BOARD of Directors

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Executive Committee

Benjamin Schall is the CEO and President of AvalonBay. Prior to becoming President, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Seritage Growth Properties and the Chief Operating Officer of Rouse Properties, from 2012 to 2015. At Rouse, he oversaw the redevelopment and operations of a $2.5 billion portfolio of 35 regional malls, totaling 25 million square feet across the country. Prior to that, Mr. Schall was Senior Vice President with Vornado Realty Trust. At Vornado, his responsibilities included overseeing Vornado's suburban retail shopping center business, consisting of 18 million square feet in 140 assets representing a value of over $3 billion. Prior to his private-sector real estate career, he worked at the New York City Economic Development Corporation and MDRC, the public policy think tank.Mr. Schall holds a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College.

Renée Eubanks is currently a Managing Director at Manulife Investment Management. She was recently counsel at SNR Denton US LLP, an international law firm with
offices throughout the US, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. As head of the Distressed
Investing Group, Renée worked with hedge funds, private equity funds and other alternative investment entities who focus on special situation debt and/or equity investments. She earned her BS in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a law degree from Boston College Law School. She also holds an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Renée’s other charitable activities include hosting test prep sessions for students seeking admission to her alma mater, Stuyvesant High School.

Ronni Fisher recently retired after spending 38 years in Early Childhood programs at University Settlement, where she was an Assistant Executive Director and was in charge of all the programs for young children, the after-school programs, and the adult literacy program. During her tenure, she oversaw the creation of the nation’s first truly integrated childcare center, blending Head Start, Universal Pre-K, and City-funded daycare programs into one, unified program. Ms. Fisher has served on numerous boards and commissions shaping the City’s childcare initiatives.
Frederick Yee is Managing Director and Head of East Region Underwriting for the Commercial Real Estate business at Capital One. He previously served as Head of Underwriting – North America Commercial Real Estate at Hudson Advisors, an affiliate of the Lone Star Real Estate Funds (LSREF). A graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, he previously served as Treasurer of the Board of the Hunter College High School Alumnae/i Association. Fred spent his early years Manhattan’s Chinatown and now lives in Forest Hills, Queens with his family.

Aviva Will is Co-Chief Operating Officer of Burford Capital, overseeing the firm’s global origination, marketing and underwriting functions. She has over a decade of experience
investing in and managing the world’s largest portfolio of commercial litigation and arbitration risk. In her role at Burford, Aviva has overseen the continuing innovation of its offerings to law firms and companies. At Burford, Aviva developed and launched The Equity Project, a groundbreaking initiative designed to help close the gender gap in law by providing an economic incentive for change through a $50 million pool of capital earmarked for financing commercial litigation matters led by women. Prior to joining Burford in 2010, Aviva was a senior litigator and Assistant General Counsel at Time Warner Inc. and before that, practiced law at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Aviva earned a J.D. cum laude from Fordham University School of Law, where she was an Editor of the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. She earned a B.A. from Columbia University. She was a law clerk to the Honorable Stewart G. Pollock on the New Jersey Supreme Court.


Leonard (Len) Berman is a Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at First Manhattan Co. with more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry. He provides wealth planning and investment management services for individuals, families, professional partnerships, business owners, and charitable trusts. Prior to joining First Manhattan, Len was a Research Analyst in Lehman Brothers’ Principal Investing Group and at Eton Park Capital Management. 

Len holds a JD from Columbia Law School, an MBA from Columbia Business School, and an AB from Princeton University. 

Len is actively involved at The Jewish Center, where he was previously an officer and currently serves on the Administrative Committee and as a trustee. Previously, Len was a longtime board member of Princeton’s Center for Jewish Life/Hillel. 

Len, his wife, Lori Zeltser, and their three sons live on the Upper West Side. 

Christina Chiu is the President of Empire State Realty Trust. Prior to her appointment as President, Ms. Chiu served as Executive Vice President, CFO since May 2020 when she joined ESRT, and was then appointed to both COO & CFO in December 2022.

Prior to joining ESRT, Ms. Chiu had an 18-year career at Morgan Stanley where she served as Managing Director and COO of the Global Listed Real Assets Investing business, responsible for business development and capital raising efforts, institutional investor and consultant relationships, oversight of the day-to-day investing business, and execution of strategic initiatives. She began her career as a real estate investment banking analyst on both principal investing and strategic advisory transactions.

Ms. Chiu is a member of the Real Estate Roundtable Real Estate Capital Policy Advisory Committee, vice chair of the ULI Technology & Real Estate Council, member of the NYU Stern Real Estate Board of Advisors, and a David Rockefeller Fellow of the Partnership for NYC. She serves on the American Red Cross National Board of Governors, as well as the board of University Settlement Society of New York. Ms. Chiu earned a B.S. in Finance and Accounting summa cum laude from NYU Stern School of Business.

