Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni Awards

Since 1994, the Alumni Achievement Awards have recognized Bloustein School alumni who have made exemplary contributions to their professions and communities, while demonstrating support of the Bloustein School. The purpose of the Bloustein School Alumni Hall of Fame, inaugurated in 2013, is to showcase and honor the current and all previous recipients of the Alumni Achievement Awards whose personal and professional accomplishments have been of the highest caliber and brought credit to the school.

2022 Honorees

Dean’s Medal of Merit

Selected and awarded by the Office of the Dean

Steven Allard MCRP ’79

Career Achievement

Kevin Drennan MCRP ’07

Rising Star Awards

Formerly the Young Alumni Awards

Brandon McKoy MCRP ’13
Angela Burnett Penn MCRP ’14
Arielle Woronoff MPP ’09

Bloustein School Alumni Hall of Fame

Name, Degree/Year (Year of Selection)

Zaid Abuhouran, BS (Public Health) ’12 (Rising Star 2017)
Leah Apgar, MPP ’07 (Young Alum 2016)
James G. Bach (2001)
Daniel Benson, MPP ’99 (Young Alum 2013)
Staci Berger, MPAP ’04 (Career 2017)
Shirley Bishop (1996)
Robert W. Burchell (2000)
Joseph Burgis MCRP ’75 (Career 2014)
Lawrence B. Burrows BA Urban Planning ’74 (Career 2014)
James Crawford (2004)
Jeffrey Crum, MPP ’06 (Rising Star 2017)
Erika Dani, MCRP ’15 (Rising Star 2019)
Marge DellaVecchia, MCRP ’81 (Career, 2016)
Jill Edwards Resnick, MCRP ’93 (Career 2017)
Christiana Foglio (Career 2013)
Donald Free MCRP ’93 (Career 2015)
Carlos Gallinar, MCRP ’04 (Young Alum 2016)
Vito A. Gallo, RC ’67, MCRP ’71 (Career 2016)
Joseph Garlick, MCRP ’81 (Career 2019)
Redenia C. Gilliam-Mosee (1998)
Susan Gruel MCRP ’72 (Career 2015)
Nina Haiman MCRP ’06 (Young Alum 2014)
Leigh Anne Hindenland, MCRP ’12 (Rising Star 2019)
Connie O. Hughes, MCRP ’76 (1997)
James W. Hughes, ENG ’65, MCRP ’69, PHD ’71 (1994)
Dan Kennedy MCRP ’07 (Young Alum 2015)
David Listokin (2000)
Nicholas J. Masucci (2007)
Anthony L. Marchetta (2012)
Daniel McGuire, MCRP ’98 (Career 2019)
Elizabeth C. (Betsy) McKenzie (1999)
Courtenay D. Mercer MCRP ’02 (Young Alum 2015)
Sara Meyers MPP ’09 (Young Alum 2015)
Harvey S. Moskowitz (1995)
Maureen Ogden, MCRP ’77 (1995)
Jason Redd MCRP ’04 (Young Alum 2014)
Mark Gregory Robson MPH ’95 (Career 2015)Robert G. Sommer (2011)
Coltrane Stansbury, MPP ’04 (Young Alum 2016)

Bloustein School Dean’s Medal of Merit

Robert Cotter, MCRP ’76 (2016)
Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D. in Planning and Public Policy ’05 (2017)
Jeffrey Gutman, MCRP ’74 (2017)
Nicholas J. Masucci, MCRP ’75 (2019)
Shams Eldien Naga MSUP ’86 (2015)
Robert Nardi MCRP ’78 (2015)
Paul J. Wiedefeld, MCRP ’81 (2016)

Alumni News

Tax credits for private school tuition plan scrapped

Lawmakers introduced the “New Jersey Student Support Act” in early April. Their goal was to allow students to attend private schools at public expense. Last week, after what they said was overwhelming opposition from stakeholders, sponsors pulled their bill. It never...

Nikpour Receives Office of Disability Services Award

Professor Fereydoun Nikpour was selected for the Office of Disability Services Faculty Honor Roll. The Faculty Honor Roll is a new initiative to recognize instructors who go above and beyond to support the work of the Office of Disability Services (ODS). ODS staff...

Heldrich Report: NJ’s Energy-Efficiency Workforce Needs

New Jersey's Energy-Efficiency Workforce Needs, Infrastructure, and Equity Assessment New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Energy Master Plan and Executive Order 315 set a goal to reduce fossil fuel usage to 100% clean energy by 2035. The Executive Order also called for...

Shaul Picker Receives 2024 Mortensen-Voorhees Award

Shaul Picker is the 2024 recipient of the Mortensen-Voorhees Award for Achievement in Transportation Studies. This award is granted annually to the highest-achieving student with a concentration in transportation at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Urban Planning and...

Quick Links

Upcoming Events

Latest Past Events

Jersey City Alumni Mixer

Zeppelin Hall Biergarten 88 Liberty View Dr, Jersey City

Join us for an alumni mixer in #JerseyCity on Thursday, June 6th at Zeppelin Hall Biergarten. Parking for Zeppelin Hall is FREE - more information can be found here: https://zeppelinhall.com/map/. This […]

Alumni of the Year Nomination

Since the first formal alumni award was presented in 1994, the Bloustein School Alumni Association has aimed to present awards to accomplished alumni each year. Our goal is to pay tribute to alumni and friends to recognize their outstanding achievement and/or service to the Bloustein School, their communities, and/or their professions. Selected by the Bloustein School Alumni Association, there are two award categories selected on an annual basis.

Alumni are recognized in an award ceremony. Proceeds from this event benefit the school’s scholarships and fellowships that support our students. Individual donations to these funds are also encouraged.

Nominate an alumnus or alumna! Bloustein Alumni are doing great work—and we want your assistance in order to recognize them.  All nominations will be maintained for future consideration. The nomination period is now open and we will be accepting nominations via our downloadable form. All nominations and supplemental materials should be emailed to alumni@ejb.rutgers.edu.

Alumni are recognized each year by the Bloustein School Alumni Association in the following two categories:

  1. Career Achievement:  Those named to this honor are Bloustein School Alumni 15 or more years beyond completion of their studies, whose personal and professional accomplishments have demonstrated the highest standard of the public service ethic and whose commitment to civic improvement have brought credit to themselves, their communities, and the Bloustein School.
  2. “Rising Star”: Formerly the Young Alum Award, those named to this honor are more recent Bloustein Alumni who are fewer than 15 years beyond completion of their studies, whose personal and professional accomplishments have been of the highest caliber and have brought credit to the school.

Please send completed nomination forms and all supplemental materials to alumni@ejb.rutgers.edu

Past Celebrations

2022 Bloustein School Alumni Celebration

Thursday, October 20, 2022




Steven Allard began his career in the public sector, with stints at the New York City Legislative Office of Budget Review and the New Jersey Department of Energy Office of Planning and Policy Analysis. In 1984, he moved to the private sector to take a position with a start-up municipal bond company – the Financial Guaranty Insurance Company – working in the Utility and Transportation Group as an analyst.  Over 12 years at FGIC, Steven went from an analyst in the group to its Director, and participated in over $20 billion of municipal bond issuances for infrastructure projects for over 200 states, municipalities and regional authorities. As a member of the Management Executive Committee, Steven also helped oversee FGIC’s entire public finance portfolio.

In 1996, Steven moved to the Credit Assessment Group in the New York office of Société Générale (SocGen), an international bank and finance company based in France.  There, Steven was the Managing Director responsible for the credit risk function in the Americas for a nascent public finance debt portfolio that grew to $15 billion during his tenure, as well as smaller investor-owned utilities, power and infrastructure project finance, energy commodities, metals and mining, and corporate healthcare portfolios. While at SocGen, Steven also developed and led a training program for junior analysts.

