Staff, Board and Funders

Reinvent Albany has an experienced and knowledgeable staff of policy experts and advocates, most of whom have worked in state government in New York and elsewhere. In addition to our staff, we rely on a large circle of expert advisers from government, academia, labor, business and the public interest world. We use our staff as project managers and enlist top-tier consultants as needed to produce reports and original research and to help organize events. We also work closely with established advocacy groups and as part of coalitions dedicated to government transparency, accountability, and public infrastructure funding.


Reinvent Albany was founded in January 2010. Its founders include prominent members of New York’s environmental, transportation and urban sustainability movements.

John Kaehny is the Executive Director and a founding board member of Reinvent Albany. At Reinvent Albany he has passed state laws strengthening the Freedom of Information Law and creating a “transit lockbox.” John has successfully championed many forms of online transparency and led the public advocacy for New York’s award winning, “Open NY” open data initiative, the Open Budget website, major improvements to the Comptroller’s Open Book New York spending site and the Attorney General’s New York Open Government website. In New York City,  John lead the campaign for the NYC Open Data Law — the first of its kind in the world– and the NYC Open FOIL initiative.

Prior to co-founding Reinvent Albany, John was a transportation policy consultant for leading New York, national and international environmental groups, and was the longtime executive director of Transportation Alternatives in New York City. John is also the co-founder of the national Alliance for Bicycling and Walking and has served on numerous city and state governmental advisory boards. His writing has appeared in the NY Times, NY Daily News, Albany Times-Union, NY Post and Newsday, as well as technical and scholarly journals.

Rachael Fauss, Senior Research Analyst, has more than a decade of experience in state and city budget and public policy analysis from her time at Citizens Union and the New York State Assembly. She is also an expert in conflict of interest and ethics policies and practices. Rachael holds a Master of Public Administration from Rockefeller College at SUNY Albany. She is a columnist for Gotham Gazette, writing about her work at Reinvent Albany on MTA reform.

Elizabeth Marcello, Senior Research Analyst, cut her teeth in New York State policy and politics at Reinvent Albany following several years of working in Senegal and then Kenya. After a hiatus to finish her PhD, Elizabeth returned to Reinvent Albany to work on business subsidy and economic development issues. Elizabeth has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a PhD in urban planning from Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Tom Speaker, Policy Analyst, has worked as a social media consultant and previously was a volunteer organizer for RepresentUs.

Stephanie Jala-Thorne, Director of Operations, comes to Reinvent Albany from Columbia University Medical School, where she provided programmatic support to students and faculty. She has more than ten years of experience in strategic planning and program management.

Lia Soorenian, Research Analyst, has a background in urban planning and geospatial mapping and experience as a labor organizer.

Board of Directors

Reinvent Albany’s founding board includes prominent members of New York’s environmental, transportation and urban sustainability movements, who were so dismayed by the dismal state of affairs in Albany that they decided to take action.

John Kaehny, founding board member.

Mark Gorton, founding board member, is the president and founder of OpenPlans, which publishes Streetsblog and Streetsfilms. He is a prominent advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit in New York City and other American cities. Mark is also the founder and chairman of Tower Research Capital.

Aaron Naparstek, founding board member, is a journalist and national voice for green transportation and sustainable urban development. Aaron is  a producer at Proving Ground Media and founding editor-in-chief of Streetsblog. His writing has appeared in many prominent media platforms and he has lectured on urban land-use and transportation planning and public policy at MIT and Harvard.  Follow Aaron on Twitter: @Naparstek.


Reinvent Albany is funded by individuals and foundations from across the political spectrum who support our efforts to make New York State and City government more transparent and accountable to the public. We receive no funding from government, government officials, government vendors, trade groups, labor unions, lobbyists or 501c4 groups. We encourage all of our donors to allow us to credit them on this website. However, some donors prefer to remain anonymous. (More organizational information is here.)

Contributed $50,000 plus

  • Democracy Fund / Omidyar Network
  • Mark Gorton
  • Jewish Communal Fund
  • La Vida Feliz Foundation
  • Open Plans (Donated office space.)
  • Sustainable Markets Foundation
  • TransitCenter

Contributed $5,000 plus

  • Ken Hirsh
  • Aaron Naparstek
  • