1. Joseph Messana-Croly

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    Joseph is working on community-led design programs at Van Alen. Joseph has focused on the intersection of design and community engagement, municipal land use, and the application of equitable practices in urban planning. Joseph is experienced in working alongside historically underrepresented communities toward design and engagement projects. His past projects include a civic center vision for a transit-rich area in Bellevue, WA; research meant to make businesses in Rochester, NY more accessible to residents with disabilities; and a community-led effort to build housing and public spaces meant to combat displacement in the Central District of Seattle, WA. He has also worked on public space activation, youth engagement, and affordable housing projects.

    A New Yorker at heart, Joseph returned home to Brooklyn after working in the Seattle and San Francisco Bay Areas. Joseph earned his Master of Urban Planning from the University of Washington and a B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Rochester.

  2. Anthony Gomez

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    Anthony is the Operations Manager at the Van Alen Institute, where he oversees organizational workflows and leads operations, human resources, and governance functions that advance our mission. Prior to joining Van Alen, he served as the Director of Global Operations at The Rockefeller Foundation where he designed workplace experiences, curated office services, and managed people operations for employees across New York, D.C., Nairobi, Bangkok, and Bellagio campuses.Previously, Anthony served as the Programs & Partnerships Coordinator at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), where he streamlined projects & event processes across the museum’s Education, Exhibitions, Community Programming departments. In this role, Anthony coordinated various programs consisting of artist dialogues, film screenings, annual student exhibitions, and week-long summer festivals. Anthony graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Experimental Psychology and African American Studies. 

  3. Shiloah Coley

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    Shiloah is an artist, researcher, and cultural worker with experience collaborating with marginalized communities to design and co-create projects, programs, and exhibitions grounded in using the arts as a tool for liberation, agency-activation, and community building. She designed curriculum and facilitated projects with the Madison Public Library, Play Africa, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    She worked as a researcher with the Billie Holiday Center for Liberation Arts at Johns Hopkins University, where she investigated the implications of digital redlining on cultural preservation in Black communities. She also created educational zines and a database of free digital and tech resources in the city of Baltimore to aid Baltimoreans in their pursuit of preserving their history. Previously, she was a Sherman Fairchild Foundation Fellow at The Phillips Collection, where she collaborated with community partners at their off-site location in Southeast DC, Phillips@THEARC, to support exhibitions and collaborate on creative storytelling and promotional materials.

  4. Pratik Dubey

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    Pratik Dubey is the Strategic Partnerships Associate at Van Alen Institute. Most recently, he served as the Anti-Gentrification Organizer at Nuestra Comunidad in Boston, Massachusetts where he developed community engagement tools to ensure that development projects within the community addressed the needs of residents without exacerbating displacement. Pratik has worked extensively on community-driven planning and development initiatives during his time at the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority and Boston City Council. With a background in policy analysis, he also served as a research associate at The Global Resilience Institute. Pratik received his Masters in Public Policy from Northeastern University in 2022.

  5. Annie Ferreira

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    Annie Ferreira is the Strategic Partnerships Manager at Van Alen Institute. Previously, she worked at CitySquash, a youth development program in the Bronx, where she ran the boarding school and mentorship program, and Brooklyn Law School, where she worked in the Public Service Law Center. Annie graduated from Wesleyan University where she was a History major and wrote her thesis on how coeducation impacted the physical layout of the University.

  6. Scott Kelly

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    Scott Kelly is the Communications and Graphic Design Coordinator at Van Alen Institute.

  7. Kate Overbeck

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    As Director of Strategic Partnerships at Van Alen Institute, Kate Overbeck connects people committed to equitable citymaking with the resources needed to create more livable, healthy, and resilient neighborhoods for everyone. Prior to joining Van Alen, Kate held the position of Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships at 100 Resilient Cities, an initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation focused on helping cities survive and thrive in the face of the physical, social and environmental challenges of the 21st century. She brings extensive experience cultivating partnerships with corporations, foundations, governments and academic institutions to catalyze impact through program development, strategic initiatives, marketing communications and high profile convenings. Kate graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology.

  8. Deborah Marton

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    Deborah Marton is Executive Director of Van Alen Institute, an independent non-profit working to create equitable cities through inclusive design, and President of New York City’s Public Design Commission. A leading voice on the intersection of environmental and social justice, she was previously Executive Director of New York Restoration Project, where she completed fulfillment of the private sector commitment to plant a million trees as part of New York City’s MillionTreesNYC initiative and lead creation and/or renovation of more than 50 community garden spaces throughout New York City’s most under resourced communities. In her prior role as Executive Director of the Design Trust for Public Space, Deborah launched the Taxi 07 program, resulting in a new purpose-built NYC taxi. As project director at James Corner Field Operations, she led the original Fresh Kills Master Plan team. Deborah was a program director for the New York City Dept. of Parks Natural Resources Group and has lectured broadly, including as adjunct professor at the Univ. of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design. Early in her career, Deborah was an associate with the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Deborah holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

  9. Alisha Kim Levin

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    Alisha Kim Levin is the Director of Communications at Van Alen Institute, where she oversees all communications efforts including marketing, media relations, and digital content strategy to support the organization’s design competitions, public programs, research, and special initiatives. Prior to joining Van Alen, Alisha held the position of Manager, Global Communications at the Guggenheim Museum. She initially joined the museum as part of the project team for the BMW Guggenheim Lab—a multiyear project hosting public programming around architecture, design, and city life across three continents—which sparked a lasting interest in urban design and policy. She then led advertising, media relations, and digital media strategies for several of the Guggenheim’s major international and cross-cultural initiatives. Alisha graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Art History and English Literature.

  10. Ren Reese

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    Ren Reese is the Chief Financial Officer of Van Alen Institute. Ren oversees the administrative and financial systems that support Van Alen’s work and is responsible for designing and overseeing institutional processes and strategies that further the organization’s mission. Since joining Van Alen in 2018, Ren has held positions including Director of Finance and Operations and Project Manager, Flatiron Installation.

    Prior to joining Van Alen, Ren worked at the Guggenheim Museum across departments including Finance, Visitor Experience, and most recently Special Initiatives, where he shepherded interdepartmental teams to realize international contemporary art initiatives such as the Hugo Boss Prize and the UBS Global Art Initiative.

    Ren graduated from James Madison University with a B.B.A. in International Business Finance and a B.A. in Spanish.