Since his retirement in 2013, Steven has channeled his energy toward a number of civic activities in and around New Brunswick. He is a member of the New Brunswick Area Branch of the NAACP and currently serves as Treasurer.  He was engaged by the Lost Souls Public Memorial Project, a local grassroots organization, helping achieve incorporation and 501©3 status, and currently also serves as Treasurer.  He serves on the Ralph W. Voorhees Center for Civic Engagement Advisory Board, and the Middlesex County Strategic Investment Framework Technical Advisory Committee associated with the Middlesex County Destination 2040 plan.  Until his move earlier this year, he also served on the Highland Park Mayor’s Equity Advisory Council.



Kevin Drennan serves as Managing Director in Mercury’s Westfield, NJ office, where he specializes in government affairs. In this role, Kevin is responsible for strategic advising and legislative advocacy. He is also a Partner at Field Strategies/Civic Operations Group. In this role, he is responsible for building strategic relationships and managing senior staff members of the organization.

Most recently, Kevin served as Executive Director/Chief of Staff in the New Jersey Senate Majority Office. As Executive Director/Chief of Staff, he managed a staff of 40 people, created the policy agenda as well as communications plans to drive the agenda forward. Some key policy successes include the elimination of cash bail, legalization of cannabis, stabilization of Atlantic City, improvement of the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities, increasing the minimum wage, expansion of paid family leave, improvement of K-12 funding, creation of the first Urban Research University, the development of the state’s first veterinary school, the rebirth of the City of Camden, improvement of the State’s economic incentives, movement towards increased development of solar and wind and the stabilization of the state’s three nuclear power plants.

Before joining the New Jersey Senate Majority Office, Kevin worked at a prominent telecommunications and entertainment company in New Jersey where he worked with regulatory agencies, government officials, and other regulated companies related to the telecommunications industry. He also worked in the healthcare field leading the government affairs team for one of the nation’s largest companies in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

He served in Governor McGreevey’s Office as an intergovernmental affairs representative serving as a liaison to local government officials. US Senator Corzine brought him on as a Special Projects Director. When Governor Corzine became Governor, Kevin served in the Office of Economic Growth, Executive Director of the New Jersey State Commerce Commission, and chair of the Urban Enterprise Zone Authority.

Kevin also has led voter contact teams from school board races to United States Senators. He was the Get Out the Vote Director/Voter Contact Director on two New Jersey gubernatorial campaigns and on two United States Senate campaigns.

Kevin earned his B.A. in Political Science from the College of New Jersey and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University. Kevin lives in Hamilton, NJ with his wife Rachel Holland and two daughters Eva Marie and Jacqueline.



Brandon McKoy is the Vice President of State Partnerships on the State Fiscal Policy team. He helps support member organizations of the State Priorities Partnership (SPP) network by connecting them with vital resources as they research and promote policies that advance racial and economic justice efforts and improve the lives of communities across the country. Prior to joining the Center, McKoy was President of New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP), a member organization of the SPP network, and led the organization’s efforts in shaping policy debates. McKoy previously also served as NJPP’s Director of Government and Public Affairs, and, prior to that, as Policy Analyst. He joined the organization in 2014 as a national fellow under SPP’s and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ State Policy Fellowship Program.

McKoy brings 15 years of experience in social policy research, advocacy, and implementation, having served on the boards of various community organizations, advised governors on economic and tax policy, and participated in multiple task forces to advance racial and economic justice and reduce barriers in marginalized communities. Before NJPP, McKoy worked as a Program Associate at The Fund for New Jersey, where he assisted in grantmaking on public policy issues that particularly affect low-income and minority populations in New Jersey.

He has received multiple recognitions, including 40 under 40, top millennial leaders, and top leaders of color awards in New Jersey, and is an alum of the New Leaders Council – New Jersey chapter, where he served as Director of Mentorship, Director of Diversity, and Deputy Director. McKoy holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning and Policy Development from Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Psychology from The College of New Jersey.



Angela Burnett Penn is an environmental management, urban planning and climate change adaptation professional, born and raised in The Virgin Islands. Her primary goal is to promote progressive, climate-resilient communities that balance environmental, social and economic goals. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development from Brandies University (2007) as well as a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy (2014).

Since 2008, Angela has served as The Virgin Islands’ Climate Change Officer, building the Territory’s climate change programme from scratch into a small-island best practice model with support from regional institutional partners. In 2008, she achieved Government approval of a multi-sector standing Climate Change Committee to support mainstreaming adaptation. In 2012, following broad-based consultation, she authored The Virgin Islands Climate Change Adaptation Policy. To serve as a sustainable financing mechanism for adaptation and mitigation, Angela also co-led development of The Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund, a first of its kind in the Caribbean. This involved design of the Trust Fund architecture, assisting in drafting the Trust Fund Bill and defending it before the House of Assembly. These efforts resulted in the passage of The Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund Act in 2015. Angela has since supported operationalization of the Trust Fund, including overseeing development of its Operational Manual.

Angela has also designed and implemented creative climate change public education campaigns, conducted a vulnerability and capacity assessment of the tourism sector to climate change and managed implementation of local physical adaptation projects. These projects were critical to protecting flood-prone, coastal communities in record-breaking category 5 Hurricane Irma in 2017.

In addition to her climate change adaptation work, Angela has contributed to beach management plans, the Territory’s National Physical Development Plan and the Environmental Management and Climate Adaptation legislation. She also pioneered the Green Pledge Programme that encourages adoption of environmentally friendly practices across private sector and Government.

From 2019 to 2021, Angela served as the Climate Change Coordinator for Saint Lucia’s Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project, a diverse portfolio of 126 climate change adaptation projects worth USD $74 million, funded through the World Bank. In addition to providing project management support to the entire portfolio, Angela was responsible for a sub portfolio of over 40 projects mainly focused on capacity building, ecosystem restoration and enhancing data and data systems to support adaptation. She also provided technical support to the Project’s innovative Climate Adaptation Financing Facility, administered by the Saint Lucia Development Bank. In that capacity, she led design and development of the Act to Adapt App which predicts Category 5 hurricane impact to homes and helps homeowners determine projects to build resilience.

In her private capacity, Angela serves as a climate change advocate. Following the devastation of Hurricane Irma in her country, within 3 months she wrote and published The Irma Diaries, a collection of survivor stories. With more than 35 speaking engagements around the world and a TEDx talk to date, she uses the book as a platform to educate about the impacts of stronger hurricanes, bridge personal connections to climate change and inspire global action. Angela has pledged 50% of profits from The Irma Diaries to survivors and the Climate Change Trust Fund.

In her spare time, Angela enjoys all outdoor activities, including her weekly Sunday swim! She looks forward to further contributions to climate change adaptation and sustainable development.



Arielle Woronoff is the Director of the Office of Legislation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Arielle advises the CMS Administrator on policy and operations and serves as the agency’s chief liaison to Congress. She develops and executes legislative strategy for key CMS priorities and provides strategic and technical input on agency administrative actions including during the development, passage, and implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Prior to this role, Arielle served as Senior Health Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, Majority Staff under Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR). Her portfolio was focused on the Affordable Care Act, drug pricing issues, and Medicare Advantage. During her time at the Finance Committee, she also worked on policy issues related to Medicare hospital payment and health information technology. Arielle worked at the Finance Committee during the controversial 2017 legislative debate over repeal of the Affordable Care Act, working with stakeholders and legislative staff to defend the law and formulating and making key procedural arguments to the Senate Parliamentarian related to the Senate budget reconciliation process. She also worked on major legislation including the CARES Act and the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act.

Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, Arielle worked for the House Energy & Commerce Committee for Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), covering Medicare Part B, the Affordable Care Act, and health information technology. During this time, Arielle was a lead negotiator on key provisions of the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act, the 21st Century Cures Act and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Arielle came to the Energy and Commerce Committee after advising Senator Cory A. Booker (D-NJ) on health policy while he was getting his Senate office up and running. Here she developed and advanced the Senator’s health policy priorities during his first year in the Senate. Prior to this, Arielle was Domestic Policy Counsel for Congressman Sander M. Levin (D-MI), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, advising the Congressman on health care, Social Security, income security, and budget issues.

