Our Team

  • Vicki Been

    Vicki Been

    Vicki Been is the Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, an Affiliated Professor of Public Policy of the NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and Faculty Director at NYU Furman Center. She returned to NYU in January 2022, after serving for two years as Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development for the City of New York. She has done extensive research on New York City’s land use patterns, inclusionary zoning, historic preservation, the interplay of community benefit agreements with land use practices, and on a variety of affordable housing and land use policies, including gentrification, mortgage foreclosure, racial and economic integration, and the effects of supportive housing developments on their neighbors. She is the co-author of a leading land use casebook, Land Use Controls. Vicki is a 1983 graduate of New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar. She clerked for Judge Edward Weinfeld of the Southern District of New York and for Justice Harry Blackmun of the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • Ingrid Gould Ellen

    Ingrid Gould Ellen

    Ingrid Gould Ellen is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Faculty Director of the NYU Furman Center. Her research centers on neighborhoods, housing, and residential segregation. Ingrid is the co-editor of The Dream Revisited: Contemporary Debates About Housing, Segregation, and Opportunity (Columbia University Press, 2018). She is also the author of Sharing America’s Neighborhoods: The Prospects for Stable Racial Integration (Harvard University Press, 2000) and editor of How to House the Homeless (Russell Sage Foundation, 2010). She attended Harvard University, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics, an M.P.P., and a Ph.D. in Public Policy.

  • Katherine O’Regan

    Katherine O’Regan

    Katherine O'Regan is Professor of Public Policy and Planning and Faculty Director of NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. She spent April, 2014 through January, 2017 in the Obama Administration, serving as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her primary research interests are at the intersection of poverty and space—the conditions and fortunes of poor neighborhoods and those who live in them. Her recent research includes work on a wide variety of affordable housing topics, from whether the Low Income Tax Credit contributes to increased economic and racial segregation, to whether the presence of housing voucher households contributes to neighborhood crime. Her board work includes serving on the board of the Reinvestment Fund, one of the largest community development financial institutions in the U.S. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley and spent ten years teaching at the Yale School of Management prior to joining the Wagner faculty in 2000. 

  • Claudia Aiken

    Claudia Aiken

    Claudia Aiken is the Director of New Research Partnerships at the NYU Furman Center and Housing Solutions Lab. Previously, Claudia was Director of the Housing Initiative at Penn based at the University of Pennsylvania, where she led research focused on rental assistance program design and impacts, and on ethnoracial disparities in access to housing programs. She has served as a consultant in multiple municipal housing planning processes, including in Philadelphia and Cleveland. Claudia holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelor’s degrees in Urban and Environmental Planning and French from the University of Virginia. She has also studied urban planning in Stuttgart, Germany, and Lyon, France.

  • Aisha Balogun

    Aisha Balogun

    Aisha Balogun is the Special Projects Associate with the Housing Solutions Lab at the NYU Furman Center. She joins the Lab after serving as a Graduate Research Assistant with the Furman Center, where she supported a qualitative analysis of a financial counseling program for low-income renters. Prior to her time with the Furman Center, Aisha worked with the Moving Forward Network to bolster community-led advocacy by creating educational materials for environmental justice groups. Motivated by her work with grassroots groups and larger social organizations, Aisha strives to bridge the gap between institutions and communities to co-create solutions for housing affordability and urban inequality. Aisha holds a Master of Urban Planning from NYU Wagner and a dual B.S./B.A. in Engineering (Architectural Design) and Sociology from Stanford University.

  • Donna Borak

    Donna Borak is Director of External Affairs of the NYU Furman Center and Adjunct Professor of NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Prior to joining, Donna spent more than 20 years as an economic policy reporter in Washington and New York as an award-winning business journalist. Over her career, she has covered the 2008 financial crisis and housing finance reform, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department, and economic and tax policy for the country’s biggest news outlets, including Bloomberg Tax, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The American Banker, and The Associated Press. Her reporting has taken her around the world, covering the collapse of global trade talks in Hong Kong to the annual International Monetary Fund meeting in Bali, Indonesia to the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2014, Donna was awarded a prestigious year-long John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University, where she did research on the attention economy and built a conceptual prototype of an AI news assistant. Her media appearances have included Bloomberg Radio, The Big Take Podcast, C-SPAN, NPR and WNYC program’s Consider This, and Spectrum News NY1. Donna earned a Masters of Science in Journalism from Boston University and has a dual B.A. degree in Cognitive Science and Philosophy from Lehigh University. 

