Board of Directors & Message
Diana L. Taylor
Hudson River Park Trust Board of Directors
May 8, 2019
What an exciting time to be in Hudson River Park. We celebrated our 20th Anniversary in 2018 and enjoyed another impressive year of exciting programming for our Park visitors. With five piers currently in design or under construction, Hudson River Park is heading towards the final stages of the Park’s completion since the Hudson River Park Act was signed into law in June 1998.
Hudson River Park is a cherished resource to millions of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. The impact that the Park has had on the city’s waterfront and quality of life of our Park’s neighbors has changed the dynamic of Manhattan’s west side, providing an outstanding source of enjoyment and an environment for education and research.
Today, Hudson River Park symbolizes hard work and perseverance as we start down the last lap towards completion of the 4-mile park. Thanks to increased capital funding from Governor Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio, as well as funds derived from the sale of air rights, we are working diligently to complete unfinished portions of the park. Two more sections of the park are in the design phase; Pier 97 and its adjacent esplanade, is being designed by the landscape architectural firm !melk, and Gansevoort Peninsula, designed by James Corner Field Operations.
Construction is proceeding at Pier 26 where a unique active and passive recreation space will stand alongside our ecological get down, providing an area for our Estuary Lab to research and educate new citizen scientists and nature preservers. Two piers are heading towards completion, Pier 55, will feature a most unusual landscape rising up to 62 feet in one corner, featuring unimaginable views of the harbor, while offering a variety of cultural events in the amphitheatre. Pier 57, anchored by Google, will feature a food market and rooftop park and restaurant for park visitors.
As we continue our progress, we hope you will take time to learn more about the history of our park, and how you can become part of its future as a Hudson River Park Friend. Hudson River Park is one of the greatest public park projects in New York. The ever-changing landscape of Manhattan’s west side is nothing short of spectacular.
Diana L. Taylor, Chair
For past board meetings, please visit this link.
Board of Directors
Pursuant to the Hudson River Park Act, the Board of Directors of the Hudson River Park Trust consists of 13 Directors. Five are appointed by the Governor; five are appointed by the Mayor; and three by the Manhattan Borough President. Eight members are required for a quorum and Board approvals.
- Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor
- Bill de Blasio, Mayor
- Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
- Diana Taylor
- Vicki Been
- Douglas Durst
- Lawrence Goldberg, Esq.
- Jon L. Halpern
- Michael Kuh
- Diana Taylor (Chair)
- Vicki Been
- Jeffrey Kaplan
- Michael Kuh
- Tom Pegues
- Jon Halpern
Finance and Investment Committee
- Diana Taylor
- Vicki Been
- Jeffrey Kaplan (Chair)
- Michael Kuh
- Tom Pegues
- Jon Halpern
- Purnima Kapur
- Diana Taylor
- Pamela Frederick
- Basil Seggos
- Mitchell J. Silver
- Douglas Durst
- Diana Taylor
- Basil Seggos
- Pamela Frederick
- Mitchell J. Silver
Strategic Planning and Partnership Committee
- Diana Taylor
- Mitchell Silver
- Pamela Frederick
- Tom L. Pegues
- Michael Kuh
Hudson River Park holds Board meetings approximately 6 times per year, or once every-other month. Such meetings are open to the public and publicly noticed.
Diana Taylor joined Wolfensohn & Co., an investment banking firm, as a Managing Director in April, 2007. She has more than 20 years of experience serving in both the public and private sectors. She started her career as an investment banker, working for Smith Barney, then Lehman Brothers, then Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette. She then held various positions in the State government, including Chief Financial Officer of the Long Island Power Authority, and Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Housing and Finance. From 2003 to 2007 she held the position of Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York, a post to which she was nominated by Governor George Pataki and confirmed by the State Senate.
Ms. Taylor serves on the Board of Directors of Sotheby’s and Brookfield Properties. In addition, she serves on several not for profit boards, including Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, the New York Women’s Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and ACCION International, and she chairs a commission for the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation concentrating on financially underserved communities. Ms. Taylor is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ms. Taylor was named to the Trust Board by the NYS Governor in 1999. She has served as Chair since August 2007.
