The Board of Trustees
WILLIAM C. THOMPSON, JR., B.A., was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 15, 2016 as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. His term ends June 2022.
Mr. Thompson is a dedicated advocate for innovation, diversity and progress in the public and private sectors. He champions transformational policy for positive change, demanding accountability, transparency and integrity. Mr. Thompson’s legacy includes driving positive, innovative change in New York City education and economic development, protecting the City’s financial integrity and fighting to protect the interests of millions.
Currently, Mr. Thompson is a Partner at Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., a full service investment firm, serving as Chief Administrative Officer since April 2010. Siebert Brandford Shank has managed over $1 trillion of municipal bonds in more than 4,000 transactions for the funding of education, housing, health services, transportation, utilities, capital facilities, economic development, redevelopment and general infrastructure projects. The firm has ranked as the #1 M/WBE (Minority and Women-Owned Business) firm in public finance from 1998 to 2015 and was the first M/WBE firm to be ranked in the top 10 for public finance senior managed transactions.
Mr. Thompson was elected to two consecutive, four-year terms as Comptroller of the City of New York in 2002. As the NYC Comptroller, he led a team of 720 employees, managed a $66 million annual operating budget, $36.5 million capital budget, and the 5th largest billion-dollar pension fund in the United States, which was rated among the top 20 in the world. Mr. Thompson safeguarded multi-billion dollar portfolios and protected the assets and interests of millions of New Yorkers during one of the most challenging economic periods in history.
Prior to being elected New York City Comptroller, Mr. Thompson was appointed to the New York City Board of Education where he served five terms as President of the nation’s largest school system with more than 130,000 employees and an annual budget of nearly $12 billion. As President, Mr. Thompson led policy development and implementation for a public school system with 1.1 million public school children. In particular, Mr. Thompson worked closely with CUNY officials to expand the University’s College Now program, which enables public high school students to take college courses. College Now, which enrolled 449 students from a few Brooklyn high schools when it started in fall 1984, currently serves more than 20,000 students and partners with 400 high schools.
In January 2015, Governor Cuomo named Mr. Thompson as Chairman of the New York State Housing Finance Agency and Chairman of the State of New York Mortgage Agency. In 2011, Governor Cuomo selected Mr. Thompson to Chair his M/WBE Task Force. In February 2010, Governor David Paterson named Mr. Thompson to serve as Chairman of the Board of The Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority, a position he held until 2012.
A lifelong New York City resident and a product of its public schools, Mr. Thompson graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Political Science. He is a Trustee Emeritus of Tufts University.
Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Thompson resides in Harlem with his wife and three children.
Mr. Thompson serves as Chair of the Executive Committee, the Committee on Audit, and is a member of the Subcommittees on Investment.
BARRY F. SCHWARTZ, A.B., J.D., was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York, effective October 5, 2016. Mr. Schwartz was appointed by Governor Cuomo as a member of the Board on May 6, 2014 to a term that ends June 2020.
Since 2007, Mr. Schwartz has been Executive Vice Chairman of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated. From 1993 until 2007, Mr. Schwartz was the firm’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
Mr. Schwartz is Trustee Emeritus and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Kenyon College and formerly a member of Georgetown University Law Center Board of Visitors. Mr. Schwartz has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (“AGB”). Mr. Schwartz is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center At The World Trade Center.
Mr. Schwartz received his A.B., cum laude, from Kenyon College in 1970 and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1974.
Mr. Schwartz serves as Chair of the Board’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs and its Subcommittee on Investment, and serves as a member of the Executive Committee.
WELLINGTON Z. CHEN, B.S., was appointed by Governor George Pataki in June 2000 as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. Mr. Chen was reappointed by the Governor in June 2005, and November 2010 to a term that ends June 2017.
Mr. Chen was born in Taiwan, and lived in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Brazil before arriving in New York over 30 years ago as an adolescent. He is conversant in several languages, including Chinese (Amoy, Cantonese, Mandarin), and Brazilian-Portuguese.
Mr. Chen, a resident of Queens and a long-time community leader, graduated from the School of Architecture and Environmental Studies at City College. He was the first Chinese American in Queens to serve on a community planning board, where he chaired the cultural affairs, housing, landmarks, planning and zoning committees and helped to bring about the revival of downtown Flushing.