Arielle has a Master of Public Policy degree with a concentration in health policy from the Rutgers Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. Arielle is from New Jersey and now lives in Washington, DC with her husband and daughter.

2019 Bloustein School Alumni Celebration

Thursday, March 28, 2019

photos from event





Nicholas Masucci received his MCRP from Rutgers in 1975 and over the ensuing 40+ years he worked principally for the Louis Berger company, an international engineering, science, and planning firm and VMS, Inc a firm he founded which was the first transportation asset management firm in the US along with a couple of brief stints in NJ government.

He began his career as an environmental planner at Louis Berger, working principally on environmental permitting work for transportation projects in New Jersey and New York. He worked on projects throughout the U.S. for numerous public clients and expanded his horizons to work internationally with urban and transportation planning projects in Yemen, Nigeria, and Malawi, among others. In the mid-1980’s he became the leader of the company’s environment and planning group, growing this to become the fastest growing and most profitable division of the company.  In 2002, he was promoted to be the President and Chief Executive officer of Louis Berger, the first planner to run a top 25 US engineering firm.  At the time, the firm generated approximately $250 million in annual revenue.  By his retirement in 2016, the firm was generating $1.2 billion in annual revenue.  Over this period, he oversaw an expansion of the firm’s international work and managed the security, technical, staffing, regulatory, tax, and currency complexity of working in hostile conflict environments including Afghanistan, Zaire, Iraq, Southern Sudan, and the Philippines.  He developed new lines of business such as power and assisted in creating new methods of reintegrating post-conflict child soldiers into society.  Along with other key employees, he reinvented Berger by implementing new systems, processes, and technology along with new staff to increase the overall efficiency of the operations.  During his tenure, overall Berger profitability was consistently the highest in company history as measured by return on equity.  He passed on the leadership of the company in 2015 and retired in 2016.

For the period 1995-2001, he created a new company focusing on the operations, maintenance and management of transportation facilities.  This firm created statistical-based decision-making models to manage the maintenance of facilities to meet specified levels of quality coupled with innovative methods of risk management.  This was the first application of what became known as the asset management approach to maintenance.  Mr. Masucci’s approach was copied in Australia, New Zealand, and other countries.  The firm received several technical awards and was recognized three times by Inc. 500 magazine as one of the ten fastest growing companies in the US.  Mr. Masucci stepped down from the leadership in VMS to return to Berger in 2002.  The firm was sold in 2006.

In his retirement, he keeps busy by serving as a Senior Policy Fellow at the Bloustein School, being an independent Director on two Boards of Directors, and overseeing a company that finances, owns, and operates commercial solar facilities.  His proudest accomplishment has been to develop a team that together shared in the satisfaction of performing interesting and challenging work and the prosperity arising from their success. All of the team members, many from the Bloustein School, became full partners in his companies.








As Executive Director of NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (NWBRV) a nonprofit CDC serving Northern Rhode Island, Joseph Garlick leads a community-based enterprise that develops affordable housing and other real estate to revitalize neighborhoods and expand housing and economic opportunity throughout the Region. NWBRV also implements a wide array of comprehensive community development programs to provide opportunities for low-income residents to build assets and wealth and enrich their communities.

Mr. Garlick has been responsible for a number of unique and innovative real estate development projects, including a multi-year, multi-phase neighborhood revitalization initiative in the Constitution Hill neighborhood in Woonsocket that involved rehabilitation of 40 abandoned homes; a vacant shopping center and mill and an abandoned historic school into 165 affordable family apartments; 30,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial space; two afterschool learning centers; a childcare center for 100 infants and preschoolers; a neighborhood history book, “A Different View,” authored by several neighborhood teens; and a ‘Community Builders-In-Residence’ facility that provides free lofts to six instructors who teach in the learning centers.

Mr. Garlick serves on a number of local, regional and National committees and boards, including as President of the Housing Network of RI, the trade association of RI Nonprofit Developers, the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation’s New Market Tax Credit Advisory Board and NeighborWorks America’s Real Estate Advisory Board and Race, Equity and Diversity Initiative (REDI). His work was recently recognized by the RI Foundation with the Murray Family Prize for community enrichment and the American Planning Association-RI’s Paul Davidoff Award. His organization has been recognized with GrowSmart RI’s Leadership Award for its community development strategy and “savvy (that has) consistently made the seemingly impossible become reality.”







Daniel McGuire has enjoyed two distinctly different types of work in his career.  After graduating from Kenyon College in 1990, he spent almost a decade at Louis Berger, the venerated multidisciplinary consulting firm.  At Berger, he was introduced to a succession of innovative projects, talented professionals, and the different applications of city and regional planning.  That experience was the catalyst to pursuing a Master’s at the Bloustein School while still working at Berger.  Dan received his MCRP in 1998.

At the Bloustein School, McGuire discovered a passion for the community development sector.  Soon after graduating, he embarked on the second phase of his career.  Dan went to work at La Casa de Don Pedro, a longstanding Newark nonprofit, where he was responsible for neighborhood planning and developing homes that people could afford.

In 2004, Dan jumped at the chance to grow the supply of affordable homes in his own “backyard” of Morris County, joining Homeless Solutions to direct their new affordable housing division.  In 2016, Dan was named CEO of Homeless Solutions and has led its continued growth and impact: in 2018, the organization provided shelter, housing, and post-program outreach to over 600 people in a year for the first time in its 35 year history.









Erika Dani is an asset manager for Artspace Projects, Inc., a Minneapolis-based real estate developer focused on providing affordable spaces to artists and their families. She oversees a nation-wide sub-portfolio of 7 new construction and historic preservation affordable housing projects in operation, as well as 2 projects in development and pre-development. Her projects range in location from small towns in the Midwest’s rustbelt, where there has been little economic opportunity and quality housing for years, to larger urban areas like the DC Metro, where the lack of affordable housing is displacing people who have called DC home for decades. She also leads the commercial leasing efforts in all 9 of her projects and focuses on leasing the affordable spaces to first-time business owners in the creative sector.

She frequently speaks at national conferences about affordable housing, artist housing, and how the arts can support communities around the country, both in small towns and large cities.

She also owns and operates her own small portfolio of below-market housing in Minneapolis.








Leigh Anne “Annie” Hindenlang is a licensed planner in the State of New Jersey and certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Prior to joining Topology in 2016 as COO + Principal, Annie spent 5 years as the Executive Director of the City of Perth Amboy Office of Economic and Community Development and the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency. She has a broad depth of experience at the municipal level with evolving and challenging urban environments. This experience has resulted in a wide range of knowledge related to brownfield remediation, public financing, comprehensive planning, project and process management, and redevelopment.

While running the operations of the fast-growing Newark-based planning consulting firm, Topology, Annie is also responsible for guiding over a dozen communities throughout New Jersey in their community and economic development. Additionally, during her five years with the City of Perth Amboy, she successfully managed the completion of over a dozen comprehensive municipal planning documents, created sustainability, workforce development and resiliency programs, acquired over $30 million in grant funding and oversaw $500 million dollars of new private investment into the City through the redevelopment process.

Annie considers herself a quality of life planner that seeks to creatively solve problems with solutions that address diverse needs and populations. She enjoys complex projects with many moving parts for the often unique, inspiring outcomes they produce. She has worked hard with all regulatory levels to encourage innovation and change policies to reflect today’s opportunities and challenges. Annie wants her work to inspire planners to be more active and present within their communities–rather than simply proactively writing master plans or reviewing land use applications. There is an important role for resident representation and project implementation well suited and waiting for planners in almost every municipality.

Annie graduated from Virginia Tech in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, a Bachelor of Arts in English, and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning. She finished her Master of Urban and Regional Planning at Rutgers’ Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy in 2012 with a certificate in historic preservation. She’s incredibly grateful for the connections and opportunities being a Bloustein graduate has provided her–particularly in the form of the one dozen alumni she’s hired since graduating.




2017 Bloustein School Alumni Celebration

Friday, October 20, 2017

photos from event





Aaron R. Fichtner, Ph.D. was sworn in as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development by Governor Chris Christie on June 5, 2017, after having served in an acting role since September 2016. Dr. Fichtner brings extensive workforce and economic development experience to his new role.

