Category - Board of Directors 2023

Board of Directors 2023

Victoria Benitez, AVP Communications and Community Affairs

Victoria joined Columbia University’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs in 2007, after more than 25 years of media management experience working with national and international not-for-profit organizations, corporations, and New York City community-based institutions. Before arriving at Columbia, Victoria held multiple directorships at several cultural institutions, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music...

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Emma Wolfe, Senior Advisor to the President for External Relations and Leadership Development

Barnard welcomed Emma Wolfe in January to serve as the first Senior Advisor to the President for External Relations and Leadership Development. Wolfe, who served as Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor in Bill de Blasio’s administration, will enhance Barnard’s relationships with government officials and expand leadership development opportunities. She majored in urban studies and sociology at Barnard and is deeply...

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Amy Hawley Alvarez, Assistant Director of School and Community Partnerships

Amy Hawley Alvarez has been with Teachers College for more than 6 years. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of School and Community Partnerships as well as the Teachers College Community School Liaison. In these roles, she supports a wide range of programming, including all TC programming at TCCS. Ms. Alvarez is also Co-Director of TC’s Staff Advocacy & Support Council. Prior to TC, she was a senior...

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Afsheen Shamsi, Vice President Communications and Marketing at Union Theological Seminary

Afsheen Shamsi has over a decade of experience in communications in the non-profit sector and has served as Director of Communications and Marketing at the Graduate School of Education (GSE) at Rutgers University for the last five years. Under Afsheen’s leadership, Rutgers GSE has become nationally recognized for its excellence in communications and has won several awards for many projects that she has led. She has...

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Nicole Mirando – Assistant Dean for Academic Administration, Union Theological Seminary

Nicole is an experienced professional with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. She has served as Assistant Dean and Registrar at UTS. Prior to working at UTS, she held administrative positions at University of Loyola MD. Ms. Mirando’s skills span Nonprofit Organizations, Customer Satisfaction, Data Reporting, and Management.

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Alexa Smith – Chief of Staff & VP, Special Initiatives, Manhattan School of Music

Alexa Smith is the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President and Assistant Vice President for Special Initiatives at Manhattan School of Music. After receiving her from Master’s Degree from MSM in Voice, she pursued a career in opera before becoming the Marketing Director at New York City Opera. There she led marketing efforts and planned special events with partners including The Mexican Cultural Institute, The...

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Virginia Connor – Head of School at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s

Appointed in 1993, Virginia Connor is the longest serving female head of an ongoing school in New York City through her role as Head of School at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s. Virginia has taught every elementary grade and has been a director of lower school, a director of middle school, an admission officer, and a director of curriculum development. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Childhood...

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Loftin Flowers – Associate Vice President for Government Relations at Columbia University

Loftin Flowers is the Associate Vice President for Government Relations and leads the University’s engagement and advocacy efforts with federal, state and city government. Loftin holds a B.A. in History from Haverford College and an M.P.A. from Columbia University. Prior to his role at Columbia, Loftin worked in Washington, DC at the national offices of the Children’s Defense Fund, the Democratic National...

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Matthew J. Camp – Director of Government Relations at Teachers College

Matthew Camp is a government relations expert with 15 years of experience in politics, public policy, and advocacy and is currently the Director of Government Relations for Teachers College, Columbia University, where he cultivates relationships with government officials, develops innovative education programs, and secures funding for the College. He is also completing a Ph.D. in Politics & Education at Columbia...

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Paula Mayo – President and Executive Director of The Interchurch Center

Paula Mayo is the President and Executive Director of The Interchurch Center, a position she has held since 2008. Ms. Mayo has over thirty years’ experience in the non-profit sector as a senior executive professional. Ms. Mayo has held prominent positions at United Way of New York City and South Street Seaport Museum, where she served as Executive Director for the last five years of her seventeen-year tenure. She...

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Phoebe Arnold – Director of Community Affairs at Columbia University

A proud Harlem native, Phoebe-Sade Arnold is Director of Community Affairs for Columbia University. Phoebe’s responsibilities include project tracking, constituency outreach, and oversight of special projects and programs that relate to matters of urban planning, land use, and community affairs. Working in conjunction with the Associate Vice President of Planning and Community Affairs, Phoebe attends Community...

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Virginia Ryan – Secretary to Board of Trustees & Assistant General Counsel at Barnard College

Virginia Ryan has worked in the Barnard College’s Office of the General Counsel since June 2014. Prior to that, she practiced at Fordham Law School for 6 years doing Public Finance transactions. She switched her focus to Higher Education Law and worked at Fordham University Office of the General Counsel and then at Columbia University in an administrative role. She works closely with the offices of the Dean of...

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Lawrence Palfini – Vice President of Facilities Management and Site Operations at International House

Lawrence M. Palfini is the Vice President Facilities and Site Operations of International House. In this role, he is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of the capital improvement plan and facilities management requirements for International House’s non-profit educational residential community of over 700 students, scholars and interns from over 100 countries around the globe. The Morningside...

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Brian Simpson – Director of Communications & Strategy at Riverside Church

Since 2015, Brian Simpson has served in a variety of director-level communication and information technology roles at The Riverside Church in the City of New York, playing a key role in Riverside’s branding efforts and new website launch. He came to Riverside from Arizona, where he served as director of communications at the Association of Arizona Food Banks (AAFB). Brian spearheaded all marketing, public...