Mr. Chen is the Executive Director of the Chinatown Partnership Development Corporation, and in this capacity he will lead the Chinatown Partnership in implementing major initiatives in tourism, marketing and public space improvements in a comprehensive effort to improve business conditions. Mr. Chen was a Commissioner of the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals which reviews zoning variances, special permits, and other land use appeals.
Mr. Chen serves as Chair of the Board’s Committee on Academic Policy, Program and Research, and serves as a member of the Executive Committee and the Committee on Facilities Planning and Management.
UNA S. T-CLARKE, B.S., M.S., C.D., was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in June 2015 as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York to a term that ends June 2018.
Trustee Clarke was elected to the New York City Council, as its first foreign-born, as well as the first Caribbean-born woman member. She represented Brooklyn’s 40th Council District for 10 years starting in 1991, sponsoring more than 300 pieces of legislation on issues including child welfare, education, health and mental health, economic development, public safety and transportation. She was an active member of the Council’s Black and Hispanic Caucus. An educator by profession, she directed millions of dollars in funding to upgrade schools in her district, rebuild parks and playgrounds, increase quality childcare programs. Trustee Clarke led many campaigns to reform immigration laws that encouraged citizenship and voter registration. She considers her greatest accomplishment as a member of the City Council the rebuilding of Kings County Hospital.
Trustee Clarke served as a delegate to the National Democratic Convention in 1992. In 1996 she was one of six New Yorkers appointed to the National Platform Committee of the Democratic Party. Trustee Clarke was appointed in 2001 by Governor George Pataki as Director of the Empire State Development Corporation for the Borough of Brooklyn. She is a member of the Diocesan Council for the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. She was named to the board of trustees for Nazareth Regional High School after her successful efforts to save the school from closure. She was appointed a Trustee of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Trustee Clarke has received numerous honors and awards for outstanding service. She was the first foreign-born recipient of Columbia University’s prestigious Charles H. Revson Fellowship in 1984, the first time the fellowship was ever presented to someone over age 35. She was the first Caribbean-born woman to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2001. In 1999 she received the Commander of the Order of Distinction (C.D.) from the Government of Jamaica for distinguished service to Jamaicans and Caribbean nationals in North America.
Trustee Clarke holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Long Island University, a Master of Education degree from New York University, and has completed additional post-graduate studies at Teachers College and the School of Business at Columbia University. She received the Honorary Doctor of Letters in November 2005 from the University of Technology in Jamaica.
Trustee Clarke as serves Chair of the Board’s Committee on Student Affairs and Special Programs, and serves as a member of the Executive Committee and the Committee on Fiscal Affairs.
LORRAINE CORTÉS-VÁZQUEZ, B.A., M.P.A., was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York on June 16, 2016 to a term that ends June 2022.
Ms. Cortés-Vázquez was the 65th Secretary of State of New York, serving in the Cabinet of Governor David Paterson. She originally served in the Cabinet of former Governor Eliot Spitzer and remained in office following Mr. Paterson’s assumption of the governorship. Ms. Cortés-Vázquez, who is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, is the first Hispanic/Latino to serve as New York’s Secretary of State, and only the second person of Puerto Rican ancestry to become the Secretary of State in a state of the U.S. Ms. Cortés-Vázquez has over 30 years’ experience in the government, corporate and non-profit sectors. Her corporate experience includes her current role as the SVP for Corporate and Government Affairs at EmblemHealth. Previously she served as the Executive Vice President for Multicultural Markets & Engagement at AARP, and also served as Vice President for Government and Public Affairs with Cablevision.
Her extensive government service includes having served on the New York State Board of Regents for eight years; and as the Chief of Staff to former New York Assemblyman Roberto Ramirez. Ms. Cortés-Vázquez started her government service in the NYC Department of Aging during the Koch administration as program officer, and advanced to the position of Bureau Chief for Public/Private Partnerships.
In addition, she oversaw the Puerto Rican Hispanic Task Force and the Somos El Futuro Conference; served on the New York Redistricting Commission; and served on the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board. Earlier in her career, she held a variety of social impact positions in East Harlem.
Ms. Cortés-Vázquez is nationally recognized for her service in the non-profit sector as a strong voice for the Latino community. She has served as President of the Hispanic Federation, a non-profit network of over 90 Latino health and human service agencies aiding more than three million Latinos annually. In the early 1990’s, she was the Executive Director of ASPIRA of New York, the oldest and largest non-profit Latino youth leadership development and education advocacy agency in the nation. She also has extensive experience organizing major community awareness and civic participation educational partnership campaigns. Earlier in her career, she held a variety of social impact positions in East Harlem. She is the co-founder of the CUNY/SUNY Model Senate of Somos el Futuro.
A graduate of Hunter College at The City University of New York, Ms. Cortés-Vázquez earned her master’s degree at New York University’s Graduate School of Public Service, and certificates from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Columbia University’s School of Non-Profit Management.
Ms. Cortés-Vázquez serves as a member of the Board’s Committee on Audit, the Committee on Facilities Planning and Management, the Committee on Fiscal Affairs and its Subcommittee on Investment.
RITA DIMARTINO, M.P.A., B.A., A.A., was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York in July 2003. In 2010, she was reappointed for a seven-year term that ends June 2017.
As a former Vice President of Congressional Relations for AT&T, Ms. DiMartino assisted in AT&T’s relations with the administration, congress, and with state governments. She started her career at AT&T in College Relations, where she interacted with various higher education institutions, and represented AT&T at many national higher education conferences in the United States. Previously, Ms. DiMartino worked for the New York State department of Commerce (OMBE) and visited colleges throughout the state for the purpose of starting Small Business Development Centers.
President Ronald Reagan appointed Ms. DiMartino in 1982 as U.S. Representative to the UNICEF Executive Board. Her work as U.S. Representative included increasing UNICEF’s financial support and accelerating the program’s assistance in the areas of child health, nutrition, water supply, sanitation, and education. President George Bush appointed Ms. DiMartino in 1992 to a three-year term on the World Board of Governors of the United Service Organization (USO). Ms. DiMartino was appointed in February 2002 as the Principal U.S. Delegate to the Inter-American Commission of Women, and also the Principal Representative to the Inter-American Children’s Institute. She was also appointed to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board by President George W. Bush. In 2005, Ms. DiMartino was appointed by Secretary Elaine Chao to the U.S. Department of Labor National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships, and served as a Commissioner on the Commission on Federal Election Reform. She has also served on twelve International Electoral Observation Missions. She currently serves as a Commissioner of the New York State Commission on National and Community Services.
Active at all levels of Republican politics, Ms. DiMartino was elected Delegate/Delegate-at-Large/Alternate Delegate to nine Republican National Conventions, served on the 1992 Platform Committee, and was elected Vice Chair of the New York Republican State Committee in 1987, where she served for eighteen consecutive years. Ms. DiMartino is Chairman of the Board of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ms. DiMartino received her B.A. from the College of Staten Island, and her MPA from Long Island University (C. W. Post Center). She holds an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law from Dowling College, and completed Business Leadership Training Programs at Harvard Business School and Executive Management Programs at the University of California at Berkeley.
Ms. DiMartino serves as a member of the Board’s Committee on Faculty, Staff and Administration, and the Committee on Student Affairs and Special Programs.
FERNANDO FERRER, B.A., M.P.A., was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York on June 15, 2016 to a term that ends June 2023.
Mr. Ferrer served as the Bronx Borough President for almost 15 years, from 1987 to 2001. During his tenure, he created housing for about 66,000 families. The borough also saw a significant drop in crime, particularly in the South Bronx, and a steady rise in business and real estate investment. As Bronx Borough President, Ferrer also funded numerous improvement projects at CUNY colleges in the borough.
Prior to being elected Bronx Borough President, Mr. Ferrer served in the New York City Council where he represented communities in the Central and Northwest Bronx from 1982 until 1987.
Prior to being elected Bronx Borough President, Mr. Ferrer served in the New York City Council where he represented communities in the Central and Northwest Bronx from 1982 until 1987.
Mr. Ferrer currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority and served as Acting Chairman of the MTA in 2013. He is a Co-Chairman of Mercury Public Affairs, LLC. He also serves as Director of Sterling Bancorp and Sterling National Bank, a Sterling Bancorp subsidiary. He was the President of Drum Major Institute for Public Policy from 2002 to 2004.
He earned a B.A. from the University College of Arts and Sciences of New York University, and an M.P.A. degree from Baruch College/CUNY. Mr. Ferrer has been awarded honorary degrees from Manhattan, Mercy, Herbert H. Lehman and Metropolitan Colleges.
He resides in the Bronx with his wife, Dr. Aramina Vega Ferrer, an alumna of Lehman College and City College.
Mr. Ferrer serves as Chair of the Board’s Committee on Faculty, Staff and Administration, Vice Chair of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs, and a member of the Executive Committee.
JUDAH GRIBETZ, A.B., LL.B., LL.M., was appointed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York to a term ending June 2014.
He previously served as a Trustee from June 1980 to April 1989; via appointment by Mayor Edward I. Koch.
Mr. Gribetz has spent much of his career in government service. His appointments have included Counsel to Governor Hugh L. Carey (January 1975-December 1978), Deputy Mayor for Governmental Relations under Mayor Abraham D. Beame (January-December 1974), Impartial Chairman of the Rent Stabilization Conciliation and Appeals Board under Mayor John V. Lindsay (September 1969-December 1973), Regional Administrator of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under Secretary Robert C. Weaver (August 1966-July 1969), Deputy Commissioner (January 1962-July 1965) and later Commissioner (July-December 1965) of the Department of Buildings under Mayor Robert F. Wagner, and an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the City’s Law Department (July 1958-July 1961). He was a Member of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Committee on Judicial and United States Attorney Appointments (1980 -2000), serving as Chairperson from 1988 to 1996). He was a member of the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination (1982-1986) and of the Law Revision Commission of the State of New York (1979-1989). He also served on the New York City Charter Revision Commission (1987-1990). He was Vice President of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York from 1980-1982 and Director of the Legal Aid Society from 1983-1988.
Mr. Gribetz has devoted himself as a volunteer to a wide range of civic and community organizations in New York City. He is a Trustee Emeritus of the Mount Sinai Medical Center (1980 to date), and of the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust: (1996 to date). He was a Member of the Distribution Committee of the New York Community Trust (1981-1994); Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society (1966-1995) and President (1995-2004); Vice President of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (1984-1992) and President (1992-1995). In 1968, Mr. Gribetz received the Distinguished Service Award of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1992, he received the New York City Corporation Counsel’s Award for Distinguished Service. In 1993, Simon & Schuster published The Timetables of Jewish History which he co-authored with Edward L. Greenstein and Regina Stein. A retired Lieutenant in the United States Navy, he was on active duty from August 1952 until November 1955, serving as an Assistant Legal Officer at the United States Naval Receiving Station, Boston, Massachusetts and a Gunnery Officer aboard the U.S.S. Bennington (CVA-20).
Mr. Gribetz received his A. B. from Columbia College in 1949, an LL.B. from Columbia Law School in 1952, and an LL.M. from New York University Graduate School of Law in 1962. In 1946, he graduated from Boys High School of Brooklyn, New York.
Mr. Gribetz serves as Vice Chair of the Board’s Committee on Faculty, Staff and Administration, and as a member of the Committee on Audit.
MAYRA LINARES-GARCIA, B.A., was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York on June 15, 2016 to a term that ends June 2020.
Mayra Linares-Garcia is Director of Public Affairs and Communications for New York and Puerto Rico at The Coca-Cola Company. Prior to that she served as Director of Latino Affairs in the office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. From 2011 to 2015 she was Special Assistant for Community Affairs in the Cuomo administration, working on community affairs with a focus on the Latino community throughout New York State, including Latino outreach and building and improving the government’s relationships with New York’s communities.