Steven Green is a Partner in the Corporate Department of the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.  Steven received a B.A. magna cum laude in English Literature and Cinema Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was a forum editor of the Harvard Law Review.  Prior to joining Wachtell, Lipton, Steven served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sandra S. Ikuta of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Hale Gurland is a multi-disciplined artist. His work in sculpture are monumental pieces that go from the figurative to the abstract. His paintings follow the works in sculpture and use heavy colors against bright to achieve his ideas. He has been photographing around the world for over forty years capturing diverse cultures, their daily lives, conflicts and religions. His work has been shown in Europe, Asia, India, South America and North America. Mr. Gurland lives and works in New York City.

Ken C. Joseph, Esq. is a managing director and Global Leader of Kroll’s Disputes practice. He is also a Fellow in the Kroll Institute, providing thought leadership on a variety of financial services and regulatory matters, as well as Head of the firm’s Cryptocurrency Task Force. Ken focuses on serving clients who need informed and proven strategies to successfully navigate a broad spectrum of threats arising from investigations, compliance examinations, litigation, and crisis scenarios. Prior to joining Kroll, he served with distinction for a total of over 21 years at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including service as one of the inaugural supervisors in the Division of Enforcement’s specialized asset management unit, and most recently as a senior officer in the Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. Ken holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, a B.S., MBA, and post-graduate degrees in Marketing Management and International Finance from St. John’s University, New York. He also completed executive education programs at Georgetown University Law Center (through the SEC), and through Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as in the States of New York and Connecticut.

Richard Médor is the Founder of 742 Ventures, a private venture firm focused on acquiring and operating diverse real estate assets and entrepreneurial owned companies. Previously, he was a finance executive at Viacom to help lead a global finance transformation effort. Prior to his time at Viacom, he was a Partner at EY serving Fortune 500 clients, which included time spent in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles. He was selected by EY senior leadership to build a consulting practice in Europe. As such, he spent 5 years based in Paris, and successfully built a multi-million dollar consulting practice from the ground-up that extended throughout Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Prior to his time with EY, he worked at Time Warner and began his professional career at KPMG’s New York office focused primarily on financial service clients. He is a graduate of New York University’s Stern School of Business.

PATRICK MICHEL is a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, where he has a wide range of experience advising investment managers and advisers of a variety of investment funds, including real estate funds, private equity funds, and hedge funds, as well as on commercial and regulatory issues. Patrick regularly acts as counsel to corporate, tax-exempt, pension fund, and sovereign institutional investors in connection with their investments in investment vehicles and co-investments with sponsors. He also has experience in structuring and advising emerging managers and start-up investment funds.

Patrick was named to Crain’s New York Business’s 2021 “Notable Black Leaders & Executives” list for his leadership and public service in diversity and inclusion. He is also recommended by The Legal 500 for his work in Investment Fund Formation and Management: Alternative/Hedge Funds and Investment Fund Formation and Management: Private Equity Funds. Patrick was also selected by The Partnership for New York City as a member of the 2022 David Rockefeller Fellows. This program prepares senior corporate executives for more active leadership in civic and public affairs.

Patrick serves on Sidley’s Accounting and Finance, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committees, and is the founder of Friends in Alternatives, a network for lawyers and compliance officers of color in the asset management space. He mentors underserved young people through Legal Outreach, which prepares urban students for academic success through legal and educational programs.

Thomas Morgan has been a private equity investor and advisor for nearly 30 years.  After beginning his career in investment banking with First Boston, he spent most of the 90s with Bain Capital as it grew from a single strategy, single office firm with $300M AUM and 20 employees to a multi-strategy, multi-office firm with $5B AUM and over 100 employees.  He then joined New Mountain Capital at inception and over 15 years there New Mountain raised over $15B AUM and invested capital across three strategies: private equity, private credit and public hedge.  Mr. Morgan left New Mountain in 2015 to found Hycroft Capital, the first firm ever formed solely to make minority (non-control) investments into the management companies (GPs) of private equity and other private capital firms (“GP Stakes”).  He later merged Hycroft Capital into Magnetar Capital, a $14B multi-strategy asset manager, forming and heading Magnetar Strategic Capital.  Most recently, Mr. Morgan helped co-found Aviditi Advisors, an alternative investment bank focused on private capital firms and their investors, offering advisory services in capital formation, capital markets and other capital-driven firm initiatives.  Mr. Morgan is a partner and senior member of the management team heading Aviditi’s Liquidity Solutions business line.

Mr. Morgan grew up in Scarsdale, NY, and graduated Williams College in 1991 with a B.A. in History and Political Science, magna cum laude, and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1998.  He lives in Manhattan’s Upper East Side with his wife and three school-aged children.