Commissioner, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo named Erik Kulleseid Acting Commissioner in January 2019. Previously, Mr. Kulleseid served as Senior Vice President, Parks and Policy Program for the Open Space Institute.
Mr. Kulleseid previously served as Deputy Commissioner for Open Space Protection at State Parks from 2007 to 2010. Among other accomplishments, he led the state team that oversaw the successful public-private effort to convert an abandoned railroad bridge in Poughkeepsie into the Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park, the longest pedestrian bridge in the world and now a highly popular state park.
Prior to joining State Parks, Mr. Kulleseid served as the New York State Program Director for The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization, where he led efforts to protect a multitude of New York's special landscapes over his 13-year tenure, including East River State Park in Brooklyn.
Partner at Hogan Lovells, New York
Clients turn to Michael J. Kuh for strategic legal advice in high-stakes sports matters, early-stage growth companies, and significant M&A transactions involving diverse industries, including entertainment, eCommerce, and fintech. Michael draws on his broad legal experience within the industry to advise some of the country's largest sporting organizations, including athletic teams, leagues, and major international bodies.
Michael represented the successful joint bid by Canada, Mexico, and the United States to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Also in the world of soccer, he was the lead outside counsel creating the National Women's Soccer League. He has also represented domestic and international entities in managing the bidding, evaluation, and award process to host the Olympic Games.
Michael also represents emerging companies, such as Goop.com, and established companies, principals, private equity firms, leveraged buyout funds, and financial advisors in high-value transactions.
Michael previously worked in New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's administration, focusing primarily on economic development work, as well as emergency management, privatization, labor union issues, and city planning. Michael's additional prior experience includes directing national field operations and outreach on behalf of the Children's Scholarship Fund, a US$200m charity founded by Theodore J. Forstmann and John Walton.
Michael currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Citizens Budget Commission.
Commissioner, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Basil Seggos is the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Previously, Basil served as both Deputy Secretary for the Environment and Assistant Secretary for the Environment to Governor Cuomo, advising the Governor on environmental policy and overseeing the operations of the state's environmental agencies, including the DEC, the Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation, the Environmental Facilities Corporation, and the Adirondack Park Agency.
Prior to working in the Governor's office, Basil served as Vice President of Business Development at the clean-tech private equity company Hugo Neu Corporation, Chief Investigator and Attorney at Riverkeeper, Associate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and as a legal clerk at the White House.
Basil graduated from Pace Law School in 2001, where he received the environmental law award and alumni achievement award, and from Trinity College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts. Basil is a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General's Corps.
Mr. Tommie Pegues, founder of Metropolis Risk Management LLC & Goodscout, has worked successfully for 17+ years with significant Fortune 500 accounts, gathering extensive experience in global corporate risk management, brokerage, claims, and underwriting.
During his formidable work experience, Tom has been associated with many reputable and prominent businesses, such as Marsh USA, Inc., Loews Corporation, Reliance National, J.M. Huber Corporation and Dun & Bradstreet where he also serves as leader, Risk Management and Insurance. His professional accomplishments have won him much prestigious recognition throughout the years. He was also one of the youngest risk managers to lead the insurance and risk management department of a fortune 500 company.
Tom was awarded the ARM Designation in December of 2002, and then, in October 2006, he was awarded the Risk Management Fellow Designation (RF), which is the highest designation in the risk management field. Tom was also published in the September 2006 edition of Risk Management Magazine as part of a panel of leading risk management professionals who were assembled to discuss the subject of Workers' Compensation fraud. Also, during his time with Marsh USA, which is globally recognized as a leading brokerage firm, Tom served as the Lead Broker on the largest fortune 100 accounts in the New York Casualty Risk Management Department. Tom has also managed the Insurance/Risk Management on some of the largest construction projects in New York City.