A prominent member of the Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill political fabric, Ms. Linares-Garcia was a member of the Executive Board of the Concerned Democratic Coalition of Northern Manhattan. She was the recipient of the Coalition’s Community Service Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2007. She served as a Democratic District Leader for the 72nd Assembly District from 2001- 2011, representing the Inwood/Washington Heights area. Her responsibilities included helping select civil court judges for primaries, getting out the vote, and appointing Election Day inspectors. She also served as liaison between the community and elected Democratic Party officials. In 1996 Ms. Linares-Garcia was elected as a member of the Democratic County Committee, where she served for five years.
From 2008-2010 Ms. Linares-Garcia was a member of the Executive Board, and then Chair of the Community Association of Progressive Dominicans (ACDP), which focuses on social services in northern Manhattan and the Bronx including mental health, education/adult education, youth development, immigration, citizenship, housing, economic development, daycare and a food pantry. From 2007-2011 she was President and CEO of The Maylin Group, Inc., a public relations firm specializing in corporate/community partnerships. From 2001 to 2007, she served as Director of Community Relations at World Vision, Inc., an international relief agency, where she was responsible for cultivating partnerships and alliances between World Vision’s New York operations and their targeted constituencies, including community and faith-based organizations in the Bronx and Manhattan. She has coordinated international disaster relief efforts between the city’s immigrant communities and organizations that aid afflicted areas, and has been active in the movement to bring social, political and economic equity to New York City communities.
She received her B.A. in political science from Marymount Manhattan College in 2001.
Ms. Linares-Garcia serves as a member of the Board’s Committee on Academic Policy, Programs and Research, and the Committee on Student Affairs and Special Programs.
ROBERT F. MUJICA, B.A., M.G.A., J.D., was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 15, 2016 as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York to a term that ends June 2021.
Mr. Mujica is the Budget Director of the State of New York, responsible for the overall development and management of the State’s fiscal policy, including overseeing the preparation of budget recommendations for all State agencies and programs, economic and revenue forecasting, tax policy, fiscal planning, capital financing and management of the State’s debt portfolio.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Mujica was Chief of Staff to the Temporary President and Majority Leader of the Senate and concurrently served as the Secretary to the Senate Finance Committee. For two decades, Mr. Mujica advised various elected and other government officials in New York on State budget, fiscal and policy issues.
Robert received his B.A. degree in Sociology from Brooklyn College at the City University of New York. He received his Master’s degree in Government Administration (M.G.A.) from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Albany Law School.
Mr. Mujica is Vice Chair of the Board’s Committee on Audit, and serves as a member of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs.
BRIAN D. OBERGFELL, B.S., J.D., is an attorney with extensive background in banking, real estate and commercial finance and a Brooklyn resident, who was nominated by Governor Cuomo and unanimously confirmed by the New York Senate as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York in June 2012 to a term that ends June 2018.
Mr. Obergfell is a senior partner in Emmet, Marvin & Martin LLP, the New York City law firm where he has worked since 1985. He is admitted to practice in New York State and, since 2010, in England and Wales. He graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Communications in 1979 and from New York Law School with a J.D. in 1985.
Mr. Obergfell has been a permanent trustee of the Heisman Trophy Trust since 2001, is a trustee of the Leake & Watts Children’s House since 2009, and served on the New York State Banking Board from 2007 through 2011. Mr. Obergfell was recently appointed to the new State Charter Advisory Board of the New York State Department of Financial Services in March 2012.
Mr. Obergfell serves as Chair of the Board’s Committee on Facilities Planning and Management, and is a member of the Executive Committee.
JILL O’DONNELL-TORMEY, B.S. Ph.D., was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2015 as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York to a term that ends June 2018.
Dr. O’Donnell-Tormey currently is the Chief Executive Officer (since 1993) and Director of Scientific Affairs (since 1987) of the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a non-profit organization founded in 1953, which is a global leader in supporting and coordinating research aimed at harnessing the immune system’s power to conquer all cancers.
Prior to joining CRI, she served as a research associate in the Department of Medicine at Cornell University Medical College, and as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of cellular physiology and immunology at The Rockefeller University.
Dr. O’Donnell-Tormey serves on the Boards of CT Atlantic AG—a Swiss biotechnology company; Richmond University Medical Center; and, the Staten Island Foundation. In 1998, she was named on of Irish America magazine’s “Top 100: Irish Americans, and in 2002, she received the Fairleigh Dickinson University Pinnacle Award–the highest honor bestowed on its alumni. In 2013, Dr. O’Donnell-Tormey received the Cancer Research Institute’s Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology, which the Institute awards to formerly-funded postdoctoral fellows who make significant contributions to immunology research.
