since 2010. He has far-reaching experience in project management and business development both domestically and internationally, where he has played a key role in developing client relationships, proposals, innovation, and operations, and managed major pricing decisions for Skanska’s clients globally. In addition to his work at Skanska, he participates in boards and steering committees of various industry organizations in New York City and has served on the board of directors for the Newark Regional Partnership (NRBP).

Mr. Maldonado holds undergraduate degrees from the National University of Salta, Argentina, and master’s degrees from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain, and Austral University, Argentina. He graduated from the Partnership for New York City’s David Rockefeller Fellows Program in New York City as well.

Nnenna Lynch, Xylem Projects

Nnenna Lynch is the founder of Xylem Projects, a new real estate venture dedicated to preserving housing and creating mixed-use projects throughout the tri-state area. She joins the board in the capacity of a VANguard Board Member for a two-year term. VANguard Board Members are emerging professional leaders who help connect the board and Van Alen Institute as a whole to some of the most interesting work being done in the field.

“I am excited to join Van Alen’s dynamic board,” said Ms. Lynch. “Van Alen’s interdisciplinary work tackling important issues with design and design thinking is more crucial than ever. I hope that my background in both policy and real estate and my perspective as an active mission-driven developer will contribute to the advancement and implementation of ideas that help communities thrive.”

Ms. Lynch’s career has spanned both public service and private real estate entities. She served as a senior advisor to Mayor Bloomberg on economic development. She is a Rhodes Scholar and a five-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion. Currently, she is a trustee of Villanova University, a board member of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars, and serves on the New York Road Runners Executive Committee. Previously, she was on the board of New York City Housing Authority.

Ms. Lynch was born and raised in New York City. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Villanova and earned her Master of Letters from Oxford University.

About Van Alen Institute

At Van Alen, we believe design can transform cities, landscapes, and regions to improve people’s lives. We collaborate with communities, scholars, policymakers, and professionals on local and global initiatives that rigorously investigate the most pressing social, cultural, and ecological challenges of tomorrow. Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2019, Van Alen develops cross-disciplinary research, provocative public programs, and inventive design competitions.