Aisha Oliver-Staley is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and University Secretary at New York University. In this role, Aisha oversees the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Compliance and Risk Management, which serve as strategic partners to NYU’s schools, administrative offices, affiliates, portal campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, and global academic sites on legal, compliance, and policy matters. As University Secretary, Aisha also oversees the Office of the Secretary and is responsible for providing guidance and resources to the University’s Board of Trustees.

Aisha has extensive experience advising on the broad cross-section of issues that affect a major research university, including international operations, compliance and ethics, real estate, finance and development, municipal finance, gifts, conflicts of interest, investigations, student and personnel matters. Currently, Aisha is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) Finance and Audit Committee as well as the Association of American Universities (AAU) General Counsels' Steering Committee.

Prior to joining NYU, Aisha spent nine years at Georgia Institute of Technology, during which time she served as the Executive Director of the Institute's Affiliated Organizations and later as its Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer and Deputy General Counsel. Before she worked at Georgia Tech, Aisha was a corporate attorney at McKenna, Long & Aldridge LLP (now Dentons) in Atlanta; and also previously worked in banking and as a high school teacher in Trinidad and Tobago.

Aisha is a graduate of Morgan State University, where she earned a B.Sc. in business management. She received her JD from Howard University School of Law.

Steve Perricone is the founder and Managing Partner of Pilot Mountain Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in early stage companies. Previously, Mr. Perricone served as a Managing Director and the Head of the Hedging and Monetization Group within the Equity Derivatives Division of Deutsche Bank. Mr. Perricone began his career as a technology consultant with Accenture in their Financial Services Group. He was involved in numerous bank mergers, advising clients on the many operational and technology challenges involved. Mr. Perricone has enjoyed living in New York’s East Village for over 20 years. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Wake Forest University.

Steven Schall is a partner in Schall & Russo Planning Works, a firm that helps non-profits and government agencies envision and implement change. To that end, Schall & Russo provides executive search, business consulting, consensus-building and real estate consulting. Prior to establishing Schall & Russo in 2002, Mr. Schall held positions as a non-profit executive overseeing child care, supportive housing, and HIV/AIDS services; a senior level consultant and planner for community-based human service programs; and senior level planning positions in the HIV/AIDS and healthcare fields. Mr. Schall began his social work career in the late 1970s, first as a counselor at University Settlement’s Beacon, NY summer camp, followed by several social work positions in children’s services, criminal justice, and emergency room services. He has a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master of Social Work from Hunter College CUNY and a Bachelors degree from Swarthmore College.

Peter B. Siroka is an attorney at Fried Frank, where he is a partner specializing in restructuring and insolvency. He joined the firm in 2006.

Peter has a broad range of experience in representing debtors and official and unofficial creditors' committees in chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings. He also represents significant creditors, lenders and third-party purchasers in connection with chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructuring situations. Peter is recognized by Legal 500 in Finance: Restructuring (including Bankruptcy): Corporate.

He is a cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and earned his J.D. cum laude from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. Peter lives in Brooklyn with his family.

Harly D. Stevens is a Senior Vice President at CBRE Group, Inc., the largest full service commercial real estate firm in the world. Mr. Stevens is a skilled practitioner in solving for the complex equation of corporate image, prestigious locations and economic deal terms for corporate Manhattan headquarters requirements. Mr. Stevens is the youngest executive to ever win the Real Estate Board of New York’s “Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award,” the industry’s highest honor. Additionally, Harly was nominated for the same award in 2015 for representing MediaMath, Inc. in planning, negotiating and executing the technology companies new 4 World Trade Center Headquarters. Recent transactions and consulting services were concluded on behalf of: Anderson Kill & Olick, LLP, Aspen Insurance Holdings, Jazz at Lincoln Center, MediaMath, New York Magazine, Oscar de la Renta, LUKOIL, Rodale, The London Stock Exchange, Trimaran Capital Partners, Vinson & Elkins, LLP and Wells Fargo. Mr. Stevens joined the University Settlement Board in 2015.

Andrew is an Investment Principal, Private Equity at BC Partners, a leading international private equity firm. Prior, he advised on mergers and acquisitions transactions, most recently at Centerview Partners. Andrew Zhu graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and is bilingual, fluent in both English and Mandarin.

Ian Zilla is Executive Managing Director at Savills, working on a team that bridges the worlds of commercial real estate, corporate finance and management consulting. His prior background in computer science, technology and finance compliments his team’s quantitative strategic planning approach and financial consulting services, particularly as it relates to clients’ mission critical facilities and complex headquarters transactions. He has been an active volunteer in the City since arriving in 2000. Mr. Zilla holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University.

* In Memoriam

Honorary Directors

Gary Baumann

Paul W. Brandow

Sarah Britton

Nancy Drosd

James K. Finkel

Heather S. Goldman

James Kagen

Janice Lee

Richard Rieger

Ellen Schall

Gail Schargel

Alan Winters

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