Dr. Fichtner has been with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development since 2010, most recently serving as Deputy Commissioner, where he directly oversaw the department’s program areas including Workforce Operations and Business Services, Workforce Development and Economic Opportunity, Research and Information, Income Security, and Labor Standards and Safety Enforcement. In that role, Dr. Fichtner led the department’s efforts to develop a strategic vision and direction for workforce and talent development in New Jersey and to implement all four titles of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. He focused the department’s workforce investments on the needs of employers in the state’s key industries. Additionally, he led the development of seven industry-focused Talent Networks responsible for building high-quality, employer-driven partnerships across the state. Under Dr. Fichtner’s leadership, the department has expanded services to jobseekers through partnerships with employers, community colleges, libraries, and community-based organizations and strengthened connections between unemployment insurance and reemployment services. He also worked to modernize the state’s unemployment insurance program through technology enhancements and improved processes. He has strengthened the use of data throughout the department by developing new performance metrics, implementing a workforce longitudinal data system, and developing industry-focused labor market information. Prior to assuming the role as Deputy Commissioner in January 2012, Dr. Fichtner served as the department’s Assistant Commissioner for Labor Planning and Analysis.

Before joining the department in 2010, Dr. Fichtner was the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. In that role, he conducted extensive research on the workforce and skill needs of key industries, implemented a variety of workforce and education initiatives, and conducted evaluations of education and training programs. He has also worked in the field of economic development in Jersey City and Atlanta.

Dr. Fichtner currently serves as Chair of the National Association of State Liaisons for Workforce Development Partnerships, the workforce development committee of the National Governors Association. He previously served as chairman of the Labor Market Information Committee of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, where he currently serves as a board member. In March 2016, Dr. Fichtner was appointed to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Information Advisory Council which is advising the Secretary of Labor and the Commissioner of the Bureau of the Labor Statistics on the use of workforce and labor market information.

Dr. Fichtner earned a Ph.D. in Planning and Public Policy from Rutgers University, a Master’s degree in City Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in History from Vassar College.





Jeff Gutman has had an extensive career in international economic development.  After serving as a transportation consultant in Honduras for three years and participating in the U.S. Congressional National Transportation Policy Study Commission, Jeff joined the World Bank in 1979.  Through his 31 years at the Bank, he has served in various operational, policy and managerial positions with a particular focus on transport and urban initiatives mainly ranging across Latin America and East Asia and the Pacific. From Argentina to Guatemala and from Vietnam to Timor-Leste, Jeff was involved in an extensive list of sectoral policy reforms, infrastructure investments and institutional development efforts.

From 2007 until his retirement from the Bank in 2010, Jeff served as Vice President for Operational Policy and Country Services.  He was responsible for overseeing the Bank’s lending operations and related policies, governance reforms regarding corruption, transparency and procurement as well as environmental and social safeguard policies.

Since 2013, Jeff has been a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.  He has been leading a research effort on urban accessibility, promoting a cross-disciplinary approach to transport, land use and fiscal/financing factors affecting inclusive urban access.  His writings also cover issues in infrastructure finance and public procurement.









As the President and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of  New Jersey, Staci Berger directs this statewide association of over 150 community-based development organizations, created in 1989 to enhance the efforts of these groups to create affordable housing and revitalize their communities, and to improve the climate for community development in New Jersey. Before becoming the President and CEO, Staci served as the Director of Advocacy & Policy. In this role she was responsible for leading the community development policy staff team, including working with the Policy Coordinator and field organizers, to broaden and mobilize support for the Network’s public policy agenda.

Prior to joining the Network, Staci worked for nine years with New Jersey Citizen Action where she went from being an organizer to the Political and Legislative Director. As the Political and Legislative Director, she devised and implemented political, legislative, and electoral strategy for the state’s largest non-profit, non-partisan independent watchdog coalition.

She received her Masters in Public Affairs and Politics from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy, Rutgers University, in 2004.  Staci earned her Bachelor of Arts from Livingston College, Rutgers University in 1994. During her undergraduate time, she was a leader in student government and campus organizations, including fighting for lower college costs.  Staci has served as an associate trainer for the Midwest Academy, the national training institute for the progressive movement, and worked as a labor organizer with the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute and the Health Professionals and Allied Employees/AFT/AFL-CIO. She is regular presence in state and national media outlets and has had multiple appearances on MSNBC.  In 2016, Staci she was honored as a change maker by the NJ General Assembly during Women’s History Month. She lives with her husband and two sons in Piscataway, NJ, where she works with her neighbors to make her community even better.







Jill Edwards Resnick is a community development investment banker, professionally certified economic developer and former urban planner who recently joined Charles Schwab as Director of Community Development Investments. Immediately prior to that, Ms. Edwards Resnick was a Senior Vice President and originator of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) investments for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she authored a white paper on supportive housing that led to a significant and sustained increase in the Bank’s supportive housing investments.

Ms. Edwards Resnick formerly served as Director of Merrill Lynch Community Development Company (MLCDC) where she managed the firm’s tax credit investments, including LIHTC and NMTC. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Ms. Edwards Resnick served as Acting Director of Economic Development and Economic Development Planner in Trenton, New Jersey and as a contractor for the New Jersey Office of State Planning. Earlier in her career, Ms. Edwards Resnick ran a downtown redevelopment program in New Jersey and worked in institutional sales for an investment banking firm in New York City.

Ms. Edwards Resnick graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with High Distinction from the Pennsylvania State University and holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University. She is a Leadership New Jersey Fellow and certified Economic Development Professional and was a Professional Planner and member of the AICP. She was the recipient of the YWCA of Trenton’s Woman of Achievement Award, was an honoree for her advocacy work in supportive housing by New Destiny Housing Corporation, and her work at Bank of America earned the Bank a Private Sector Partner of the Year Award from the Supportive Housing Network of New York.





ZAID ABUHOURAN, BS (Public Health) ’12



Zaid Abuhouran currently serves as a West Bank and Gaza Desk Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He joined USAID in 2016 and oversees the West Bank and Gaza Mission’s development work and policy objectives from Washington, DC. In his role, he coordinates with the Agency at-large, the Department of State, the National Security Council, Congress, and external stakeholders to ensure that the Mission’s priorities and equities are represented. Before joining USAID, Abuhouran managed federal-level education programs, grants, and policy initiatives for several state-level education departments through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, including for his home state, New Jersey. Abuhouran joined the federal government as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2014.

Prior to his government service, Abuhouran taught high school biology and Advanced Placement (AP) biology for two years at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Baltimore City through Teach For America, where his students saw exponential gains in their Maryland state and AP test scores.  At Dunbar, he started the faculty-led College Going Culture Committee to establish a school culture that promotes college readiness among students. He also served as faculty advisor to the Student Governing Association, and worked with students to establish a discussion group to support LGBTQ students.
Abuhouran holds a Master of Science in Education degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health and Political Science from the Bloustein School and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) at Rutgers University. As an undergraduate at Rutgers, he was the founding and two-year President of the SEBS Governing Council, overseeing the council’s transformation from the Cook Campus Council and its new management of student activity funds. He was a student assistant at Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics throughout his undergraduate career. Abuhouran was also involved with Rutgers Dance Marathon, a member of Chi Psi Fraternity, and was tapped as a member of the Rutgers Cap and Skull Senior Honor Society.







Jeffrey Crum is the Director of Real Estate for Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC); a non-profit community real estate development organization focused on neighborhood revitalization and affordable housing creation primarily through the acquisition of vacant and foreclosed single-family homes. The organization is an affiliate of New Jersey Community Capital, New Jersey’s largest CDFI with nearly $600 million in capital under management.

