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Staff Biographies

Arao Ameny.  Ms. Arao Ameny joined the IBO in July 2013 as the Communications Assistant focusing on Social Media. Prior to IBO, she worked at the United Nations as the Social Media Editor for Africa Section and Africa Renewal magazine in the Strategic Communications Division of the Department of Public Information.  She focused on cultivating and growing social media platforms and improving user engagement. Ms. Ameny wrote articles for Africa Renewal magazine. She wrote press releases, organized outreach events and served as a media liaison, engaging and developing relationships with journalists and media outlets interested in reporting on Africa-related topics happening at the United Nations.

Ms. Ameny received a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Indiana University in 2007 and her B.A. in Political Science, International Relations and Communications in 2006 from University of Indianapolis.

David Belkin.  Mr. Belkin joined IBO in July 1996 and is a senior economist who has authored or contributed research to numerous studies of New York City tax and welfare policies. He is responsible for coordinating IBO's economic forecasts. Before joining IBO, Mr. Belkin worked for six years as a policy and budget analyst in the office of the Manhattan Borough President. He has published several articles and co-edited a book on comparative economic systems. Before turning to economics, he was a social worker.

He received his Master's Degree in social work from Hunter College School of Social Work and his B.A. from Adelphi University.

Justin Bland. Mr. Bland joined IBO in May 2012 as a budget and policy analyst focusing on environmental projects. Before joining IBO, Mr. Bland was a demographic statistician for the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, DC. While at the Census Bureau, he produced and released the official yearly population estimates for the nation, states, counties, and municipalities and administered the process for governments to challenge their estimates. During graduate school, Mr. Bland worked as a researcher for Regional Plan Association’s America 2050 initiative and was a fellow at the Pratt Center for Community Development.

Mr. Bland received his M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute and his B.A. in Geography and Sociology from The George Washington University.

Lauren King Biscone. Mrs. Biscone joined IBO in October 2011 as a budget and policy analyst with a focus on Children’s Services and Cultural Affairs. Prior to joining IBO, Mrs. Biscone worked as a Senior Budget Examiner at the New York State Division of the Budget in Albany. She also spent six years with the New York State Senate Finance Committee where she provided budget-related research and analysis. While at the Finance Committee, Mrs. Biscone served as staff to the NYS Senate High Speed Rail Task Force and the NYS Senate Medicaid Reform Task Force.

Mrs. Biscone received her B.A. in political science from the College of the Holy Cross. She is also a graduate of the Emma Willard School.

Elizabeth Brown.  Ms. Brown joined IBO in June 2010 as Housing and Homelessness Analyst. Prior to joining IBO, Ms. Brown worked as a grant-writer at The Salvation Army of Greater New York where she raised funds for the organization’s homeless shelters, after-school programs and other social service programs. She also worked for several years as a researcher/writer at The Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan investigative journalism organization in Washington D.C., where she covered defense contracting, federal lobbying, and campaign finance. Ms. Brown has interned at the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, working on program planning and evaluation.

Ms. Brown has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a B.A. in Journalism from The George Washington University.

Sean Campion. Mr. Campion joined IBO in May 2012 as a Budget and Policy Analyst focusing on economic development, workforce development and municipal finance. Before joining IBO, Mr. Campion worked as a researcher at the Center for Community Innovation at UC Berkeley's Institute of Urban and Regional Development. Prior to graduate school, he worked as an analyst in the New York office of Economics Research Associates/AECOM, where he specialized in real estate market analysis and economic development strategic planning. Before that, he was an Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for Management and Budget in the City of New York's Department of Parks and Recreation. He has also worked as an independent consultant to non-profit organizations and local and regional governments, focusing on economic and fiscal impact analyses, affordable housing needs assessments and demographic research

Mr. Campion has a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in History from Yale University.

Ana Champeny.  Ms. Champeny, who joined IBO in February 2007, is the supervising analyst for Housing, Environment, and Infrastructure. She has authored reports on the real property tax and equity in education funding. Prior to joining IBO, Ms. Champeny worked as a Research Associate at the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York focusing on housing and urban policy. Previously, she worked in research and operations at the Phoenix House Foundation.

Ms. Champeny is a Ph.D. student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She received her Master's Degree in Public Administration from Baruch College and her Bachelor's Degree in political science from Beloit College.

