Our Team

  • Tristessa Arthur

    Tristessa Arthur is a first-year Masters of Urban Planning candidate, specializing in Economic Development and Housing. She received her Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Florida. She spent most of her time at UF working in Multicultural and Diversity student affairs, growing a passion for social justice and advocacy for under-represented populations. Tristessa is interested in furthering social equity with intentional urban development, and hopes to research issues of gentrification, economic inequality, land use/zoning regulations, and private-public partnerships.

  • Maia Cole

    Maia Cole is a first-year student at NYU School of Law and a Root-Tilden-Kern public interest scholar. Maia is passionate about housing justice and would like to work on issues of affordable housing, gentrification, and desegregation. She graduated from Amherst College in 2014 with a degree in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought. After graduating, she worked as a civil rights paralegal at Relman, Dane & Colfax, working with attorneys on fair housing and fair lending cases. In this capacity, she saw the variety of barriers from government organizations, banks, and private individuals that her clients faced when trying to find and maintain their housing. Following two years as a paralegal, Maia moved to London to pursue her M.A. in comparative literature at SOAS, focusing primarily on African and African-American literature about slave narratives. 

  • Scott Davis

    Scott Davis is a first-year student at NYU School of Law. A native of the mountains of western North Carolina, Scott graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied English and Creative Writing. After college, Scott worked for a voting rights nonprofit, worked in publishing, and later spent a year as an AmeriCorps Vista member serving at a shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Durham, NC. Scott is interested in civil legal services - especially around the issues of eviction prevention and foreclosure prevention - and affordable housing policy.

  • Handaa Enkh-Amgalan

    Rentsenkhand (Handaa) Enkh-Amgalan is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Public Finance at NYU Wagner. While at Wagner, Handaa assists in teaching a graduate course at NYU Stern School of Business. Prior to Wagner, she worked as an Urban Fellow at New York City Department of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Financial Empowerment. Handaa assisted in managing the network of 25 Financial Empowerment Centers which help New Yorkers build assets by receiving free financial counseling. She conducted research and data analysis for strategic planning and program evaluation and supported the implementation of innovative prototypes for effective service design. Handaa graduated from East Tennessee State University where she studied Marketing Management and Business Economics. During her undergraduate career, she founded a student-led nonprofit organization “Student United Way,” which mobilized her peers to volunteer with youth at the community-level in Johnson City, Tennessee. Handaa is originally from the capital city of Mongolia, and during the latter part of her childhood, she grew up in a nomadic family and lived in a yurt or portable tent. 

  • Daphna Ezrachi

    Daphna Ezrachi is a Master of Urban Planning candidate at NYU Wagner. Originally from Jerusalem, she relocated to the U.S. during the summer of 2016. Before moving, Daphna was a community educator, working with teens and young adults from all over Israel. While working, she interned at Member of Knesset Tamar Zandberg's office, and volunteered as a medic at a local HIV clinic. Daphna has a B.A. in History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

  • Ethan Fitzgerald

    Ethan Fitzgerald is a first-year student at NYU School of Law and a native New Yorker. He attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 2015 with a BA from the Ford School of Public Policy where he studied US economic inequality and the intersection of housing with other policy issues. After college, he lived in Washington, DC, and worked at FairVote, the nation's leading advocate for structural democracy reform.

  • Rachel Flaherty

    Rachel Flaherty is a first-year student at NYU Wagner. Rachel graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rhode Island in 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science. During her undergraduate career she focused on American Politics and completed a Capstone Project on Voter ID laws and their ability to disenfranchise minority voters via modern day voter suppression techniques. Rachel is passionate about civic engagement, criminal justice, social welfare, and minority rights. Prior to joining the NYU Furman Center, Rachel worked on Capitol Hill for U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse as his Deputy Scheduler.

  • Aaron Haier

    Aaron Haier is a second-year student at NYU School of Law, where he is a Moelis Fellow for Urban Law and Public Affairs. Aaron spent his 1L summer working for the New York City Housing Development Corporation in both their Legal and Capital Markets divisions, and he will spend his 2L summer as a Summer Associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. At NYU Law, Aaron is a Staff Editor for the Review of Law and Social Change, works as a teaching assistant for 1L Contracts professor Barry Adler, and serves as Vice President of the Real Estate and Urban Policy Forum. Aaron is also a student advocate with the Suspension Representation Project and a member of the American Constitution Society. Prior to beginning law school, Aaron worked for the City of Newark, New Jersey's Department of Health where he oversaw the creation and development of the City's "Newark Healthy Homes Program," a $500,000 grant program made possible by The Kresge Foundation through its Advancing Safe and Healthy Homes Initiative (ASHHI). Aaron was responsible for crafting and executing strategies for addressing health issues that derive from in-home environmental hazards through policy development, legal enforcement, and community education and advocacy. Born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, Aaron received his B.A. in Economics and English from New York University, as well as his M.A. in Economics from New York University.