As Director of Real Estate, Mr. Crum oversees all of CAPC’s operations, which includes real estate development, asset management, construction management, property management, real estate brokerage services. CAPC’s primary mission involves the acquisition and rehabilitation of abandoned and foreclosed properties to stabilize communities and create quality affordable housing options. The non-profit company also acts as an equity investor and development partner on larger multi-family and commercial projects that create catalytic change in neighborhoods seeking holistic revitalization. Since Mr. Crum joined CAPC in 2011, the organization has completed and sold or leased nearly 600 housing. This real estate activity totals more than $150 million of investment in primarily low- and moderate-income communities throughout New Jersey and Florida.

Prior to joining CAPC, Mr. Crum worked as Vice President of Real Estate for Build with Purpose, Inc., a non-profit community facilities builder that developed numerous charter school spaces and supportive housing projects. He also spent three years as the Director of Real Estate for New Jersey Community Development Corporation building multifamily supportive housing and community facilities in Paterson, NJ. In aggregate, Mr. Crum has developed nearly $300 million in community real estate projects that have served hundreds of low-income individuals and families.

Mr. Crum received a BA in Social Work from Catholic University of America and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He is a chair of the City of New Brunswick Planning Board and serves on the Board of Directors for the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless. Mr. Crum was recently selected by NJ Biz as a “Forty Under 40” awardee for his accomplishments in the field of real estate.

2016 Bloustein School Alumni Celebration

Thursday, October 27, 2016

photos from event


General Manager and CEO, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro)


With more than 35 years of public and private sector transportation management experience, Paul J. Wiedefeld, was appointed General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the Washington Metro in 2015. Since joining Metro Mr. Wiedefeld launched SafeTrack, a massive rail rebuilding effort to bring the rail system to a state of good repair.  With this intensive work plan, Metro is accomplishing three years of rehabilitation work within 12 months of time.

Prior to joining Metro, Mr. Wiedefeld twice served as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). Under Mr. Wiedefeld’s leadership from 2009 to 2015, BWI grew to becoming the leading passenger airport in the Washington D.C. region through route expansion and significant airport development. During his tenure from 2002-2005, Mr. Wiedefeld managed the largest expansion in the Airport’s history that included the design and construction of a 26-gate terminal for Southwest airlines, an 8,400-space parking garage and a modern consolidated rental car facility.

From 2007-2009, Mr. Wiedefeld served as Administrator of the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), managing day-to-day operations of the nation’s 13th largest transit system, including commuter rail, subway, light rail, buses and paratransit. Mr. Wiedefeld also worked for 10 years as a consultant with the international engineering firm, Parsons Brinckerhoff as the manager of their Baltimore Office.



Planning Director, City of Jersey City, NJ


Bob Cotter was the Planning Director for Jersey City for more than 25 years (and 10 mayors). Under his direction, Jersey City adopted more than 80 redevelopment plans, including the City’s MLK Drive Redevelopment Plan, which won the National Planning Award for Advocacy Planning in 1995. During his three and a half decades with the city, Jersey City ascended from the grit of its industrial, railroading and maritime past to become the 15th largest downtown in America.  Bob also served as the Planning Director in the City of Orange before his Jersey City service. As a consultant to numerous towns and cities across the state, Bob won awards and funding for projects as diverse as Livingston Town Center and Hope VI housing in Orange, Elizabeth and Bridgeton. Bob served 20 years as chairman of the Redevelopment Committee of NJ-APA, and was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2012. He retired from his position in Jersey City in 2016.




Planner, PS&S LLC


Marge DellaVecchia is a licensed city planner and holds both a NJ Professional Planning License and the AICP Certification. She has worked in government for over 30 years; she worked in state government as the Chief of Staff to Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Susan Bass Levin and then as the Executive Director of the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency from 2002 2010.  Marge also served as the Deputy Camden County Administrator and Deputy Director of the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority for the past six years, and in local government as the Director of Engineering and Community Development for Cherry Hill Township.

Marge has always been committed to giving back to the community and has devoted her career to public service on the local, county and state level.  She has been a leader and active supporter of local organizations, officials, co-workers and collaborators.  She takes great joy in working a project/program to its logical solution and conclusion.

Marge recently retired from 27 ½ years in New Jersey government and public service and began a new chapter with PS&S LLC, a full service Engineering/Architectural/Environmental firm serving the public and private sectors.  Her experience will help PS&S to support its clients, deliver quality designed projects and ensure that PS&S continues to be a valuable resource to the community.





Vito Gallo began his long career in affordable housing and urban redevelopment in his home town of Bayonne, and has worked his entire career in the public sector. Affordable public housing has been at the core of his long career. He served on the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Professional Development Committee and as President on the NJ Chapter of NAHRO.

Vito spent 35 years of his career in his adopted hometown of Summit, NJ, where he received national attention for the city’s award-winning public housing. In the wake of the passage of the U.S. Housing Act of 1974, Vito turned his attention to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and lectured widely on the “devolution of federal housing policies and programs to the local level.

In 2005, Vito retired from service in local government, but remained active. He began lecturing as an adjunct professor at the Bloustein School, where he mentored the next generation of planners. He also served as a consultant to local governments and housing providers. During that time he also was elected chair of the APA/NJ Housing Committee that filed an amicus brief with the New Jersey Supreme Court in the matter of the invalidation of the Third Round COAH “Growth Share” regulations. As a Housing Advocate with the Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey (HCDNNJ), he chaired the Union County Advocacy-Team, and most recently as a contributor to the Together North Jersey’s Fair Housing Equity Assessment, he drew upon lessons learned in his career to propose policies and programs to address racial & ethnic isolation and segregation in Northern New Jersey.

Vito is a founding member of the Bloustein School Alumni Association (BSAA), where he served on the Executive Board and held numerous offices, including President, Treasurer and Representative to the Rutgers University Alumni Federation, which honored him for “Distinguished Service to the Alumni Federation.”




Lending Team Leader, Housing and Healthy Communities, New Jersey Community Capital


Leah Apgar joined New Jersey Community Capital in June 2006 as a Wachovia Bank/Department of Community Affairs Housing Scholar and was hired as a Lending Officer in June 2007.  Having been promoted to Lending Team Leader for Housing & Healthy Communities in the fall of 2011, Ms. Apgar is responsible for NJCC’s lending in the housing and healthy communities sectors. Her primary duties include new business development in her target sectors, performing on-going relationship management, and loan underwriting.

A Leadership New Jersey Fellow, Ms. Apgar was recognized for her contributions to the community development field in 2011 when she was selected as “Young Professional of the Year” by New Jersey’s Young Community Development Professional Association.  She also completed the Opportunity Finance Network’s Citi Leadership Program in 2015.  Ms. Apgar holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science, Economics, and Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Community and Economic Development from Rutgers University.  She currently sits on the Board of the Friends of Marion P. Thomas Charter School.



Executive Director for Planning and Innovative School Construction, El Paso Independent School District, El Paso, Texas


A native of El Paso, Carlos Gallinar is the son of Mexican immigrants and the first in his family to graduate college.  His professional and community service experiences involve the improvement of cities and regions by increasing the quality of life of residents through more sustainable and healthier built-environments.

In September of this year, Carlos took a leadership position with the El Paso Independent School District, the largest school district in El Paso.  As the Executive Director for Planning and Innovative School Construction, Carlos will lead a group of engineers, architects, and planners to oversee the districts many projects, which include the repurposing of several schools into mixed-used neighborhood amenities, construction of healthier school environments, and implementation of innovative education strategies for classrooms and facilities.

Most recently, Carlos served as the Deputy Director for Planning at the City of El Paso, the 19th largest city in the country. Through Carlos’ leadership and advocacy, the city began to redevelop thousands of acres of land into more sustainable and livable developments, implemented a bus rapid transit system, created policies to promote walkable schools, and re-established the El Paso streetcar system using restored vintage trolleys.  Carlos also oversaw the development and implementation of Plan El Paso, a rewrite of the city’s comprehensive plan, that Atlantic Cities (City Lab) called “America’s Best Smart Growth Plan.”  Plan El Paso was unanimously approved by both the City Plan Commission and the City Council, and has garnered national and local awards.   Carlos also spent a year working at Isles, Inc. a Trenton based environmental and community development organization.

