Press Releases

NYU Furman Center Names Matt Murphy Executive Director

March 21st 2019

New York, NY— The NYU Furman Center announced today the appointment of Matt Murphy as its new Executive Director. He will join the Furman Center on April 15 after an eight-year stint in City government, where he currently serves as Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Policy and Strategy with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). His present portfolio includes the Office of Housing Policy and the Office of Strategic Operations and Analytics, which leads the development of strategies to advance HPD’s housing policy objectives and oversee initiatives to help achieve agency goals and improve operations

“One of the NYU Furman Center’s core goals is to train the next generation of urban leaders,” said Faculty Director Ingrid Gould Ellen. “Hiring an Executive Director who began their career as a Graduate Research Assistant with us is therefore deeply rewarding, and a testament to Matt’s achievements.”

Murphy started his HPD tenure as Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Planning in 2015 after serving as a Senior Project Manager and Policy Advisor at the New York City Housing Development Corporation since 2011. He played a central role in many of the City's signature achievements, including the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, the reform of 421-a, the new Certification of No Harassment policy, and the pilot project to legalize basement apartments in East New York.

“We are thrilled to welcome Matt Murphy back to the NYU Furman Center,” said Faculty Director Vicki Been. “His deep understanding of New York’s housing landscape and his leadership experience will be tremendous assets in our research, our data analysis, and our work to foster better public debate about housing, land use, and urban policy.”

The announcement comes following the departure of previous Executive Director Jessica Yager, who recently joined Win as Vice President of Policy and Planning. Among the many milestones achieved during her three-year tenure were the creation of, the launch of, and comprehensive looks at the tools communities have to respond to fears of displacement from gentrification and the national rental housing landscape.

“Jessica’s leadership and the extent and quality of her policy research had a profound effect on the work of the Furman Center,” said Interim Executive Director Mark A. Willis, “and will be greatly missed.”

With new leadership in place, the NYU Furman Center is poised to build on the momentum of a year that saw the launch of Local Housing Solutions, a major new policy-focused website for local governments; the publication of The Dream Revisited, an anthology of essays on segregation, housing and opportunity; and the recognition of the platform as one of the best planning websites of 2018.

“Housing affordability and urban policy are increasingly a priority at every level of government,” said Faculty Director Kathy O’Regan. “Matt’s appointment is an opportunity for the NYU Furman Center to play a central role in the national conversation about designing fair, inclusive cities.”

”I am ecstatic to be joining the unbelievable leadership team at the NYU Furman Center and thankful for the opportunity to build on Jessica’s extraordinary accomplishments,” said Matt Murphy. “New York City has long been a laboratory for housing, land use, and urban policy, and the Furman Center’s cutting-edge research and data provide an anchor for the necessary debate over these critical issues. Returning to the place that nourished my intellectual curiosities as a graduate student brings my work full circle, and I hope to bring a fresh and unique perspective on the urban issues policymakers should confront to help shape New York City’s exciting future.”