  • Luis Hernandez

    Luis Hernandez is a Master of Urban Planning candidate at NYU. Before joining the NYU Furman Center, Luis worked on the policy and communications team at Airbnb for three years overseeing the East Coast and Canada team operations. He has also worked on several political campaigns, including the 2013 mayoral campaign of Mayor Bill de Blasio, as the targeting director, and held several positions on the 2008 Barack Obama campaign for President. Luis has also worked in Cleveland, OH as a community organizer where he helped create a neighborhood recreation league and worked on other economic development initiatives. He has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Dayton. 

  • Alexius Marcano

    Alexius Marcano is a David Bohnett Public Service Fellow and Master of Public Administration candidate at NYU Wagner. Originally from Miami, Alexius studied Political Science at Emory University, where he received high honors for his thesis studying the relationship between gentrification and the incidence of guilty verdicts in felony jury trials. At Emory, he worked for their Center for Community Partnerships where he researched Atlanta’s housing choice voucher program. After graduating, Alexius joined the Kinder Institute at Rice University as an Urban & Metropolitan Governance Fellow. While at Kinder, he worked with local community organizations to prevent long-term resident displacement in Houston’s gentrifying 3rd Ward and conducted research on the city’s unique zoning and land use system. Alexius has served as a Congressional Intern for Florida Congressman Joe Garcia, as well as in the transition team for Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. 

  • Saumya Mathur

    Saumya Mathur is an Office Assistant at the NYU Furman Center. She is a third year undergraduate student at the College of Arts and Science majoring in Economics and minoring in Computer Science-Mathematics and Chinese. Having grown up in India, Netherlands, and Hong Kong, she is passionate about engaging in other cultures. She is interested in learning more about the urban policies and neighborhoods of New York.

  • Alisa Nurmansyah

    Alisa Nurmansyah is a second-year undergraduate student at the College of Arts and Science double majoring in Economics and Urban Design & Architecture Studies. She is an office assistant at the NYU Furman Center. She is interested in studying and researching affordable housing, zoning laws and their effects, accessible public transportation, and economic development.

  • Bill Reisman

    Bill Reisman is a fourth-year undergraduate student at NYU College of Arts and Science, majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Mathematics. In addition to his position at the NYU Furman Center, Bill is a research intern for the Environmental Grantmakers Association. He has also worked for Changing Our World, Inc. and NYU's Action Research Internship. Bill is interested in research focusing on food justice, sustainable urban planning, and urban hydrology.

  • Lauren Richardson

    Lauren Richardson is a second-year student at NYU School of Law, where she is a Moelis Fellow for Urban Law and Public Affairs. Lauren is fascinated by how geographic space can degrade or enhance quality of life and basic dignity. Her interests lie at the intersection of housing, health, and environmental justice. Lauren is spending her 1L summer at the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC), where she works on housing court cases involving mold, lead, and other toxic health conditions in low-income communities. At the Law School, Lauren is a member of the Immigrant Rights Clinic, serves as the Co-chair of the Public Interest Law Student Association, and is the St. Xavier Clinic Coordinator for REACH, a student run legal clinic for individuals experiencing homelessness. Before NYU, Lauren worked in international education and development in Africa and South America. She graduated from the University of South Florida, with a B.A. in International Relations and B.A. in Africana Studies. She became interested in issues of urban policy while working with young adults experiencing homelessness for her undergraduate honors thesis and with low-income immigrant and refugee populations at a nonprofit community development corporation. She speaks Swahili and Spanish.

  • Jessica Saab

    Jessica Saab is an office assistant at the NYU Furman Center. She is a fourth year undergraduate student at NYU majoring in Metropolitan Studies and minoring in Public Policy & Management. Before joining the NYU Furman Center, Jessica worked in several different fields ranging from the NYC Parks Department to a private museum dedicated to American gangster history. She is passionate about urban areas, efficient public transportation, the environment, and wants to better the standard of life through effective policy. 

  • Xingzhi Wang

    Xingzhi Wang is a Master of Public Administration candidate at NYU Wagner, specializing in financial management and public finance. In addition to his research position at the NYU Furman Center, he is working with Professor Bialek as a teaching assistant of public finance at NYU Wagner. Growing up in one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, he is passionate about financial reforms and sustainable growth, as well as research focusing on fiscal policies and financial stability. Xingzhi holds a B.A. in Finance from Shanghai International Studies University.

  • Hongye Wu

    Hongye Wu is pursing her Master of Public Administration degree specializing in Public Finance and Financial Management at NYU Wagner. In addition to her research position at the Furman Center, Hongye is helping Professor Pokharel at the urban planning department to access the practice of crowdsourced data and its scalability. She is interested in the intersection of economic inclusion, data analytics, and social policies that aim to reduce poverty as well as ensure equity. Hongye received a B.A. in Political Science and Art History from Tufts University. 

  • Catherine Zinnel

    Catherine Zinnel is a Master of Urban Planning candidate at NYU Wagner. She also works in the Office of NYC Council Member Brad Lander in Brooklyn, where she develops new ways to broaden participation in government decision-making and neighborhood-based planning. Prior to joining the City Council, Catherine was an Urban Fellow in the NYC Housing Authority’s Department for Real Estate Development. Her interests include innovative models for affordable housing development, the design and maintenance of public spaces, and the spatial distribution of public infrastructure. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from CUNY Hunter College.