Carlos was previously chairman of the El Paso City Plan Commission and is currently a lecturer at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) where he teaches a graduate level course that makes the connection between public health and the built-environment.  Carlos is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Congress for the New Urbanism.



Senior Diversity Analyst, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Johnson & Johnson


Coltrane Stansbury serves as Senior Diversity Analyst in Johnson & Johnson’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion. In that role, he manages a portfolio of projects that support the company’s global diversity strategy, including the Gateway to a Healthy Community Initiative and the United Way National Employee Campaign.  He has spent the last fifteen years working in the field of community and economic development, helping to empower families, residents and businesses in some of the most distressed communities nationally. That work has included serving as a Senior Policy Advisor to then Mayor Cory Booker (now U.S. Senator) in the City of Newark, NJ and as a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.  Coltrane spends much time volunteering in communities throughout New Jersey.  He is currently a Board Member of the Civic League of Greater New Brunswick, the United Way of Central Jersey, The Pennington School Alumni Association and the Bloustein School Alumni Association.  Coltrane spent the past two years as a volunteer Career Coach for the Johnson & Johnson Bridge to Employment Program, assisting high school students in Plainfield prepare for college and beyond. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Rutgers University’s Bloustein School, where he was an Eagleton Fellow.  Coltrane also holds a Certificate in Public Performance Management from Rutgers University. A native of Trenton, Coltrane  resides in Edison, NJ with his family.

2015 Bloustein School Alumni Celebration

Thursday, November 12, 2015

photos from event


Principal, Naga Architects



Prior to founding NAGA ARCHITECTS in 2000, Dr. Shams Naga spent several years in academia, teaching at several universities in the United States and the Middle East; he obtained an architecture license after working with notable architecture offices in the Philadelphia area. Thanks to a well-balanced approach between practice and discipline, NAGA ARCHITECTS has won numerous design awards and has become one of the top A/E firms in the Middle East. The firm has its headquarters in Dubai, and offices in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Riyadh, Doha, and Tripoli. Beyond the Middle East, NAGA has a growing subsidiary in Boston, MA, and has recently opened a branch in Toronto, Canada.



Senior Vice President, Louis Berger



Bob Nardi is a Senior Vice President with Louis Berger, one of the largest consulting firms in the world. Mr. Nardi joined the company in 1980 and over the past 30+ years has directed hundreds of planning and environmental assessment studies of major public works and infrastructure projects throughout the U.S. and the world. He has been instrumental in the growth of Louis Berger from a firm with fewer than 50 U.S. employees to over 1,000 today.

During his career with Louis Berger, Bob has been involved in projects in Africa, Asia and the Middle East having spent considerable time working in Qatar and India. He is also an expert on preparing environmental impact studies and associated documentation in accordance with the federal and state statutes and regulations. This expertise has been gained over a 40-year period during which he has led the planning, siting, and development of over 100 federal and state institutions in over 40 states and Puerto Rico.

Bob also oversees the Louis Berger Graduate Fellowship which since 2010 has financially supported 24 Bloustein students as well as employing them as summer interns on Louis Berger projects in Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.




Program Director, Aviation Department, Port Authority New York New Jersey

Don Fee

Don Free is a Program Director in the Aviation Department at the Port Authority where he is responsible for redevelopment of the non-passenger components of JFK Airport such as hotels, cargo, and other commercial buildings.  Most recently he lead the development team for the restoration of the historic TWA Flight Center into an airport hotel.  Don is also responsible for the Airport Access Program, which includes all modes of airport ground transportation (parking, taxis, shared ride, HOV buses and Welcome Centers) at four Port Authority airports.  He is the lead for airport exchange program with Tokyo’s Narita Airport Authority.  Previously Don was the Deputy Director of the World Trade Center Redevelopment Department and worked on the restoration effort for about eight years.  The Department was responsible for the commercial portions of the WTC including the five office towers, retail, site planning, operations and security planning, involvement in the WTC commercial design guidelines and negotiating a host of various agreements with other public and private WTC stakeholders.

Prior to the Port Authority Don worked as a planning consultant for the Louis Berger group and Weyerhaeuser Real Estate.  He has an MBA in addition to the MCRP and resides in Edison.



Principal, Heyer Gruel & Associates



Susan Gruel is a partner in the planning consulting firm of Heyer, Gruel & Associates and has been involved in community planning for over 35 years. The firm has received numerous planning awards both nationally and statewide. Susan’s planning work has included a broad spectrum of planning projects from affordable housing to regional strategic plans. Her passion and principal focus has been redevelopment, authoring numerous studies and plans as well as publishing articles on redevelopment.

She formerly was on the Township Council of Bridgewater and has wide experience and personal knowledge of the mechanics of local government and consensus building. She teaches continuing education courses in land use planning to municipal officials throughout the State. An instructor at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University for the last 13 years, Susan’s contribution was recognized with the Rose Excellence in Teaching Award, where she teaches Comprehensive Planning with her partner Fred Heyer.




Distinguished Service Professor and Chair, Dept. of Plant Biology, Rutgers University



Mark Robson has been at Rutgers for over 42 years as a student, graduate student, faculty member and administrator. He is an internationally recognized expert in agricultural production and pesticide toxicology; he earned his MPH in Environmental Health in the New Jersey Graduate Program in Public Health, a joint program of the Bloustein School and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. On October 14, 2015, he was named a Distinguished Service Professor by the Rutgers Board of Governors, recognizing “sustained and exceptional service to the University, to the academic profession, to the state or nation, or to the broader community by a faculty member at the full professorial rank.”

Deeply committed to the service role of the university, he serves on numerous advisory boards and panels, including chairing the NJDEP Science Advisory Board for Public Health. He is also on the Board of Directors of GreenFaith, World Information Transfer and the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Mark is the director of two major international projects, the NIH funded Rutgers Thai Fogarty Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and the Rutgers portion of the USAID RTI Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) Program in Manila, The Philippines. He was instrumental in developing the first environmental risk assessment course in SE Asia; initially funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the course is now offered by the Chulalongkorn University Multidisciplinary Graduate Program in Environmental Management, and to date over 600 students have taken this class. Mark and colleague Bill Toscano are editors of the most widely used environmental risk assessment textbook, Risk Assessment for Environmental Health, used in 80 programs in 16 different countries and has become the standard text in most schools of public health. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Academy of Toxicological Sciences, and the Collegium Ramazzini. Mark was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Public Health from Chulalongkorn University in 2010 for his contributions in teaching and research to Chulalongkorn University and to the People of the Kingdom of Thailand; the degree was conferred by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.




Asst. Commissioner, Water Resources Management, NJDEP




Dan Kennedy currently serves as Assistant Commissioner for Water Resources Management at the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). In this role, he is responsible for the Divisions of Water Supply & Geoscience, Water Quality and Water Monitoring & Standards. He currently serves as the Governor’s Designee to the Delaware River Basin Commission, the Commissioner’s Designee to the NJ State Planning Commission, the Environmental Infrastructure Trust and the Economic Development Authority and previously as Burlington County’s Designee to the NJ Pinelands Commission.

Kennedy has additional state-level public service at the NJ Dept. of State – Office for Planning Advocacy and at the N.J. Department of Agriculture as a staff member of the State Agriculture Development Committee. These state-level positions are complemented with experiences at the local and regional level: managing Burlington County’s nationally recognized Agriculture Retention and Development Program, serving as staff to the Monmouth County Planning Board, serving on his local Planning Board and Environmental Commission.

Prior to receiving his MCRP from the Bloustein School, he earned a BS from the University of Delaware in Environmental Science. His formal education was complemented by attendance at Columbia University’s Biosphere II Field Studies Program, a study – teach experience at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a term of service in the AmeriCorps. He is a licensed N.J. Professional Planner and is certified by the AICP. A proud and life-long New Jersey resident, Dan currently resides in Bordentown City with his wife and two daughters.



