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connecting policies, players and projects

A Few of EIG|P Past Presenters Briefings

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Jeff Arrowsmith, Managing Director, CBRE Affordable Housing

Jeff Arrowsmith is Managing Director at CBRE Affordable Housing overseeing growth and execution of its business, including investment sales, debt and structured finance and capital advisory services. Supported by an integrated team of approximately 80 professionals, CBRE Affordable Housing is the real estate services market leader and is involved in over $4B in transactions annually. Jeff supports the Affordable Housing management team in implementing growth initiatives and ensuring client execution. Over his 30+ year career, Jeff has held a variety of executive financial and accounting positions across multiple industries including real estate, software, telecom, and manufacturing. Prior to working in private industry, Jeff was a Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers working with a broad range of clients in real estate and technology.

Calvin T. Brown, Ph.D., Assistant Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services

Dr. Brown is an urban planning academic and professional with over 15 years of experience working in urban planning and 10 years of teaching. He has a wealth of experience working with multiple stakeholders including community advocacy groups, elected officials and private


Prior Calvin served in the Manhattan Office at the Department of City Planning (DCP) where his the Upper Manhattan Team Leader and supervises project managers for the Upper Manhattan Community Boards which include West, East and Central Harlem as well as Washington Heights and Inwood.  As the team leader for Upper Manhattan, he was responsible for providing oversight to team members to ensure quality and consistency with their work. In this capacity, he also supervised a major DCP initiative, the East Harlem Neighborhood Rezoning. This role required taken a comprehensive understanding of the concerns and issues raised by the community and bridging them with the goals of the agency and the administration to develop a planning and zoning framework


In 2017, Dr. Brown completed his doctoral studies at the New School where his research focused on the relationship between changes in poverty and neighborhood conditions and the neighborhood effect of poverty at various poverty levels.

Vishaan Chakrabarti, Founder, PAU

Vishaan Chakrabarti designs and advocates for a sustainable, attainable and equitable urban future centered around human connectedness. As founder and creative director of the global architecture studio Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), he leads complex projects such as I.M. Pei's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Princeton's Hobson College, Brooklyn's Domino Sugar Refinery and Ford Motor Company's Michigan Central Station project in Detroit's Corktown.

Chakrabarti served under Mayor Bloomberg as the director of planning for Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11, collaborating on efforts to save the High Line and rebuild the World Trade Center. He has served as the William W. Wurster Dean of the College of Environmental Design at University of California, Berkeley, prior to which he was a professor at Columbia University for a decade. He lectures internationally, contributes articles and op-eds to the New York Times and has appeared on CBS, MSNBC and National Public Radio. Born in Calcutta, Chakrabarti holds degrees from Cornell, MIT and Berkeley.

Ross Clarke, Vice President Lending & Programs, The Community Preservation Corporation

Prior Ross served as Executive Director of Inclusionary Housing in NYC Housing Preservation & Development’s Office of Development. Ross oversees the Voluntary and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing pipelines, as well as policy and program development. Prior to joining HPD, Ross served as AVP, Manager of Lending Initiatives at the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), frequently partnering with HPD and NYS Homes & Community Renewal. Ross holds a Master of Social Work degree with a specialization in Community Development and Affordable Housing from Washington University in Saint Louis.

Rebecca Gafvert, Senior Vice President, Land Use, New York City Economic Development Corporation

Prior Rebecca served as an Assistant Vice President in Development at NYCEDC. She worked on the Downtown Far Rockaway Rezoning and Redevelopment Plan from inception and managed the interagency effort through ULURP approval. She has worked as an urban planner in New York for 7 years.

Green Building Worldwide

Mastering the Challenges of Delivering High Performance Buildings & Capital ProjectsGreen Building Worldwide (GBW) is a Strategic Research, Advisory, and Legislative Consulting firm examining and communicating the movement of government, the private sector, and individual leaders charged with delivering sustainable buildings and resilient infrastructure.


GBW is focused on and committed to sustainable building and resilient infrastructure. We provide next generation platforms to support corporate, environmental and policy leaders involved in capital projects and resilient infrastructure. Equality in both access and delivery is also at the core of who we are. GBW programs aims to provide relevant sources, tools, and training to emerging professionals to meet the current sustainable building and design standards. We promote methods for achieving high-performance building and resilient infrastructure projects through efficient energy and resources. GBW understands that successful partnerships are the cornerstone of good business and remain committed to identifying solid collaborative opportunities for the future of sustainable, resilient, and equitable infrastructure.​​


JDS developed projects include American Copper Buildings, Walker Tower, 626 First Avenue, Stella Tower and 111 West 57th Street. JDS Development Group is a real estate development, construction, and acquisition firm based in New York City that is driven by an unmatched commitment to quality and innovation.


The American Copper Buildings development features 760 Apartments within two towers occupy on a 6.4 acre lot that originally hosted a power plant. A two story skybridge connects the two towers, 41 and 48 stories respectively. The exterior is clad in copper, this metal cladding is similar to other SHoP designed buildings such as the Barclays Center. Many of the architectural choices were also informed by potential floods. This development includes 5 emergency generators, and the use of stone in lobbies.

Jermaine Huell, National Supply Chain Leader, STV

Jermaine D. Huell is a national industry leader in infrastructure supplier diversity and compliance. After spending nearly, a decade empowering small businesses and engaging communities via the public and private sectors. Jermaine’s dedication and wide-ranging impact with multifaceted experiences ranging from formulating public policy and enhancing economic development to service as a decorated United States Marine and Air National Guardsman have built the grit demands respect in any foray that he is engaged on.