Hasnul Chowdhury.  Mr. Chowdhury joined IBO in March 2007 as a Desktop Support Specialist. Before joining IBO, he worked in the corporate IT industry for a health care center and an IT consulting firm.

Mr. Chowdhury graduated from the William Paterson University of New Jersey with a B.S. in Computer Science and received an M.B.A. in MIS from Montclair State University.

Mahbuba Chowdhury.  Ms. Chowdhury joined IBO in February 2011 as a Database Manager. Prior to joining IBO, Ms. Chowdhury was working at a privately held IT firm in NYC for 4.5 yrs as a Senior Database Developer managing Real Estate and Automobile data for several major newspapers throughout the country. Prior to that, she worked in an engineering firm in Long Island as a Programmer Analyst where she worked on several IT projects for various Nassau and Suffolk county and village Governments as well as NYS DMV.

Ms. Chowdhury received her M.S. in Computer Science from City College of NY and B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from Queens College – CUNY.

Martin Davis. Mr. Davis rejoined IBO in October 2011 as a Labor and Pension Economic Analyst.  During his previous tenure at IBO from 2006-2009, he served as a Labor and Pension analyst. Prior to rejoining IBO, he was Director of Benefits Administration at the Board for Education Retirement System. Before joining IBO, Mr. Davis worked as a Labor Relations Manager at the Dakota, Minnesota, and Eastern Railroad and the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad. Additionally, he worked as an advisor to Lodge 200 of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. He has also worked as a Researcher at AFSCME, Council 40, in Madison, Wisconsin, and was affiliated with the former Industrial Relations Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, specializing in labor economics, during his stay in Madison, Wisconsin.

Mr. Davis has a M.S. from Baruch and a B.S. in from St. John’s University.

Raymond  Domanico. Mr. Domanico joined IBO in August 2010 as Director of Education Research.  He has over thirty years of experience in public education policy and practice in New York City. Mr. Domanico served as Director of Data Analysis for the New York City Board of Education in the 1980s, conducting program evaluations and large scale data analyses of pupil and school performance. In the 1990s, he was Director of the Center for Educational Innovation at the Manhattan Institute and then Executive Director of the Public Education Association, both policy advocacy organizations focused on New York City Public Schools. In the eleven years prior to joining IBO, Mr. Domanico served as Senior Education Advisor to the Industrial Areas Foundation – Metro NY, a community based network of residents, parents and community leaders. 

Mr. Domanico holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley and  a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Baruch College of the City University of New York. For the past eight years, he  has also been an Adjunct Lecturer in the Masters Program in School Counseling at Brooklyn College, teaching courses in Education Research and in Schools and Communities.

Monserate Fernandez.  Mr. Fernandez joined IBO in May 2006 as MIS Director. Prior to joining IBO, he worked for five years at a private medical accounting firm as head of corporate information technology.

Mr. Fernandez attended the Rochester Institute of Technology and majored in philosophy and biotechnology.

Christina Fiorentini.  Ms. Fiorentini joined IBO in October 2010 as a Budget and Policy Analyst focusing on public health issues. Prior to joining IBO, Ms. Fiorentini was a fellow at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, where she conducted thesis research on the determinants of child malnutrition in India, and also completed a consulting project on federal efforts to address childhood obesity for the U.S. Government Accountability Office.  Before graduate school, Ms. Fiorentini worked for 4.5 years in the Government Relations Department of the American Museum of Natural History. Among other projects there, she analyzed participation in the Museum’s New York City-funded educational programs and managed a program to increase low-income families’ access to the Museum.

Ms. Fiorentini received a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University and a B.A. in History from Columbia University.

Julie Anna Golebiewski. Ms. Golebiewski joined IBO in September 2011 as an Economist, focusing on corporate tax policy and revenue forecasting. Prior to joining IBO, Ms. Golebiewski worked as an analyst and then a deputy director in the Office of Tax Policy of the New York City Department of Finance, where she analyzed personal income tax policy initiatives and sales tax revenue, and developed a model to identify good candidates for audit. She was also the acting Chief Economist for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee, where she forecasted and tracked state revenue, monitored the state’s investments, and wrote fiscal impact reports for proposed tax and expenditure bills.