  • Ryan Brenner

    Ryan Brenner

    Ryan Brenner is the Research Analyst at the NYU Furman Center. Prior to joining the Furman Center, Ryan worked as a service provider in San Francisco’s homeless shelters and supportive housing developments. He received a B.S. in Conservation Biology from Colorado State University, J.D. from Michigan State University, and M.S. in Public Policy from NYU Wagner. Ryan is interested in using data to improve urban infrastructure and policy for sustainable development.  

  • Justin Campos

    Justin Campos

    Justin Campos is a Predoctoral Research Fellow at the NYU Furman Center and Housing Solutions Lab. He is a recent graduate from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where he received his M.P.A. in Public Policy Analysis. Before NYU, he attended Wesleyan University where he received his B.A. in the College of Social Studies. His research interests are within human services programming and poverty alleviation policy. He is fluent in Spanish.

  • Nora Carrier

    Nora Carrier

    Nora Carrier is a Predoctoral Research Fellow at the Furman Center. Nora recently received her B.A. in Politics from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. At Mount Holyoke, Nora completed a year's long thesis project studying the phenomenon of vacant housing in the United States. Nora is interested in vacant housing reduction policies and improving affordability. 

  • Tianfang (Tom) Cui

    Tianfang (Tom) Cui

    Tianfang (Tom) Cui is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Furman Center, whose research covers topics in public and urban economics. Tom's work measures which policies matter most to drive housing supply and demand. As housing affordability becomes a policy priority, he also analyzes how competing local interests form political constraints on housing development. Tom received his PhD in Applied Economics at the Wharton School and his B.A. and M.A. in Economics at Northwestern University.

  • Jiaqi Dong

    Jiaqi Dong is the Data Manager at the NYU Furman Center. Prior to that, she worked as a Research Associate at the JPMorgan Chase Institute. She holds a Master of Urban Planning from NYU Wagner and a Master of Science in Applied Urban Science and Informatics from NYU Tandon, and was part of the Furman data team during her graduate school studies. She got bachelor's degree from NYU Shanghai, with double major in Business and Finance and Interactive Media Arts. Her research interests are neighborhood change, using data and technology to build more equitable communities and food.

  • Martha Galvez

    Martha Galvez

    Martha Galvez is the Executive Director of the Housing Solutions Lab. Her expertise is in housing and homelessness policy, with a focus on policies and programs that strengthen housing stability and neighborhood choice for low-income families. She has experience in mixed-methods research, and has designed and led studies involving complex administrative, survey, and qualitative data. Prior to joining the Lab, she was a Principal Research Associate at the Urban Institute. She has also held policy and research positions in several state and local research organizations, including the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services' Research and Data Analysis division, the West Coast Poverty Center at the University of Washington, the Seattle Housing Authority, the New York City Department of Small Business Services, and the New York City Citizens Housing and Planning Council. Galvez earned an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in Urban Planning and PhD in public policy and administration from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.

  • Alisa Hartwell

    Alisa Hartwell

    Alisa Hartwell is the Data and Research Analyst at the Housing Solutions Lab. Before joining the Furman Center, she analyzed data for a homelessness prevention program based in Brooklyn and Staten Island, interned at University of Chicago's Crime and Education Lab in New York, and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for a volunteer mobilizer in Boston. Alisa obtained her B.A. in Economics from Smith College and a M.S. in Data Analytics and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Masaaki Kato

    Masaaki is a Data Assistant at the NYU Furman Center. He graduated with a Data Science and Psychology double major at the NYU College of Arts & Science. He is interested in topics of evictions, foreclosures, and sustainability.