New Jersey Director, Regional Plan Association



Courtenay D. Mercer, AICP, PP is the New Jersey Director of the Regional Plan Association, leading the organization’s research, planning, and advocacy activities in the state. Prior to joining RPA, Courtenay owned a private planning consulting firm and was formerly Director of Planning at the NJ Office of Smart Growth (now Office for Planning Advocacy).  She has overseen myriad planning projects, and has been involved with the formation, review, and/or implementations of major NJ policy initiatives, including the State Plan, the Highland Regional Master Plan, and the State TDR program. Specializing in strategic engagement, one of Courtenay’s core assets is her ability to coordinate diverse stakeholders and garner inter-governmental coordination for complex planning projects. Courtenay also currently serves on the American Planning Association (APA) Board of Directors and is Past-President of the NJ Chapter of the APA. Courtenay lives in Jersey City with her husband Barry Moraller and their 7 year old daughter Tennyson.



Chief of Staff, Federal Housing Administration, U.S. HUD



Sara Meyers currently serves as the Chief of Staff for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)/Office of Housing at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In this role Sara oversees and advises the Commissioner on the management, policy development, and communications work of the organization. Prior to joining FHA, Sara served in several capacities at HUD, focusing primarily on performance and accountability frameworks as a means of driving mission achievement. Most recently, in her role as the Director of the interagency Hurricane Sandy Program Management Office Sara was responsible for monitoring the performance of nearly $50 billion in Sandy recovery funding, as well as the implementation of a series of groundbreaking policy initiatives designed to both increase community resilience and improve government response to future disasters. Prior to her work on Sandy, Sara co-developed and implemented HUD’s performance management framework known as “HUDStat” and was responsible for monitoring the use of more $13.5 billion in economic stimulus funding.

For her work on these and other initiatives Sara was awarded the 2014 Samuel J Heyman Service to America “Call to Service” medal, which recognizes a new generation of outstanding federal employees whose work is advancing the health, safety, and well-being of Americans.

Sara is a native New Yorker and holds a BS from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Public Policy at Rutgers.

2013 Bloustein School Alumni Celebration

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


President, Community Investment Strategies, Inc.


foglio-2013 Alumni Winner

Christiana Foglio spearheads and oversees all of Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc.’s fully integrated real estate activities including multi-family housing, mixed-use redevelopment, market-rate, and affordable housing. An industry veteran with more than 30 years experience in the private and public sectors, she specializes in real estate developments and affordable housing initiatives that reflect each community’s vision, needs and character. Prior to forming CIS, Chris served on behalf of two governors as Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, where she was responsible for over $1 billion of multi-family bond financing and is credited with creating the state’s Housing Policy as well as national awards for innovative state housing initiatives. She also was appointed by Governors Florio and Whitman to serve as Chair of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing. Prior to joining NJHMFA, she served as President of the New Brunswick Development Corporation, a not-for-profit real estate development company located in New Brunswick, NJ, implementing over $300 million of urban redevelopment projects, reporting to the board of directors of J&J companies. Chris is also credited with creating the foundation of New Brunswick’s economic rebirth. A licensed planner in the State of New Jersey, she is a highly sought-after guest speaker who has garnered numerous business and industry awards, including the PlanSmart NJ Van Zandt Community Involvement Award; Urban Land Institute’s Edward J. Bloustein Award for Exemplary Achievement in Civic Leadership; New Jersey Business of the Year; Top Woman-Owned Business in New Jersey; and among the Top Women in Business.





Assemblyman, 14th Legislative District


benson-2013 Alumni Winner

On January 8, 2011, Dan Benson was selected by the Democratic Committeemen and women of the 14th Legislative District to fill the Assembly vacancy left by Linda Greenstein’s election to the New Jersey State Senate and was elected to a full term to the Assembly in November 2011, becoming the youngest elected Councilman in Hamilton’s history. On his first day in office, he was chosen by his fellow members of Council to serve as President, a position he held for two years. On the Council, Dan increased the police force to ensure that Hamilton would be one the country’s safest communities. He adopted an open space and recreation plan that increased the state and local funding available to the Township, which led to funding for projects such as the preservation of Ellis Farm and the purchase of the Braghelli Tract, significantly expanding Hamilton’s Veterans Park. He has worked to protect Hamilton’s youth by improving school zone traffic safety while improving road safety by banning trucks on local roads, and pushing for speed humps and other traffic infrastructure improvements. In 2008, Dan Benson was appointed to the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders to an unexpired term and won a special election in November 2008; he was re-elected for a full term in 2009. Outside his elected office, Dan is the Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton Township. He is a member of the Board of the Henry J. Austin Healtch Center, the Young Professionals Board of Robert Wood Johnson Hospital at Hamilton, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge #2622. He is Vice President of Friends of the Hamilton Township Library, a Life Member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, and an Alumnus of Leadership New Jersey. Dan earned his MPP from the Bloustein School in 1999.

2013 Inaugural Class




Dr. James W. Hughes is a University Professor and Dean Emeritus of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, serving from 1995 until 2017. He has been a member of the faculty since 1971. In addition, since 1988 he has been the Director of the Rutgers Regional Report which, during its 24-year tenure, has produced 35 major economic/ demographic/ housing studies on New Jersey and the New York region. Dr. Hughes is a nationally-recognized academic expert on demographics, housing, and regional economics, and was a contributing editor to American Demographics from 1982 to 1996. He is author or co-author of 33 books and monographs and more than 150 articles, generally focusing on housing, demographics and economic development patterns. Among these are The Atlantic City Gamble, The Dynamics of America’s Housing, America’s New Market Geography, and America’s Demographic Tapestry: Baseline for the New Millennium.  In 2011, he received the Richard P. McCormick Award for Rutgers Excellence in Alumni Leadership.



Harvey S. Moskowitz worked as a professional planner for over 50 years on the local, county, state, and regional levels. He headed his own firm of Harvey S. Moskowitz & Associates and later Moskowitz, Heyer & Gruel for over 40 years. In addition to scores of master plans, technical reports, and zoning codes prepared or directed as part of his work as a planner, he has authored or co-authored numerous articles, monographs, and chapters in books relating to planning and land use including “A Guide for Residential Design Review” with Carl Linbloom, Site Plan Manual, and The Latest Illustrated Book of Development Definitions, also with Carl Linbloom. He has worked in over 200 municipalities throughout the U.S. during his career, and was a guest lecturer in strategic planning in the Republic of China in 2001.

Dr. Moskowitz was a charter member of the NJ Site Improvement Authority Board from 1993 to 2002, served as a director on the national board of the American Planning Association from 1986 to 1990, and served on the NJ Board of Professional Planners from 1975 to 1980, including a term as president from 1978-1979. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the NJ Chapter of the American Planning Association in 1983.



Maureen Ogden served as mayor of Millburn, NJ from 1979 to 1981 after serving as the township’s deputy mayor from 1976 to 1979. She was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly to represent the 22nd District in 1981 and was re-elected to an additional four terms of office. She was redistricted to the 21st District following the results of the 1990 Census, and was elected to two terms there. During her tenure, she served as Chair of the Committee on Conservation, Energy and Natural Resources, Chair of the Committee on Arts, Tourism, and Cultural Affairs, as Vice Chair of the Financial Institutions Committee and the Drug Abuse Committee, and as a member of the Health, the Conservation and Natural Resources, and State Government Committees as well as the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

In 1992, Ms. Ogden co-sponsored a bill that would make New Jersey the first state to require its entire fleet of motor vehicles to use remanufactured or retread tires. In 1994 she supported the creation of a $350 million fund that would be used to acquire open space and for farmland and historic preservation and was chief sponsor of a bill in the General Assembly that would give adoptees the opportunity to get access to their original birth certificates. As chair of the Governor’s Council on New Jersey Outdoors in 1998, Ms. Ogden targeted raising $1 billion over the next 10 years to be used to preserve 1 million acres of farmland and open space.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, she was recognized as Legislator of the Year by the Cogeneration Institute of A.E.E.; was the recipient of the President’s Conservation Achievement Award from The Nature Conservancy and the Public Policy Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation; received a Distinguished Service Award from the N.J. Audubon Society; was recognized as Legislator of the Year by the N.J. Conservation Foundation; and was presented the Public Sector Preservation Award by the N.J. Historic Trust.