Ms. Golebiewski received her Ph.D. in Economics from Syracuse University and her B.S. in Finance and Economics from Canisius College.

Michael P. Jacobs.  Mr. Jacobs is the Supervising Analyst of IBO’s Economics and Taxes unit. Since joining IBO in September 1996, his primary responsibilities have been policy analysis and revenue forecasts of the city's personal income tax, and he has researched, written, and otherwise contributed to a variety of IBO projects. Before joining IBO, Mr. Jacobs was a revenue forecaster and analyst with the City Council's Finance Division and a research consultant to Governor Cuomo's Advisory Panel on Financial Services at the New York State Department of Economic Development. He also has taught economics courses at several local colleges and universities.

Mr. Jacobs received his Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research, and his B.A. from Oberlin College.

Gretchen Johnson.  Ms. Johnson joined IBO in August 2011 as a budget and policy analyst focusing on education.  She worked previously as a researcher at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.  Her work evaluating the health effects of educational interventions and the impact of psychosocial factors on mortality rates has been published in several journals including the American Journal of Public Health.  Ms. Johnson also assisted in the creation of a dataset linking the General Social Survey with the National Death Index.  Prior to her time at Columbia, she worked in after school and AIDS services programs.

Ms. Johnson received her M.A. degree in quantitative methods in the social sciences from Columbia University and B.A .in economics from Fordham University.

Deanice Jenkins Hadley.  Ms. Jenkins Hadley, who joined IBO in September 1996, is an administrative assistant. Prior to joining IBO, Ms. Jenkins Hadley worked at the Department of Youth Services from 1983 to 1996 and with the city's Human Resources Administration's Office of Legal Affairs.

Ms. Jenkins Hadley is a candidate for her B.A. from York College.

Paul Lopatto.  Mr. Lopatto, who joined IBO in August 1996, is the Supervising Analyst for Social and Community Services and also serves as the primary analyst for the Human Resources Administration. He has authored a number of reports on welfare and other social services programs in New York City. Prior to joining IBO, Mr. Lopatto was a Supervising Analyst with the Welfare Task Force at the New York City Office of Management and Budget. Previously, he was a research analyst at the Human Resources Administration.

Mr. Lopatto received his Ph.D. in political science from Florida State University. He received both his Master's Degree in political science and his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Yolanda Lopez.  Ms. Yolanda Lopez, who joined IBO in March 2007, is an Administrative Aide. Prior to joining IBO Ms. Lopez worked at The Department of Citywide Administrative Services from April 2005 to March 2007 as a Payroll Analyst overseeing about 525 employees and with The Department of Consumer Affairs from January 2001 to April 2005 as a Payroll Officer/Health Benefits Coordinator/Timekeeping Specialist.

Ronnie Lowenstein.  Ms. Lowenstein was named Director of the New York City Independent Budget Office in August, 2000; she was reappointed for four year terms in 2002,2006, and 2010. Ms. Lowenstein has been with IBO since its inception in 1996 and was its Deputy Director and Chief Economist. Prior to joining IBO, Ms. Lowenstein was an economist in the Domestic Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and taught economics at Barnard College.

Ms. Lowenstein received her Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University and her B.A. from Guilford College.

Lisa Neary.  Ms. Neary joined the IBO in November 2004 as General Counsel. Before joining the IBO, Ms. Neary worked at the New York City Council Finance Division as Legislative Counsel.

Ms. Neary received her J.D. degree from Rutgers University Law School in Newark, New Jersey and her B.A. from Yale University.

Przemyslaw Nowaczyk.  Mr. Nowaczyk joined IBO in November 2010 as Budget and Policy Analyst focusing on education.  Prior to joining IBO, Mr. Nowaczyk has worked as a quantitative researcher at the Institute for Children and Poverty, a New York City-based research organization studying family homelessness, where he was analyzing survey data. He has also worked as a Teaching Assistant at the New York University Department of Politics, co-teaching courses in American politics, introductory statistics, and game theory.

Mr. Nowaczyk holds a Master’s Degree in politics from New York University, as well as a Master’s and a B.A. in political science from University of Warsaw, Poland.

