Staff

Rahsaan Harris

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Harris has more than 20 years of experience leading nonprofits and international grantmaking, partnering with communities to make local investments and promote community improvement. He is a transformative leader and role model who has been a New York City public school teacher, board member of various Harlem-based organizations, devoted Big Brothers Big Sister mentor, and Peace Corps environmental education volunteer in South America. He received his doctorate in Public and Urban Policy from the New School, where his dissertation was on understanding how socio-economic diversity in the African-American community affects their philanthropic interests. He also holds a Master in Management and High School Science Education from New York University and Columbia, respectively, and a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University.

Katie Grassle

Program Grants Manager 

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.

Di Cui

Program Coordinator

Di Cui is a storyteller who uses writing, photography, and videography to tell stories about social justice. Her first documentary film “Song of Ourselves: Cultural Activism in Whitman’s New York” premiered at the International Whitman Week in celebration of Walt Whitman’s bicentennial. She recently completed her Master’s degree in Historic Preservation at Pratt Institute, where she explored cultural heritage, public history, gentrification, and other urban issues. In her work with different communities in New York City and community-based organizations, she always brings a creative touch and empathy. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Art History from Macalester College.

Claudia Navas

Outreach Coordinator

Claudia has a background in agriculture, horticulture, education, and program coordination, most recently with the NYC Compost Project hosted by Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She has a Masters in Food Studies from NYU, a certificate in Community Development from the University of Washington, and a B.A. from Florida State. In recent years, Claudia also helped to coordinate the NYU Food and Racial Equity Collective for graduate students in color. As Outreach Coordinator, she will increase awareness of Citizens Committee’s programs and make us more accessible to the diverse, creative, and incredibly passionate grassroots groups of NYC. Her hope is to be in healing community with those that call for social and environmental justice and an end to racial and gender oppression. 

Carla Naomi Rodriguez

Program Coordinator

Carla Naomi is a native New Yorker dedicated to making our city a greener and more resilient place. She previously worked at Brooklyn Botanic Garden where she promoted urban greening and sustainable gardening practices across Brooklyn. Carla continues to volunteer with the Regional Alliance of Students and Professionals to strengthen community resources in important issues such as education and immigration in Queens. She recently earned a Sustainability Analytics Certificate from Columbia University and a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Stony Brook University. During that time, Carla traveled to Madagascar, Mexico, and Kenya to work on various reforestation and conservation initiatives. Carla is excited to be a part of Citizens Committee and eager to help support diverse grassroots groups throughout New York City. 

Scott Young

VP Development and Communications

Scott is a fundraiser and storyteller who works to amplify the work of our grantee partners, and to raise funds necessary to achieve the mission of Citizens Committee.  With over a decade of development experience at organizations including New York City’s LGBT Community Center, the Joyce Theater Foundation, and Walnut Street Theatre, he is dedicated to providing opportunities for donors who want to make an impact.  Intentional fundraising, strategic messaging, grassroots change, and the resilience of New Yorkers are just some of his passions. Scott holds a BA from Southern Utah University.

 

 

Erika Lim

Development and Volunteer Manager

Erika works in the development department managing 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 with a BA in Liberal Arts and a concentration in social and behavioral science. As a native New Yorker dedicated to living a contributive 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.

Eddie Glass

Development and Volunteer Coordinator

Eddie works with the development team to organize volunteer days with grassroot groups across the city. Before joining Citizens’ Committee, Eddie served as an AmeriCorps fellow at NYC Parks-GreenThumb, where he coordinated their own volunteer program and assisted in the repair and revitalization of community gardens in 4 of the 5 boroughs. He is a graduate of Allegheny College with a BA in Political Science, and currently lives in the Lower East Side, Manhattan.

 

Carla Arichavala

Development Associate

Carla works in the development department supporting its fundraising efforts and volunteer programs. As a native New Yorker and the daughter of Ecuadorian and Dominican parents, Carla is passionate about the power of community engagement in preserving the vibrancy and rich culture of New York City’s diverse neighborhoods. Carla is a graduate of Binghamton University and previously worked with the New York Restoration Project, planning and executing public programs in community gardens, and at Socrates Sculpture Park.

 

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.

Sneha Swati

Data Analysis and Communications Intern

Sneha is a statistician and educator, she has taught mathematics for about 6 years and will be graduating from Columbia University with a Masters in Statistics with a track in Finance in December 2020. She believes her skills in education and data analysis can be used to help her community. Using the data available and analyzing it properly, she believes can help to predict the future and alleviate the problems the community is facing today. Also using her educational background she hopes to educate/communicate to others about the equality and the importance of education which she did at Bhagini Nivedita in Pune, India.