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.

Lori Lichtman

Executive Director

Lori works with our development, programs, and communications teams as well as our dedicated boards and generous individual, corporate, and foundation partners to help support grassroots neighborhood improvement projects. Prior to Citizens Committee, Lori worked in project management in Israel, in advertising and marketing, and in outdoor education. She lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn,

 

 

Conor Greene

Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Conor Greene is responsible for highlighting the work Citizens Committee makes possible, and builds partnerships with key elected officials, government staff, and grantees. He joined Citizens Committee after a decade in NYC media, government, and nonprofits, most recently overseeing public affairs and government relations for The Doe Fund. During this time, he played a central role in the founding and launch of the first citywide charitable bail organization. Conor started his career in journalism, and has also served as communications director for several City Council members in Brooklyn and Queens.

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 University, 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.

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.

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. 

Keenen Willis

Program Coordinator

Keenen works in the programs department team supporting grassroots community groups. 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.

Paola Orozco

Program Coordinator Corps Member

Paola is a Civic Corps member that supports the programs department supporting community improvement projects. She has been involved within international organizations, such as, the Anne Frank Center in NYC and the Permanent Mission of Honduras to the United Nations. She has a BA in International Relations with a minor in History from SUNY New Paltz. Throughout college, Paola volunteered at a nursing home in Kingston, managed her schoolʼs food pantry, and mentored other students. Paola is an advocate for social justice and human rights, and enjoys to engage with the community and learning about new cultures. 

Scott Young

Director of Individual Giving and 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

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.

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 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.

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.

 

Jeffrey Robinson

Development Intern

Jeff works in the development department serving as this fall’s development intern, supporting the organization in its fundraising efforts and volunteer programs. While working with Citizens Committee, Jeff is also pursuing his MPA in Nonprofit Management & Leadership at the NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service with aspirations of continuing a career in development after graduation. During his time as a graduate student, Jeff served as a Program Manager for two youth-based organizations, where he oversaw over a hundred mentor/mentee relationships and also managed a summer enrichment program for middle school boys. Jeff is excited to be a part of Citizens Committee and is eager to help support grassroots organizations throughout New York City. 

 

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.