Tom earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the School of Management and European Studies, Franklin University, Lugano, Switzerland, May of 1994, with an emphasis in Strategic Management.
His work has taken him to the farthest reaches of the globe; North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.
Deputy Mayor for Housing & Economic Development
Deputy Mayor Vicki Been leads the administration’s efforts to grow and diversify New York City's economy, invest in emerging industries across the five boroughs, build a new generation of affordable housing, and help New Yorkers secure good-paying jobs. The Deputy Mayor oversees and coordinates the operations of over 20 agencies, offices and affiliated entities, including: the Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Housing Development Corporation, the New York City Housing Authority, the Department of City Planning, the Public Design Commission, the Board of Standards and Appeals, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Libraries, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Office of Media & Entertainment, the Office of Housing Recovery Operations, NYC & Company, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, the Trust for Governors Island, the Hudson River Park Trust and the Rent Guidelines Board.
Vicki Been has extensive experience fighting to make New York a more affordable and equitable city. As HPD Commissioner from 2014 to 2017, Been helped craft Housing New York, the Mayor’s plan to tackle the affordability crisis and create and preserve 200,000 affordable homes by 2024. After HPD made rapid progress, the plan was updated in 2017, setting a new goal of 300,000 affordable homes by 2026. During her tenure, Been oversaw the financing of a record 62,500 affordable homes – enough for 170,000 New Yorkers. She restructured the City’s programs to reach a wider range of incomes and secure more affordable housing for every public dollar spent. She also reformed the regulatory process to reduce the risk and cost of building and preserving affordable housing while ensuring its safety, quality, and financial stability. Been was instrumental in advancing the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing law that that requires developers to dedicate a certain percentage of rental units at below market rate rents in areas that are rezoned for higher density. There are nearly 5,600 additional MIH homes in the affordable housing pipeline.
Been formerly served as the Director of NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, the Boxer Family Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, and an Affiliated Professor of Public Policy of the NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. The Furman Center is the leading authority on land use and housing issues in New York City and one of the premier research centers on urban policy in the United States. She has worked on assessing New York City’s land use patterns, the effects of Hurricane Sandy on housing and neighborhoods, the interplay of community benefit agreements and land use practices, and on a variety of affordable housing issues, including inclusionary zoning and supportive housing.
Been graduated from Colorado State University and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law. Been has served as a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and an Associate Professor of Law at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She clerked for Judge Edward Weinfeld of the Southern District of New York and Justice Harry Blackmun of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Mitchell J. Silver became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in May 2014. Commissioner Silver is also the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA). He is an award-winning planner with almost 30 years of experience and he is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues. He specializes in comprehensive planning, place making and implementation strategies. As Parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver oversees management, planning and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland, which includes parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, wilderness areas and other assets.
Prior to returning to his native New York City as Parks Commissioner, he served as the Chief Planning & Development Officer and Planning Director for Raleigh, NC. His career has included roles as a policy and planning director for New York City’s Department of Planning, a principal of a New York City-based planning firm, a town manager in New Jersey, and deputy planning director in Washington, DC.
Commissioner Silver lectures extensively throughout the United States and abroad on a variety of planning topics. He is a contributing author and editor of International City/County Management Association’s (ICMA) latest edition of “Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice,” which is a resource for local governments engaged in planning. Known by his colleagues as a passionate communicator, creative thinker, problem-solver and visionary leader, Mitchell Silver has been at the center of many cutting edge trends, innovative solutions and visionary plans, including Harlem on the River and Vision for Jamaica Center in New York City and the revitalization of neighborhoods in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, and Raleigh. As president of APA, he led an international effort to elevate the value and rebirth of planning in the 21st century. In 2012, the Urban Times named him one of the top international thought leaders of the built environment today. In 2013, UBM Future Cities named Mitchell Silver as one of the top 100 City Innovators in the world and the Royal Town Planning Institute made him an honorary lifetime member. In 2014, he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Planning Association.