Dr. O’Donnell-Tormey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, summa cum laude, from Farleigh Dickinson University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in cell biology from the SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
Dr. O’Donnell-Tormey serves as Vice Chair of the Board’s Committee on Academic Policy, Program and Research and as a member of the Committee on Faculty, Staff and Administration.
CHARLES A. SHORTER, B.A., M.A., was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York in 2008. He was reappointed by the Mayor in 2013 to a term that ends June 2020. Mr. Shorter is a Senior Advisor at Davis Brody Bond, LLP, Architects and Planners.
Previously he was a Director in the Public/Private practice for Ernst & Young LLP’s Real Estate Transaction Advisory Services Group, with primary responsibility for real estate project management and business development. Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Mr. Shorter held senior positions with Arthur Andersen LLP and Real Estate Research Corporation.
Mr. Shorter received his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.A. from Columbia University. He was an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Master of Science in Real Estate Development program at Columbia University; he is also a frequent lecturer/speaker on real estate trends and economics.
Mr. Shorter is a board member of the New 42nd Street Corporation, a former board member of The Studio Museum in Harlem, and is a member of the board of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB).
Mr. Shorter serves as a member of the Board’s Committee on Academic Policy, Program and Research, and the Committee on Facilities Planning and Management.
KEN SUNSHINE, B.S., was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York on June 15, 2016 to a term that ends June 2019.
Ken Sunshine founded Ken Sunshine Consultants (later to become Sunshine Sachs) in 1991, and over the past three decades the firm has represented clients ranging from leading corporations, nonprofits, and unions to some of the most prominent names in entertainment. Sunshine Sachs has 150 employees with offices in NY, LA and DC., and specializes in corporate image programs, crisis communications, reputation and issues management, consumer and lifestyle marketing, media relations, event promotion, and communications skills training.
Mr. Sunshine has consulted on media and public relations for almost 40 years, and has been a longtime activist in the civil rights movement. Before starting his own firm, he worked in the entertainment business where he headed the public relations department of ASCAP.
Mr. Sunshine’s career in politics began in the early ‘70’s, and he has advised on communications strategies, messaging, and celebrity involvement in local and national campaigns since then. He served as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of New York in 1989-90.
Mr. Sunshine currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Community Service Society, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. Sunshine has received awards from the National Action Network, the Amsterdam News and the Bella Abzug Institute among others for his work in human and civil rights.
Mr. Sunshine graduated from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Mr. Sunshine serves as Vice Chair of the Board’s Committee on Student Affairs and Special Programs, and as a member of the Committee on Faculty, Staff and Administration.
SANDRA WILKIN, B.S., B.S., was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 15, 2016 as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York to a term that ends June 2023.
Ms. Wilkin is Chief Executive Officer of Bradford Construction, the construction management firm she founded in 1989, and has since grown into one of New York’s premier woman-owned business enterprises (WBE), with divisions in technology and diversity consulting and a project base that spans sectors. A minority- and woman-owned small business enterprise (MWSBE) expert, she emphasizes an agile business style, the competitive advantages of life-long learning and high-tech construction tools, and a close examination of the ways the industry can cooperatively advance in the largest economic sector in New York State.
Ms. Wilkin has spent more than two decades providing oversight for adult education and mentoring programs that help emerging MWBEs build credit and capacity.
Ms. Wilkin was the first woman to serve on the Board of Governors of the New York Building Foundation, the first woman to serve on the Executive Board of the Regional Alliance for Small Contractors, and one of the first women to serve on the Executive Board of the New York Building Congress. In 2004, Ms. Wilkin co-founded the Women Builders Council (WBC) where she advanced the role of women in construction by setting the WBC’s campaign “to break the concrete ceiling.” Now WBC president emeritus, she serves on Governor Cuomo’s Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Team. In 2013, she helped spearhead the passage of NYC Local Law 1, landmark legislation that increases MWBE participation goals in government contracting.
