Public Works Partners’ team approach provides flexibility to apply the right skills and capacity to match the needs of a wide variety of clients, from small nonprofits to large municipal agencies and research universities. Our team members and collaborators bring deep experience in the public sector across a range of issue areas, including economic and workforce development; public health; emergency management; senior services; education; public housing; and urban planning. We are also thought leaders in our fields, regularly contributing to or publishing research on a range of civic sector issues.
Celeste is a seasoned public service leader who specializes in guiding practitioners and policy makers to drive transformative change. Co-founder of Public Works Partners, she is known for her expertise in designing and implementing multi-stakeholder initiatives and building strong connections across the government, nonprofit, and private sectors. Blending her experience in urban planning and organizational management, Celeste helps organizations capitalize on existing strengths and engage stakeholders to develop actionable strategies that are sustainable over time. She advises clients on internal issues such as business process improvement, financial management, and organizational design. Her expertise lies in working with human services, including aging, anti-poverty, public assistance/social services, women’s health, youth, and education and training programs. Her technical and programmatic expertise is derived from her years as an executive in NYC government, managing large-scale service contracts, combined with her experience as a consultant, positioning her to work with clients to enhance performance, measure effective outcomes, and deliver impactful, cost-effective solutions. Her core client work includes developing and facilitating taskforces and advisory boards, providing capacity building trainings, and strengthening financial and contracts management. Celeste holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MS in Urban Planning from Cornell University. She is a graduate of Coro Leadership New York.
Allison leads Public Works’ Client Services practice, working across engagements to design solutions for complex programs and partnerships that sit at the intersection of urban planning and human service delivery. With the benefit of over a decade working with public sector organizations in New York City, she leads projects that incorporate program design; organizational assessment and performance improvement; and stakeholder engagement – all with an eye to helping clients fulfill their missions effectively and sustainably. Allison assists clients in identifying core strengths and challenges while creating managerial practices, strategic plans, and organizational structures to best meet their needs. Across all projects, Allison takes time to understand clients’ unique context, bringing in perspectives of a wide cross-section of stakeholders and considering implications for the communities and partners with whom they work. An expert facilitator, Allison frequently leads advisory boards, focus groups, and working sessions with clients. Before joining Public Works Partners, Allison led initiatives at the NYC Department of Small Business Services’ Workforce1 Career Centers that focused on job training and preparation and evaluated affordable housing programs at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development targeted at neighborhood preservation and foreclosure prevention. She regularly lends her expertise in workforce development to client engagements. Allison has a BA in Metropolitan Studies from New York University and an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is a graduate of the Coro Leadership New York program.
Julia conducts policy research, manages program development and evaluation engagements, and oversees IT system design projects to deliver results for clients across a range of focus areas. She is versed in blending quantitative and qualitative analysis to build a holistic picture of community needs and service outcomes, and recommend solutions to drive performance improvement. Julia also designs and deploys public outreach efforts, and has recently developed survey instruments, focus group techniques, and advisory board strategies to engage stakeholders around education, financial empowerment, local hiring, public art, and beyond. Prior to joining Public Works, Julia gained diverse policy experience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the U.S. State Department, and a private-sector startup focused on economic analysis. Julia holds a BA from Middlebury College in International Politics and Economics. She has lived in China and is conversant in Mandarin. Julia is a graduate of the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service program from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.
Doneliza works with local governments and communities to develop technology and data-driven strategies that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of access to resources and information. She specializes in data analysis, data visualization, and user experience design. Before joining Public Works, she was a planner at the Regional Plan Association focusing on the role of technology in the urban planning process, public engagement, and physical infrastructure. Prior to that she was a Code for America Fellow working with the City of New York to improve government services in the criminal justice sector. Doneliza has a BA in Urban Studies from Fordham University and a MS in Urban Planning from Columbia University. She is currently an adjunct professor at Barnard College teaching a course on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Urban Studies Department.
Moe develops evidence-based program models that are grounded in strong program management, rigorous performance monitoring, and public-private partnership. He helps civic-sector groups design human-centered service strategies, build organizational capacity, and align program operations to outcomes. Prior to joining Public Works, Moe launched and expanded innovative anti-poverty programs at the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity and coordinated lobbying efforts at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Moe holds a BA in Government & Politics from St. John’s University and an MPA from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service. He is also certified in User Experience Design (UXD) by General Assembly.
Matthew conducts research, analyzes data, and coordinates stakeholders to assist diverse clients in building organizational capacity and designing effective public policies. Using his skills in qualitative analysis, program development and community engagement, Matthew helps clients define and advance organizational objectives. He brings experience working with a variety of public sector organizations in New York City, addressing housing, public health, and economic development needs. Matthew is skilled in creating evidence-based policies utilizing demographic and economic analysis. Prior to joining Public Works, Matthew worked as a Behavior Coach for Alum Rock Unified School District in California, where he served as a liaison between families and schools to successfully develop and monitor programming for students with special needs. Matthew also worked with Manhattan Community Board 7, assisting Board members to generate data-driven policy recommendations and as a research consultant with MIT Community Innovations Lab. Matthew has a BA in Education from Queen’s University, Canada, and a MS in Urban Planning from Columbia University.
