Staff

Peter H. Kostmayer

Chief Executive Officer

Peter was a member of the US Congress for seven terms from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and served in the first Clinton administration as a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency, overseeing the agency in five middle Atlantic states and the District of Columbia. After leaving government, he became President of Population Connection in Washington, D.C., working on the environmental aspects of population growth and toward universal family planning for all women. Peter is a graduate of Columbia University and lives in the West Village.

Arif Ullah

Director of Programs

Arif was born in Bangladesh and raised in Queens. He manages Citizens Committee's programs, including grants, workshops, and project planning. He is on the board of Farm School NYC. Prior to Citizens Committee, Arif worked as an immigrants rights community organizer with American Friends Service Committee. He is committed to various issues of social and environmental justice.

Saleen Shah

Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Saleen leads the implementation of a strategic communications plan and builds and develops relations with politicians, governments, city agencies and other stakeholders. He also seeks to raise media visibility and to transform the organization into a top-tier ally of the City of New York. In addition, Saleen leads advocacy projects, handles public relations and executes development strategies. He is a graduate of Hunter College School of Social Work and the State University of New York at Albany. He resides in Chelsea with his wife and a rescued greyhound. 

Lori Lichtman

Director of Development

Lori works on development, organizes corporate volunteer days, and plans special events. Prior to Citizens Committee, Lori worked in project management in Israel, in advertising, and in outdoor education. As a student studying International Relations and Child Development at Tufts University, Lori coordinated a tutoring program and worked to increase environmentalism on campus. She is very excited to contribute to Citizens Committee’s mission.

Shawn Whitehorn

Program Coordinator

Shawn Whitehorn works in the programs department supporting New York City-based grassroots groups. Prior to joining Citizens Committee, Shawn worked as an architectural designer for large and small architectural practices and as a community organizer for a Brooklyn based community development corporation. Shawn graduated from Florida A&M University with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies and also from the California College of Arts with a master's degree in architecture. Shawn is committed to social justice and advocacy for marginalized communities. 

Thelma Leemans

Executive Assistant

Thelma joined Citizens Committee in July 2004. She functions as Executive Assistant to the CEO, and additionally handles HR and accounting issues. Prior to coming to Citizens Committee, Thelma worked in the music industry in Los Angeles, London, and New York.

David Proskin

Budget Director

David serves as the Budget Director for Citizens Committee and is responsible for all aspects of the finance function for the organization. David is a Certified Public Accountant with over 25 years of experience serving a broad range of clients. Prior to joining Citizens Committee, he spent over 20 years in the financial services industry servicing securities broker-dealers and hedge funds. He is a graduate of CUNY Baruch College where he majored in Accounting. He grew up in the Bronx and currently resides in Westchester with his wife and two children.

Andrew Rohrberger

Development and Volunteer Coordinator

Andrew works in the development department and organizes volunteer days. Prior to joining Citizens Committee, he staffed state and federal political campaigns in his home state of New Jersey, concentrating on fundraising and grassroots organization. Andrew graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Political Science. While there, he created and taught a class for freshmen, whom he mentored through the transition to college. He lives on the Upper West Side.

Swathi Mettela

CUNY Service Corps Intern - Programs

Swathi works as Sabine’s oral history elf in the Programs Department at Citizens Committee. She is currently studying anthropology at the City College of New York in hopes of pursuing a career in medicine. When she’s not in class or interning, Swathi enjoys doing yoga, flossing, and sipping on tea. Having grown up in Queens as a first generation immigrant, she is a strong advocate for cultural literacy

Eleysha Sajous

CUNY Service Corps - Development Intern

Eleysha works as a Development intern at Citizens Committee. She is in the process of wrapping up her final year studying economics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Prior to interning at Citizens Committee, Eleysha worked as a "Summer of Service" project leader intern at the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development. In addition to being a promoter of economic justice, Eleysha also enjoys drawing, and watching Korean dramas in her spare time. She currently lives on the Upper West Side.

Laura Velazquez Perea

CUNY Service Corps - Programs Intern

Laura recently started working as an intern with Citizens Committee in the Programs Department. She transferred to City College last year and is working towards completing her Bachelors in Biology. She was born in Mexico, but has lived the majority of her life in NYC and she enjoys visiting different parks throughout the five boroughs.  She also looks forward to learning more about the different neighborhoods in NYC through her job here at Citizens Committee.

Viktoria Pashtriku

Development Intern

Viktoria is a Development Intern at Citizens Committee. Born and raised in NY, she has spent her summers growing up visiting family in Kosovo. It was visiting this developing, war torn country that has motivated her to pursue a career in nonprofits and human rights advocacy. A recent graduate from Hunter College with a B.A in English and Philosophy, she plans on gaining a M.P.A to further her education. On her free time, Viktoria is on a mission to visit every bookstore in New York City.