Ms. Wilkin’s contributions have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the Kingsborough Community College’s Wall of Fame; Exemplary Service Citations on Behalf of the State of New York Executive Chamber and the City of New York for eradicating barriers for MWBEs and in recognition of distinguished leadership; and the unique distinction with Golda Meir of being the only women to ever receive the Lubavitch Youth Organization’s Woman of Valor Award for a “commitment and dedication to helping people of all ages, regardless of race, religion, color or creed, find meaning and direction in life.”
A New York City native, Ms. Wilkin is a graduate of Kingsborough Community College/CUNY who went on to earn a B.S. in Business and Public Administration at New York University (NYU), a B.S. in Nursing from Hunter College/CUNY, and is a graduate of the Construction Management Certificate Program from New York University. As an emerging small business owner, she successfully completed the New York City School Construction Authority’s Construction Mentor Program.
Ms. Wilkin is Vice Chair of the Board’s Committee on Facilities Planning and Management.
CHIKA ONYEJIUKWA is the Chairperson for the City University of New York (CUNY) University Student Senate (USS) and the only student member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. She serves as the Vice Chair for Legislative Affairs for the CUNY University Student Senate, which is the leading student governance body of the university, charged with representing the interest of the nearly 500,000 students at CUNY.
Ms. Onyejiukwa is a senior at Hunter College pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education. Ms. Onyejiukwa is a member of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women (JFEW) scholarship cohort. Ms. Onyejiukwa proudly served the students Hunter College as Undergraduate Student Government President during the 2015-2016 academic year and as Vice President and President during 2014-2015. Ms. Onyejiukwa also served as a member of the CUNY Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Policy, Program and Research during the 2015-2016 academic year.
In her capacity as USS Vice Chair for Legislative Affairs, Ms. Onyejiukwa fostered effective working relationships between students, faculty, and elected officials. She has testified and organized student leaders to testify before legislative bodies at the city and state level on a myriad of student issues. Ms. Onyejiukwa chaired a student committee aimed at freezing tuition for CUNY students and restoring proposed budget cuts to CUNY. She helped organize multiple press conferences, a Higher Education Action Day in Albany, New York, and a student led March over the Brooklyn Bridge. These efforts led to concrete victories, including the extension of $17 million dollars in funding to the New York City Council Merit Scholarship, the freezing of tuition for the 2016-2017 academic year, and the restoration of $485 million dollars in state aid to the university.
During the summer of 2016, Ms. Onyejiukwa served as a field organizer for Thrive NYC; she provided training to City Hall interns and City Council staff, served as liaison for the Department of Health to CUNY, and worked on strengthening community organizations. Her previous professional experiences include: College Assistant, Hunter College office of Alumni Relations (2016), full-time Physical Therapy Aide, Paspa Physical Therapy (2015); College Assistant, Hunter College SciMon Stem Research (2015); Exploring Health Careers Program Intern, SUNY Downstate Medical Center (2014); Editorial Intern, Womens E-News Newspaper (2013); Management Intern, Millennium Hilton Hotel (2012).
Ms. Onyejiukwa’s parents immigrated to New York City from Nigeria and she is the third of five children. Their tongue of Igbo is spoken at home and within family circles. Ms. Onyejiukwa plans to pursue her doctorate degree after graduating in May of 2017.
KATHERINE M. CONWAY, B.S., M.B.A., Ph.D., is Chairperson of the University Faculty Senate (UFS) and an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. She was elected in 2016 to a two-year term by the UFS. A member of the Business faculty at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), she is currently a co-Principal Investigator on a multi-year National Science Foundation grant on online education. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on online education, and issues of accessibility and success of community college, minority, non-traditional and STEM students.
Prior to joining CUNY in 1996, Dr. Conway worked in finance for more than a dozen years, leading credit teams in both commercial and private banking.
Dr. Conway received her B.S. in Marketing, her M.B.A. in Finance, and her Ph.D. in Administration, Leadership and Technology all from New York University.
A resident of Manhattan, New York, she is married to Francis Conway and has a daughter.
Dr. Conway serves on the Board of Trustees’ Standing Committee on Audit, the Committee on Fiscal Affairs and its Subcommittee on Investment.