Bernard O'Brien.  Mr. O'Brien, who joined IBO in June 1996, is a senior budget and policy analyst who focuses primarily on city budget issues concerning the police and the criminal justice system. He has analyzed the relationship between police staffing and crime levels in New York City as compared to other large American cities, and has also conducted research related to the pace of criminal case processing in our state courts and its implications vis-a-vis local jail costs. Prior to joining IBO, Mr. O'Brien served as a legislative policy analyst with the New York City Council from 1989 to 1996, as a planner/analyst with the NYC Department of Correction from 1988 to 1989, and from 1987 to 1988 as a research associate with the NYC Board of Correction. In addition, Mr. O'Brien taught in New York City public schools from 1983 to 1986.

Mr. O'Brien received his Master's Degree in public administration from New York University and his B.S. from the University of Notre Dame.

Liza Pappas. Ms. Pappas joined IBO in September 2013 as an Education Policy Analyst. She has partnered with district, school, community, and student leaders and their families in education reform work for the past 15 years across the country. In New York City, she has worked as a qualitative researcher on issues concerning school governance, principal and teacher leadership development, school climate, school closings, bilingual education, and special education. She has served as an adjunct professor at both Hunter and City Colleges as well as a writing and communication fellow at both New York City College of Technology and Baruch.

Ms. Pappas completed her Ph.D in education policy and leadership in 2012 from the Graduate Center, City University of New York.  She holds a Masters of Education degree in Policy and Management from Harvard University and a Masters of Philosophy degree in Urban Education from the Graduate Center. Her undergraduate training is in public and community service.

Frank Posillico.  Mr. Posillico, who joined IBO in April 1996, is a deputy director at IBO. He coordinates all expenditure and revenue projections. Before joining IBO, Mr. Posillico worked at the Mayor's Office of Management and Budget as deputy assistant director where he was responsible for the preparation of monthly financial plan statements, cash flow analysis, personnel monitoring and the preparation of budget and financial plan presentations. Mr. Posillico also was an assistant director for financial reporting for the New York City Council Finance Division for five years.

Mr. Posillico received his B.S. in Accounting from Queens College.

Nashla Rivas-Salas.  Ms. Rivas-Salas joined IBO in June 2002 as a communications assistant. She is now a senior budget and policy analyst with a focus on youth, aging and information technology. She previously worked as a business counselor for the Jackson Heights Community Development Corp. and a project assistant at New York University's Women of Color Policy Network.

Ms. Rivas-Salas received her Master's in Public Administration from New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and her B.A. in Urban Studies from Queens College.

Joydeep Roy.  Mr. Roy joined IBO as a Senior Economist in April 2010, focusing on education and education policy involving New York City public schools. Before joining IBO, Mr. Roy worked as an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, where his work focused on school choice and accountability, school finance and adequacy issues, teacher labor markets and topics in higher education. His research on high school graduation rates has been cited in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Education Week and USA Today, among others. He is the co-editor of the EPI Series on Alternative Teacher Compensation Systems and co-author of the book Rethinking High School Graduation Rates and Trends. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at Georgetown University.

Mr. Roy earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University.

Indera Segobind.  Ms. Segobind, who joined IBO in March 1996, is IBO's director of administration. Prior to joining the IBO, Ms. Segobind worked for the New York City Public Advocate's Office where she was the office manager for the community affairs/constituency services unit from 1994 to 1996. Ms. Segobind also served as the administrative assistant at the New York City Comptroller's Office in the community affairs unit from 1986 to 1994.

Ms. Segobind received her Associate's Degree in liberal arts from LaGuardia Community College and she is currently a candidate for a B.A. from Baruch College.

Yolanda Smith.  Ms. Smith, who joined IBO in October 2006,  is a senior budget and policy analyst who focuses on Education. She previously worked in the NYC Department of Education since 2000 as an Education Analyst with varied experience in budget operations, categorical programs, and regional operations. Ms. Smith also gained rating agency experience at Standard & Poor's from 1992 to 1999, in the Public Finance sector.

Ms. Smith received her M.S. degree in Management and Urban Policy from the New School and her Bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Sarita Subramanian.  Ms. Subramanian joined IBO in June 2009 as an education budget and policy analyst with a focus on capital budgeting. Before joining IBO, Ms. Subramanian worked in the Federal Reserve System for four years, first in Washington, D.C. and then in New York. During her time in the Federal Reserve, she provided data and charts for international financial markets in preparation for Board briefings in D.C. and researched trends and risks of commercial banks in the New York region.