Currently managing the supplier diversity for STV. Jermaine is accountable for managing the client-mandated goals for diversity and disadvantaged business use, including contracting opportunities for minority business enterprise (MBE) and women-owned business enterprise (WBE) firms. He is skilled in developing diversity strategies and has a thorough knowledge of the workings of local, state, and federal agencies, particularly legislative processes at the Congressional level from his time serving as district director for Congressman Gregory W. Meeks of New York’s Fifth District, which includes Queens and Nassau County neighborhoods. Mr. Huell recently monitored performance in meeting MBE and WBE participation goals on the Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ)’s $4 billion LaGuardia Airport Redevelopment, which has a $679 million M/WBE vested goal. 

Tanvi Pandya, Executive Director, BQE, Design Build & Emergency Contracts at NYCDOT

With over 25 years of experience, Tanvi Pandya is the Executive Director, BQE, Design Build and Emergency Contracts at NYCDOT Bridges Division. In her current role she oversees the development of NYCDOT Bridge’s Design Build Program as well as the BQE program development. Tanvi began her career as an engineer within the private sector with bridge projects in NY and NJ. Tanvi joined NYCDOT in 2016 as the Senior Program Manager for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway Rehabilitation Project. Budgeted at $1.7B, the BQE Project is the largest capital project ever undertaken by the NYCDOT. Tanvi has a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and is a professional engineer licensed in New York.

Kimberly Slaughter, Chief Executive Officer, SYSTRA USA

Kimberly Slaughter is SYSTRA USA’s chief executive officer. She is focused on promoting the company’s vision of being the signature team for transportation solutions. SYSTRA’s focuses on delivering planning, design, architecture, engineering, and program and construction management solutions to rail and transit agencies throughout the United States. The company’s mission is to contribute to the cities and regions in which we work and live by creating, improving, and modernizing their transportation and infrastructure systems, while furthering sustainable development.


With a background in planning, policy development, and project funding and 30 years in the rail and transit industry, Kimberly has helped shape public transportation across the US. A transit industry leader and executive, she has worked with public transit agencies and private transportation consulting firms. Prior to joining SYSTRA, Kimberly was the national rail and transit market sector leader at HNTB and before that was vice president/central region transit market director at HDR. Earlier, she worked for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County in Houston, where she held several positions, including senior vice president of service design and development and associate vice president of planning.

Perris Straughter, Director, Land Use, New York City Council

The Director is responsible for implementing programs and procedures for the Council as they relate to Land Use within New York City. The Director consults with the Speaker/Majority Leader, Chief of Staff, and/or the Chairperson of the Land Use Committee to formulate policy on land use matters.

Prior Perris served as the Director of Queens and Staten Island Planning for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. He is leading planning efforts for thousands of new affordable housing units for these boroughs, including facilitating the redevelopment of over 100 acres of city-owned land. Previously Perris was Supervising Planner in the City of Newark, NJ, where he coordinated planning and zoning approvals processes for the City. He helped lead the comprehensive overhaul of Newark’s zoning code and master plan. During his tenure in Newark he also managed a $20 million commercial revitalization program and served as the coordinator of Newark's public art program. Perris is a long-time advocate in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Community. He led a team in organizing LGBTQ Pride events in Newark for five years and served as Chairperson of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Commission. Perris has a Master’s in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. He is originally from Southern California and has also worked in business development in Oakland, CA.

Jannet Walker-Ford, Senior Vice President & Principal Director - National Transit & Rail Business Line Leader, WSP USA

Jannet Walker-Ford is a nationally recognized transportation industry executive with WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy. Walker-Ford has more than two decades of diverse experience in technology, mobility and transportation systems. In her role with WSP, she serves as the senior vice president &national transit and rail leader and is responsible for leading and growing the firm’s business in the national transit and rail markets and establishing strategies that will position WSP for major advisory, planning, design, program management and construction management assignments.

Prior to this appointment, Walker-Ford served as a senior vice president for the Americas transit market sector at an international engineering services firm where she was responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the transit market in North and South America, and previously as a vice president of government relations for a technology firm where she provided transportation focused, executive-level bi-partisan collaboration with elected officials at all levels of government, as well as trade industry associations and non-profit organizations.


Walker Ford is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems, Central Michigan University with a master’s degree in business administration. She has completed significant coursework towards her doctorate in information systems from Nova Southeastern University.

Claire Weisz, Founding Partner, WXY

Claire Weisz is an architect and urbanist, and a founding principal of WXY architecture + urban design, an award-winning practice based in New York City. With her partners Mark Yoes, Layng Pew, and Adam Lubinsky, Claire focuses on innovative approaches to public space, structures, and cities. WXY has received the League Prize from the Architectural League of New York, as well as being selected as one of the League’s Emerging Voices practices in 2011, in addition to numerous awards from AIA National, AIANY, and the APA.


Recent and ongoing work in New York City includes the redesign of Astor Place, the Spring Street Sanitation Garage, the redesign of the Rockaway Boardwalks, Battery Park’s SeaGlass Carousel, a design to better accommodate both pedestrians and elevated trains in Harlem, a study of Brooklyn’s growing commercial tech sector (The Brooklyn Tech Triangle), The East River Blueway Plan, and a pilot project for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild by Design initiative. With Andrea Woodner, Claire co-founded The Design Trust for Public Space, and is currently on faculty as a Visiting Critic of Urban Design at Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning in NYC. Claire received her professional degree from The University of Toronto with Honors and her Master’s in Architecture from Yale University.

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