When Mayor Bill de Blasio named Mitchell Silver as New York City's Parks Commissioner, he called him “a visionary.” The Mayor went on to say: “He has a passion for fairness and equality, and he brings it to the work of government, and understands that we have to ensure that parks and open spaces are available in every community, and are well-maintained in every community in this city.”
As planning director in Raleigh, he led the comprehensive plan update process and a rewriting of the development code to create a vibrant 21st century city. Mr. Silver served in Raleigh from 2005 until taking his job at Parks. He was an outspoken advocate for Raleigh and helped transform it into a world-class city with great streets, great places and great neighborhoods. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Guardian (U.K.), Philadelphia Inquirer, Huffington Post, Associated Press, Atlantic Cities, the Urban Times, Planning Magazine, the News & Observer, the Charlotte Observer, the Triangle Business Journal , Crain’s Business Journal, BBC World News and National Public Radio (NPR).
Jon Halpern has a strong record of hands-on leadership, with experience spanning more than two decades and four successful businesses in the real estate industry. Halpern founded Halpern Real Estate Ventures (HREV) in 2011. In addition to his professional experience, Halpern is involved with both civic and charitable organizations. A graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Halpern began his career in real estate in 1985, stepping in to lead Halpern Enterprises, his family’s fourth-generation business in Westchester County, New York. He is the founder, managing partner, and CEO of Halpern Real Estate Ventures, and has over 25 years of professional experience in real estate investing.
Halpern currently serves on the boards of the R Baby Foundation and The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, and also serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Astrum Homes, a Gurgaon, India-based real estate development company engaged in developing world-class residential solutions in emerging cities across the country. He has previously served as a Board Member and Executive Committee Member for the Westchester Medical Center.
Jeffrey Kaplan is Founder, Managing Partner and Chairman of the Investment Committee of Meadow Partners and is primarily responsible for the daily management, strategic direction and investment policies of the Company. Prior to forming Meadow Partners, Mr. Kaplan was a Managing Principal and Co-Chairman of the Investment Committee of Westbrook Partners. As such, he was responsible for overseeing the
day-to-day operations of the company and its institutional real estate investment funds, including the identification, evaluation, structuring and execution of investments and the formulation of policies and strategies for the ongoing asset management and disposition of investments. At the time of his departure, Westbrook Partners was the sponsor and general partner of seven real estate private equity funds with equity capital of over $7 billion and investments with an aggregate purchase price in excess of $35 billion.
Mr. Kaplan initially joined Westbrook's New York office upon its inception in April 1994, where he served as a Managing Principal responsible for Westbrook's acquisitions efforts in the United States and Europe until February 1999. Subsequently, Mr. Kaplan founded and managed Western European Partners, L.L.C., a joint venture with Westbrook Real Estate Fund III, L.P. which acquired over $200 million of real estate assets in France and the United Kingdom. Mr. Kaplan was President of Cohen & Steers Capital Partners, L.L.C. from September 1999 through January 2001. Mr. Kaplan rejoined Westbrook Partners as a Managing Principal in January 2001 to establish its London office and head Westbrook's European operations. In November 2002, he founded Westbrook's Paris office.
Prior to joining Westbrook, Mr. Kaplan spent seven years at Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, where he helped form The Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund, L.P. and served as its initial Director of Acquisitions. Prior to that, he worked on a variety of capital markets and investment banking transactions in Morgan Stanley's Real Estate Department and its Mergers & Acquisitions Department. Mr. Kaplan received a B.S. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1987.
Mr. Kaplan was named to the Trust Board by the NYC Mayor in April 2010.
Purnima Kapur is a highly accomplished Planning Professional with over 25 years of experience. She is currently a consultant to Harvard University’s Allston Initiative, a multi phased, multi-year large scale project building upon Harvard’s campus in Allston and creating the vision for a new mixed-use state-of-the art community. She also teaches at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Planning and Architecture.