Sam conducts policy research and program coordination to provide clients with thoughtful, actionable solutions to multi-dimensional problems. Using his background in multi-stakeholder initiatives, strategic communications and public engagement, Sam helps mission-driven clients operationalize strategy and pursue policy goals. Before joining Public Works, Sam worked at the NYC Department of City Planning where he supported the coordination and development of neighborhood planning studies to expand affordable housing opportunities. In this capacity, he assisted in project tracking and management, and contributed to the development and roll-out of resources aimed at improving operational efficiency and effectiveness. Additionally, Sam has robust experience working in field operations and data-base management on a number of successful local and state political campaigns. Sam holds a BA in Environmental Science from the University of Michigan, and is a graduate of the New York City Urban Fellows Program.
Mary Kathryn creates creative community engagement strategies from a design-thinking and strategic planning lens, specializing in public interest campaigns and public-private partnerships. With a particular expertise in land use and urban planning efforts, she builds and implements accessible tools and processes to ensure successful public outreach, translating complex regulatory issues into easily digestible information so community members can understand the implications for their everyday lives. She is also experienced in helping large-scale organizations incorporate design principles for process improvement and to advance equity. Before joining Public Works, she led public engagement workshops with the Center for Urban Pedagogy, conducted research for the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan at the New York City Department of City Planning, and administered a Department of Justice grant with LISC Safety. Mary Kathryn holds a BA in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. She currently serves on the board of the Design Futures Student Leadership forum, a five-day conference that hosts interactive workshops on designing for equity.
Favio contributes his diverse experience in organizational development to help Public Works’ clients grow their capacity and service strategies to strengthen the communities they serve. Previously, he served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay for three years, where he supported community groups and trained incoming volunteers and Government officials on community development strategies, monitoring and evaluation, project management, and experiential training models. Since returning to the United States, Favio has worked with local nonprofits in strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and program evaluation. He now supports the Public Works team by conducting research and analysis, as well as through his expertise in organizational performance and community outreach. Favio is currently a graduate student at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, focusing on Nonprofit Management.
Jiwon utilizes her strategic communication skills and passion for social issues to help mission-driven organizations enhance their messaging and outreach strategies. Her multi-sector experience helps support marketing and business development at Public Works Partners. She applies her experience creating case studies, evaluating programs, and conducting research to craft informative and educational content for a mission-driven audience. Jiwon has supported programmatic and communications strategies on multiple social issues including inner city public school systems, Medicaid, immigration and corporate social responsibility. In addition to her time at Public Works, she writes for a business intelligence publication, covering innovation and tech, and provides development and program support for a United Nations-affiliated international NGO. Previously, she worked at an immigration law firm as a paralegal and at a marketing startup developing business and communication strategy for social impact brands. Jiwon is currently completing her graduate degree at NYU Wagner’s School of Public Service, focusing on public and nonprofit management.
Mark, a co-founder of the firm, develops smart solutions for clients through strategic program design, policy analysis and the creation of compelling proposals on behalf of organizations seeking public or institutional funding. He facilitates discussions with diverse and complex groups of stakeholders in order to identify pathways to organizational strengthening and growth. Mark also regularly publishes studies for the Center for an Urban Future examining issues facing small business. He has two decades of experience working with New York City agencies and nonprofits, including the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, the Economic Development Corporation, City University of New York, NYU, NYU-Poly and several local development corporations. While working in city government, Mark coordinated a variety of interagency efforts, including the launch of the City’s first office addressing the needs of industrial and manufacturing businesses. He holds a BA in Geography and Urban Planning from Hunter College at the City University of New York and an MPA from the Wagner School at New York University. Mark is a member of the board of Citizens Union and Riders Alliance as well as the Coro New York Leadership Center alumni board.
Scott improves organizational performance by crafting mission driven strategies, building staff capacity, refining service operations, establishing accountability systems, and directing the design and implementation of new program models. Scott assists clients to significantly improve the alignment between mission, strategy, and operations and to establish essential core competencies. Before co-founding Public Works Partners, he served as the Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, where he improved outcomes by connecting business hiring needs to job preparation services and launched new initiatives to facilitate the advancement of low-wage workers. Scott also served as the Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Finance at the NYC Department of Employment. Scott serves on the resource development committee of Community Impact at Columbia University and the alumni advisory board of the Coro New York Leadership Center. He holds a BA from Columbia College and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.