Ms. Subramanian received her Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and her B.A. in Economics and Psychology from Wellesley College


Tara Swanson.
 Ms. Swanson joined the IBO in September of 2006 as communications assistant. She previously worked as the communications associate at St. Bartholomew's Church.

Ms. Swanson is a 2000 graduate of York College of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English.


George Sweeting.
  Mr. Sweeting is deputy director of New York City’s Independent Budget Office; he oversees IBO’s work on economics, tax policy, revenue forecasting, economic development, and spending by city agencies. He joined IBO during its first year of operations in 1996, originally serving as a senior economist covering the real property tax. Prior to joining IBO, Mr. Sweeting worked for 10 years at the city’s Department of Finance in the Office of Tax Policy analyzing the city’s income taxes (business and personal), and later, the Property Division where he was responsible for policy analysis and quality control of the real property tax. While with the Finance Department he also served on the staff of the 1987 New York City Tax Study Commission and the 1993 Real Property Tax Reform Commission.

Mr. Sweeting received both his Ph.D. in economic history and his B.A. from Columbia University.


Natalya Titova.
  Ms. Titova joined IBO in June 2011 as a Data Analyst/Programmer with a focus on housing. Prior to joining IBO, she was a mathematical statistician at U.S. Census Bureau Headquarters in Suitland, MD, where she worked with the time series research group. Ms. Titova dealt with projects on time series theory and applications such as seasonal adjustment, calendar effects and benchmarking. She also assisted with updating and testing software programs designed for time series modeling and seasonal adjustment.

Ms. Titova received her Master’s Degree in Mathematics of Finance from Columbia University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Hunter College. She was enrolled in the City University of New York Macaulay Honors College program.

 

Alan Treffeisen.  Mr. Treffeisen joined IBO in November 1998 as a senior budget and policy analyst who focuses on transportation and infrastructure issues. Before joining IBO, Mr. Treffeisen was an assistant professor of economics at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. In addition to his teaching duties, he conducted research on the suburbanization of the Barcelona region. Mr. Treffeisen has also taught economics in the City University of New York system. His doctoral dissertation was on land and housing markets in Bogota, Colombia.

Mr. Treffeisen received his Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics, his Master's Degrees in city planning and transportation from the University of California at Berkeley. He received his B.A. from North Carolina State University.


Doug Turetsky.
 Mr. Turetsky joined the IBO in January 2001 as communications director, and was appointed chief of staff in 2004. He was previously director of policy and public affairs for United Neighborhood Houses. For more than four years he was deputy director for policy and development in the Manhattan Borough President's Office; he also served the Borough President's Office as deputy press secretary for one year. A former reporter, Mr. Turetsky was editor of City Limits magazine. He has written numerous articles on New York City and related subjects for local and national publications.

Mr. Turetsky received a Master's Degree in urban planning from New York University and his B.A. from Bard College.


Ana Maria Ventura.
  Ms. Ventura joined IBO in January 2001 as a budget and policy analyst with a primary focus on school construction issues as well as youth and aging policy. In June 2006 she became an assistant deputy director. Currently, she supports the IBO Deputy Director for Budget Analysis and Projections and Intergovernmental Affairs and focuses on citywide operating and capital budget issues. Prior to coming to IBO, she worked for more than four years at MDRC first as a research assistant and later research analyst. Her work at MDRC involved monitoring the implementation of welfare and education reform initiatives primarily through qualitative research methods.

Ms. Ventura received her Master of Public Administration from John Jay College/CUNY and her M.A. degree in Comparative and International Education from Teachers College/Columbia University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from New York University.

Asa Wilks.  Mr. Wilks joined IBO in October 2009 as a Budget and Policy Analyst with a primary focus on education. He has worked since 2004 as a quantitative policy researcher and statistics programmer at MDRC, a non-partisan research organization evaluating social, employment, and education policy initiatives. Prior to joining IBO, Mr. Wilks worked as a statistics consultant at Harvard University analyzing broadband internet data and policy in OECD countries.

Mr. Wilks received his Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He holds a B.A. in Government and Sociology from Cornell University.