She was until recently, the Executive Director of the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP), where she oversaw the agency’s five Borough Offices as well as the Central Planning divisions. Ms. Kapur is one of the key architects of New York City’s groundbreaking Mandatory Inclusionary Housing regulation. Under her leadership, the City adopted five Integrated Neighborhood Plans in four boroughs, as well as an innovative plan for the redevelopment of Greater East Midtown.
Ms. Kapur has been a key player in the redevelopment and transformation of Brooklyn over the past two decades. She served as Director of DCP’s Brooklyn Borough Office from 2006-2014, a period of unprecedented growth and redevelopment. While in that role, she led high-priority and transformative projects, including the development of Greenpoint-Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn and Coney Island among other neighborhoods. In her role as Director of DCP’s Bronx Office from 2001-2006, she led the largest rezoning agenda in the borough’s history touching almost every neighborhood in the borough, from Yankee Stadium and Port Morris to Riverdale, Throggs Neck and City Island.
Ms. Kapur is trained as an architect and a city planner, with dual Masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Lawrence B. Goldberg is in the general practice of law in New York City. He is admitted in the New York State courts, in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. His practice specialties include business law, real estate, environmental and regulatory law, and land use. In addition, he has served as a court appointed mediator, receiver and guardian.
In the litigation aspect of his practice, Mr. Goldberg has represented clients in civil RICO and CERCLA actions, environmental and land use cases, and in contracts and business claims.
Mr. Goldberg has represented his Greenwich Village community in a variety of matters including the preservation Washington Square Park and Poe House issues. He is President of Friends of LaGuardia Place (which preserves and maintains a statute of LaGuardia and a Park) and he has assisted in having the Bob Bolles sculptures returned to Triangle Park in SOHO. He also is a member of Community Board 2 in Manhattan, where he has served on the Institutions, Zoning and Waterfront Committees. Formerly he was a member of and prior chairperson of the Advisory Council to the Hudson River Park Trust, and was active in both the Pier 40 and Pier 57 issues. Mr. Goldberg has also served as counsel to District One of B’nai B’rth. He is a member of the Association of the Bar where he has served on various committees and he has participated for many years as a moot court judge of New York Law School in its Wagner Competition.
Mr. Goldberg’s professional experience includes being an Examining Attorney with the NYC Department of Investigation, the Law Secretary of Justice Samuel J. Silverman of the New York State Supreme Court, and the Director of Distribution for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
He is a graduate of St. Johns Law School and holds an undergraduate degree from the State University at Buffalo. He resides in Greenwich Village and has his law office in Manhattan.
Mr. Goldberg was named to the Trust Board by the Manhattan Borough President in March 2006.
Pamela Frederick is an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is a former managing editor of The Riverdale Press in the Bronx.
Ms. Frederick served as chair of Community Board 4 in Chelsea and Clinton, and also as chair of the board’s Youth Committee and Waterfront & Parks Committee. She is also a former vice chair of the Hudson River Park Trust Advisory Committee as well as the working group for Pier 57. She is currently the president of the Friends of Washington Market Park in Tribeca.
Ms. Frederick is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Middlebury College. She lives in Tribeca.
Ms. Frederick was named to the Trust Board by the Manhattan Borough President in December 2008.
Mr. Durst is the chairman and a member of the third generation to lead The Durst Organization.
The Durst Organization built the nation’s first sustainable skyscraper, 4 Times Square, and the first LEED Platinum high-rise office tower, The Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park. Today, the company owns, manages and operates a 13 million square foot office portfolio and nearly 2,000 residential rental units, as well as overseeing the development, management and leasing of One World Trade Center.
Mr. Durst is a director of the Real Estate Board of New York, The New School and The Trust for Public Land. He has been involved with the theatrical arts for many years and is a member of the board of directors of The Roundabout Theater and Primary Stages. Along with other family members, he is a trustee of The Old York Foundation, established by his father, which is committed to helping people through education to understand the history and issues facing New York City. In addition, Douglas has been an environmental activist for many years and created one of the largest organic farms in New York State.