  • Jessica Kwon

    Jessica Kwon

    Jessica Kwon is the Administrative Aide at the NYU Furman Center. She received a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a subconcentration in creative writing and a Minor in Asian and Pacific Islander American Studies from the University of Michigan.

  • Donald H. Layton

    Donald H. Layton

    Donald H. Layton is a Senior Visiting Fellow from Practice. Prior to joining the NYU Furman Center, he served as a Senior Industry Fellow at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, where he wrote extensively about the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and more broadly on housing finance. Before his stint in academia, Layton was the CEO of Freddie Mac from May 2012 until June 2019, where he championed the development of Credit Risk Transfers, one of the most significant reforms to the housing finance system in decades.

  • Kayla Merriweather

    Kayla Merriweather

    Kayla Merriweather is the Program and Operations Manager at the NYU Furman Center. She received her B.A. from New York University with an Individualized Major in History and Place through a Black Feminist Lens, and a Minor in Spanish. 

  • Elizabeth (Nikki) Miller

    Elizabeth (Nikki) Miller

    Elizabeth (Nikki) Miller is the Data Management Associate at the NYU Furman Center. She holds Masters in Public Administration from NYU Wagner where she specialized in Policy. At Wagner, Nikki worked part-time as a graduate research assistant on the Furman Center’s data team. Prior to Wagner, Nikki served as an AmeriCorps math fellow assisting middle schoolers at Great Oaks Charter School (GONYC). Her interests include affordable housing, zoning, sustainable development, and the usage of data analysis in research. Nikki graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2020 with a BA in Economics. 

  • Matthew Murphy

    Matthew Murphy

    Matthew Murphy is the Executive Director of the NYU Furman Center. Previously, he served as Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Policy and Strategy at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). As an urban planner working at the intersection of housing policy, affordable housing finance, and land use, Matthew has been quoted on New York City and national housing issues in the New York Times, CNN, NBC, Going for Broke with Ray Suarez, NY1, Politico, Crain’s, Real Deal, City Limits, Gotham Gazette, among other media outlets. Matthew has a Masters of Urban Planning from New York University and a B.S. in Business Administration from DePaul University in Chicago. He lives in Brooklyn with his loving wife and son.

  • Bethany O’Neill

    Bethany O’Neill

    Bethany O’Neill is the Director of Operations and Finance at the NYU Furman Center. She earned her B.S. in Food Science & Human Nutrition from the University of Florida and her M.A. in Food Studies from New York University. Bethany is interested in food policy issues and their intersections with sustainability and urban planning.

  • Hayley Raetz

    Hayley Raetz

    Hayley Raetz is the Director of Data and Policy at the NYU Furman Center. She previously worked as a research associate and graduate student researcher at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager and case manager for a community-based organization in the Bronx, where her work focused on eviction prevention, homelessness, and healthcare. She received her Master’s degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, and her B.A. in Government and Spanish from Smith College.

  • Jim Reisinger

    James is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Housing Solutions Lab. He is an applied microeconomist and holds a PhD from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA from Georgetown University. His independent research explores the historical determinants of racial inequities. Previously he worked with Princeton University and the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics on poverty alleviation program evaluations in East Africa.

  • Patrick Spauster

    Patrick Spauster

    Patrick Spauster is the data fellow at the Furman Center where he focuses on data communication, using visualization, interactivity, and design to create effective data tools. Spauster received his Master's in Urban Planning from NYU Wagner in 2023 where he was a Georgina and Charlotte Bloomberg Public Service Fellow. Spauster also writes freelance journalism and is a contributor at Bloomberg CityLab. He formerly worked as a research analyst at the Urban Institute and holds a BA in Public Policy and a Minor in Economics from Davidson College.

  • Camille Watson

    Camille Watson is the Director of Strategy and Policy at the Housing Solutions Lab. Previously, she held policy and research positions focused on improving the social, economic, and environmental conditions that impact population health. At the American Academy of Pediatrics, she led policy initiatives on social determinants of child health, including poverty, housing insecurity, and homelessness. Prior to that, she worked at Health Care For All (MA), promoting policy reforms and collaborations across government sectors, to reduce health disparities. Camille has also managed community-based research in public housing developments. She earned her Master’s degree from the Harvard University School of Public Health. 