Shirley M. Bishop is a licensed professional planner who is president/owner of her Princeton-based consulting firm, specializing in the affordable housing field and offering consulting services to both municipal and private clients including for-profit and not-for-profit developers.  She served as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) from 1994 to 2002 and was responsible for making recommendations to an 11 member COAH board regarding policy, municipal low and moderate income housing plans, regional contribution agreements (RCAs), development fee ordinances, monitoring and motions.

Shirley began her career in the Housing Section of the Middlesex County Planning Board in 1979 and became the Executive Director of the Middlesex County Public Housing Agency and Housing and Community Development Office in 1985.



Connie O. Hughes was President and Commissioner of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), serving from July 2001 to June 2007. Prior to her BPU appointment, Ms. Hughes was the Governors’ Chief of Management and Policy responsible for policy development and implementation across all state agencies, as well as managing the cabinet on a day-to-day basis.

Previously, she was employed at the New Jersey Department of Labor for over 20 years, where she was the first person to rise through the ranks to be appointed the Deputy Commissioner in 2000.  Her commitment to public service in New Jersey is well recognized. She was honored by the Executive Women of New Jersey; named one of Who’s Who of New Jersey top business executives; received the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey Achievement Award, the American Society of Public Administrators Achievement Award; and named a Distinguished Woman in Labor.



A prominent and active member of many organizations, Redenia Gilliam-Mosee served as the vice president for government relations and planning at Bally’s Park Place and Atlantic City Hilton casino hotels. As community and government liaison, she supervised the distribution of $400,000 a year in casino money to more than 50 regional charities, community groups, ethnic and cultural festivals. She was president of the Atlantic City Boys and Girls Club and chairman of the Atlantic/Cape May County Private Industry Council and was elected chairman of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, a position not previously held by a female in the club’s 75-year history. She was also the first woman to lead the Greater Atlantic City Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Ms. Gilliam-Mosee was instrumental in the planning and supervision of the construction of Atlantic City’s first casino-financed middle- and low-income housing project, Jacobs Family Terrace and helped establish a low-interest mortgage program for casino employees wanting to buy houses in the city.

Ms. Gilliam-Mosee passed away in January 2010 at the age of 60.



Elizabeth C. McKenzie (Betsy) is a professional planner who has been the president of her own planning consulting firm since 1980. Betsy is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the American Planning Association, and she serves on both the New Jersey Site Improvement Advisory Board and the Board of Counselors of New Jersey Planning Officials. Much of Betsy’s work has focused on the area of affordable housing planning and compliance.  Not only has she appeared in Superior Court as an expert witness on behalf of municipalities and developers involved in affordable housing litigation, but also she has, on more than two dozen occasions, been appointed by the Court as the Special Master in a Mount Laurel lawsuit.  She has also served as a Court-appointed Mediator in other land use related lawsuits.



Robert W. Burchell is a Distinguished Professor at the Edward. J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and Co-Director of the School’s Center for Urban Policy Research. The author of 30 books and more than 50 articles, he is an expert on fiscal impact analysis, land-use development and regulation, and housing policy. Dr. Burchell has served as principal investigator on more than $4 million in research spanning a thirty-year career at Rutgers. One of these efforts included the Impact Assessment of the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan, as well as “costs of sprawl” studies for the state of Maryland, the Lexington (KY) Metropolitan Area, the Delaware Estuary, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, and the South Carolina Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. Dr. Burchell is also a licensed professional planner in New Jersey.



David Listokin is a Professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and Co-Director of the School’s Center for Urban Policy Research. He is a leading authority on community and fiscal impact analysis, housing policy, land-use regulation, and historic preservation. He has written and edited 25 books, including The Subdivision and Site Plan Handbook, Development Impact Assessment, The Fiscal Impact Handbook, Living Cities, Landmarks Preservation and the Property Tax, and Mortgage Lending and Race. Over the past two decades, Dr. Listokin has served as principal investigator for a wide range of clients, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of State, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Fannie Mae Foundation, and the Twentieth Century Fund. Dr. Listokin’s model residential subdivision and site plan ordinance, co-authored with Carole Walker, has been adopted by New Jersey as the statewide uniform code.



James Bach, The Louis Berger Group’s Chief Operating Officer, has been with the firm for 27 years, starting his career as a senior planner. Before his appointment as COO, Mr. Bach was responsible for LBG’s U.S. operations. As COO, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm’s business segments and for a major upgrade of the firm’s systems of internal controls. He also serves as the principal-in-charge for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s reconstruction of the World Trade Center site, where LBG is the Port Authority’s program manager. Mr. Bach is a Professional Planner in New Jersey and holds an MCRP in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University.



An expert in transportation planning, James Crawford has more than 35 years management experience in public and private transportation positions.  He is the Principal for Integrated Transportation Finance Group, an independent consultant advising States, Toll Agencies and other Consultants on Toll Financing and Operations. Most recently he served as executive director of E-ZPass IAG, the association that manages electronic toll collection in 14 Eastern states. From 1994 to 2005, he served as executive director of the South Jersey Transit Authority, which operates the Atlantic City Expressway and Atlantic City International Airport. Jim started his career with the New Jersey Department of Transportation in 1974, steadily working his way up to becoming Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Planning, a position he held for seven years. He is a former Naval Reserve Officer, having served at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.



Nicholas Masucci began his professional career with Louis Berger & Associates, Inc. (which would later become The Louis Berger Group, Inc.) as a planner, where he led the effort in preparing the solid waste management plan for Abuja, the new capital city of Nigeria, and master development plans for three principal cities in Yemen.  After spending time as a senior planner with the Middlesex County Planning Board in New Brunswick, Mr. Masucci returned to The Louis Berger Group, where he eventually led the firm’s domestic Economics and Environment Group, pioneering the development of analytical techniques to assess the impacts of major public works construction projects. In his current role as president and CEO of Berger Group Holdings, Mr. Masucci is responsible for the strategic direction and financial oversight of the Group’s companies, which comprise more than 5,000 architects, planners, engineers, economists and environmental scientists across the United States and in 140 countries worldwide and collectively generate revenues of upwards of $1 billion annually.  He was instrumental in establishing the Louis Berger Fellowship program at the Bloustein School, under which students are selected annually for financial support and to assist Louis Berger Group staff on transportation, agricultural development and poverty alleviation assignments around the world.



Robert G. Sommer is president of Rock Entertainment Management, a holding company for the organization that owns the New Jersey Devils National Hockey League franchise and Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. He is responsible for the marketing, communications, and public affairs operations for the team and the arena. In addition, he directs the Institute of Planning and Public Policy Communications at the Bloustein School, where he is a lecturer teaching graduate-level public affairs and media relations courses. Previously, he was president of Observer Media Group, where he was responsible for managing all business and sales operations for OMG’s media properties, which include The New York Observer and Politicker.com. He now serves on OMG’s board of directors.



Anthony Marchetta, a New Brunswick native, is co-founder of the Bloustein School Alumni Association and a longstanding member of the RU Alumni Relations Advisory Board. He chaired the George Street Playhouse board in its formative years and was responsible for acquisition and preservation of the landmarked Cornelius Low House in Piscataway. He has over 35 years of experience in the public and private sector. Most recently, he was Vice President of LCOR Inc., where he developed multifamily and mixed use projects within the Mid-Atlantic region.

As an executive at LCOR, he managed the development of Gaslight Commons, a 200-unit luxury rental project in the “Transit Village” of South Orange, NJ. This project won the first New Jersey Future “Smart Growth Award” in 2002. Marchetta has also worked for Matrix Development Group and Baker Residential Inc. where he managed teams of attorneys, engineers, architects, environmentalists, and planners seeking approvals for both residential and commercial developments. He has 13 years of public sector service, including 10 years serving as Executive Director of the Middlesex County Department of Housing and Community Development.