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 Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

Arif Ullah

Director of Programs

Arif manages Citizens Committee's programs. He is on the board of Farm School NYC and is involved in his local community garden where he grows food and keeps bees. Prior to Citizens Committee, he worked as an immigrants rights community organizer with American Friends Service Committee. He is a graduate of Hunter College and Duke Universtiy, and lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, the borough in which he grew up after migrating from Bangladesh. Arif is committed to various issues of social, racial, and environmental justice.

Lori Lichtman

Director of Development

Lori works with our dedicated boards and generous individual, corporate, and foundation partners, who are committed to improving quality of life in New York City's low-income neighborhoods. She oversees Citizens Committee's fundraising strategy, manages our special events, and oversees our Love Your City corporate volunteer program. Prior to Citizens Committee, Lori worked in project management in Israel, in advertising, and in outdoor education. Lori has been involved with environmental and youth causes. 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.

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. 

Scott Young

Manager of Individual Giving and Special Events

Scott is a passionate fundraiser who works with our generous individual donors as well as those who contribute to our annual events to raise the funds necessary to achieve the mission of Citizens Committee.  With over a decade of development experience at organizations including the LGBT Community Center, the Joyce Theater Foundation, and Walnut Street Theatre, Scott is dedicated to providing opportunities for donors who want to make an impact and give to important organizations like Citizens Committee.  Scott holds a BA from Southern Utah University and lives in Glendale, Queens. 

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.

Andrew Rohrberger

Manager of Institutional Giving

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 in Crown Heights.

Katie Grassle

Program Coordinator

Katie works with the programs team supporting grassroots community groups through project planning assistance, workshops, and grant management. Katie originally served with Citizens Committee as an NYC Civic Corps member, and is excited to rejoin the team after leaving to complete a master's in Conservation Medicine at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Her thesis focused on the mutual benefits of community gardens for human health and butterfly conservation in four South Bronx gardens. She also earned a bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College. Katie is passionate about environmental justice, and hopes to continue using a local, grassroots approach to addressing human health issues as a result of disproportionate environmental degradation.

Shawn Whitehorn

Program Coordinator

Shawn Whitehorn works in the programs department supporting New York City-based grassroots groups. Prior to joining Citizens Committee for New York City, 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 the Arts with a master's degree in architecture. Shawn is committed to social justice and advocacy for marginalized communities as well as equitable, sustainable, and community-led urban development. Shawn enjoys being an active resident and learning about the history of his neighborhood, Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Marina Gonzalez Flores

Program Coordinator

Marina works with the programs department team and supports grantees. Prior to Citizens Committee, Marina worked at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. Marina graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in Politics and Latin American and Latino Studies and from Columbia University with a master’s degree in Human Rights Studies.  Marina is committed to localizing rights in her community and is particularly interested in Indigenous Peoples rights and reproductive rights.

Andre Mozeak

Outreach Coordinator

Andre Mozeak is a community organizer, educator, and activist. His work with various nonprofit organizations has allowed him to engage groups civically on important social and economic issues. Before completing his B.A. in International Studies at the City College of New York, Andre found his calling by helping to organize immigrant workers around New York State. In other positions he has, among other things, planned and coordinated large-scale voter registration efforts, helping newly naturalized Americans and over 10,000 high school seniors across New York City to register between 2016 and 2017. He has developed and led trainings to get community groups and young New Yorkers involved in Participatory Budgeting, Parent Teacher Associations, and Community Boards and has a number of years of experience coordinating field efforts for local, state, and federal political campaigns. Born and raised at the end of the E line in Jamaica, Queens, Andre is now a proud resident of East Harlem and enjoys writing and performing music, improving his Spanish, and can be found around the boroughs on nights and weekends volunteering for direct-service initiatives.

Erika Lim

Development and Volunteer Coordinator

Erika works in the development department to organize fundraising events and volunteer days to improve the lives of New Yorkers. Prior to joining Citizens Committee, she was an AmeriCorps service member serving in FEMA Corps where she was deployed to disaster relief efforts in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico during the unprecedented hurricane season of 2017.  Erika graduated from Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, CA with a BA in Liberal Arts and a concentration in social and behavioral science. During her time in college, she interned for Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County in the development department, and UNICEF Headquarters in NYC. As a native New Yorker dedicated to living a contributed life, she is excited to return home to work side by side with her fellow New Yorkers to better their neighborhoods and their city together.

Keenen Willis

Programs Corps Member

Keenen works in the programs department team supporting grassroots community groups as a NYC Civic Service Corps member. Prior to Citizens Committee, Keenen interned at the Department of Sanitation conducting outreach for the city’s recycling and organics programs. As an environmental education intern at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, he also expanded an interactive curriculum focused on environmental justice and community leadership. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College. Keenen is committed to promoting environmental and climate justice through working with local NYC communities. He lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Rochelle Rhooms

Development Intern

Rochelle works in the development department as a CUNY Service Corps member. Prior to joining Citizens Committee, Rochelle has interned, studied, and volunteered abroad and she is currently a senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, majoring in Political Science with a concentration in International Politics and Human Rights and a double minor in Anthropology and Africana Studies. She is eager to serve New Yorkers by helping them improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.

Katherine Coombs

Development Intern

Katherine is a development intern assisting with event planning. She is currently in her last year at Fordham College at Lincoln Center where she is double majoring in Film & Television and New Media & Digital Design and minoring in Spanish. Previously, she was an associate at the Greater Hartford Arts Council in Connecticut, a re-granting non-profit that provides support and advocacy for arts and culture education in the area. Katherine has been vegan for over two years and is passionate about animal rights, sustainability, the environment, and their relation with one another. At Fordham, she is a part of SAGES (Students for Sex and Gender Equity and Safety), a coalition that provides contraceptives and sexual health resources to students and works alongside other organizations to protect the rights of all members of the community. Katherine currently lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Lam Han

Development Intern

Lam works in the development department as an intern. Recently graduated from BMCC in Business Management, he is a teacher assistant in Business Decision and a salesperson at LivingNY real estate. Prior to his graduation, Lam assisted in the College Discovery Program as a French Tutor, supporting students with lack of educational foundation and economic resources. Lam developed a strong interest in community service through the application DEED at Trinity SAFH, helping to alleviate poverty throughout New York City.

Biko Njoku

Programs Intern

Biko works in the program department as a Programs Intern and CUNY Service Corps member. Currently Biko is a senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Philosophy. Raised in Brooklyn, he enjoys working with people and he also has a desire to serve others and to lean on previous experiences to assist New Yorkers address issues in their neighborhoods. 

Michael Perry

Development Intern

Michael works in the development department as an intern. Prior to joining Citizens Committee, Mike worked for the NYC Department of Education as the Program Coordinator for service-learning programming city-wide and worked as a Youth Program Associate for Coro New York Leadership Center. He most recently served as an Education Pioneer Summer Fellow placed at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity. He is currently a student at NYU Wagner pursuing a Master of Public Administration, and he holds a BA from Cornell University.  Michael has a passion for public service and education. He is excited to join Citizens Committee for New York City and help improve the lives of New Yorkers.

Moisés Vicente

Programs Intern

Moisés works in the Programs department as a CUNY Service Corps member and is a Liberal Arts major who plans on investigating the ways in which creative practice can create impact in New York City. Previously Moisés has worked within the music and audio field and he enjoys making the connections between these creative experiences and the work of CCNYC and its grantee groups. Born and raised in New York City, Moisés has a vested interest in assuring that the city's residents are respected, valued, and supported in the best ways possible.