  • Harrison Wheeler

    Harrison Wheeler

    Harrison Wheeler is a Postdoctoral research scholar at the NYU Furman Center. He is an applied microeconomist with research interests in urban and labor economics. His current work studies the effects of place-based policies on local housing and labor markets. Harrison received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2023. Before UC Berkeley, he obtained his B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Columbia University.

  • Mark Willis

    Mark Willis

    Mark Willis is the Senior Policy Fellow at the NYU Furman Center, conducting research, writing, and speaking on such urban-related policy issues as affordable housing, housing finance reform, community development lending and investment, and the Community Reinvestment Act. Before joining the NYU Furman Center, Mark was a Visiting Scholar at the Ford Foundation, working on research related to community development and the financial services sector. Prior to his time at Ford, he spent 19 years at JPMorgan Chase overseeing its community development program, serving as Executive Vice President and Founding President of the Chase Community Development Corporation. Mark has also held positions with the City of New York in economic development, tax policy, and housing, where he was the Deputy Commissioner for Development at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. He also worked as an urban economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Mark has taught Housing and Community Development Policy at New York University’s Law and Wagner Schools. He co-chairs the Economic Development and Housing Committee of the Citizens Budget Commission, chairs the Program Planning Committee of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and serves as a Board Member of the National Housing Conference, National Community Investment Fund, and a number of other boards involved with housing and community development. Mark has a B.A. in economics from Yale University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a Ph.D. in urban economics and industrial organization from Yale University.

  • Jessica Wunsch

    Jess Wunsch is the Director of City Engagement at the Housing Solutions Lab. Prior to joining the Furman Center, she was a policy analyst at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy where she supported the Legacy Cities Initiative, a national network of local leaders from post-industrial cities working to increase access to opportunity and improve quality of life for residents. She also served as a Hatfield Fellow at the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services where she focused on improving foreclosure prevention programs and has held several local government roles in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Greensboro, North Carolina. Her primary interests include innovative approaches to housing and land use policy and the role of community-based research in informing public decision making. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Ithaca College and MPP and MURP degrees from the University of Michigan.

  • Claudia Zequeira

    Claudia Zequeira

    Claudia Zequeira is the LHS Manager at the Housing Solutions Lab. Before joining the Lab, she was an editor at Ana G. Méndez University and a Senior News Writer at Valencia College in Central Florida. In a previous chapter of her career, she worked as a journalist for several daily newspapers, including El Diario/La Prensa in New York City and the Los Angeles Times, where she covered politics and general assignments. More recently, she covered education for the Orlando Sentinel, Central Florida’s largest newspaper. Claudia holds a B.A. in Art History from Hunter College and an M.A. in Career and Technical Education from the University of Central Florida. She is passionate about higher learning and sharing complex ideas in approachable ways. 

  • Ken Zimmerman

    Ken Zimmerman

    Ken Zimmerman is a Distinguished Fellow at the NYU Furman Center. Ken’s research examines new forms of social advocacy and policy development in the urban environment, with a special focus on evolving mechanisms for civic engagement and innovative approaches to address growing inequality. Ken, a noted policy maker, fair housing expert, and civil rights attorney, has devoted his career to justice and equality issues. Prior to joining the NYU Furman Center, Ken served as the Director of U.S. Programs for the Open Society Foundations, where he oversaw the annual dissemination of over $100 million in grants to organizations focused on equality, fairness, and justice. Before joining Open Society Foundations, he served as part of the Obama Administration’s presidential transition team for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and served as senior advisor to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Previously, he was a litigation partner for the pro bono practice group at Lowenstein Sandler PC, chief counsel to New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine, and founding Executive Director of the New Jersey Institute of Social Justice. Early in his career, Ken served as a Senior Trial Attorney, then Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Programs, in HUD’s Office of Fair Housing. He also served as a Skadden Legal Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County, California, and at the Washington D.C. Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Ken graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Yale University in 1982 and earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School, also graduating magna cum laude, in 1988.