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 manages Citizens Committee's programs. He is on the board of Farm School NYC and teaches a course on urban planning at Baruch College, CUNY. 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 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. 

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 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.

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.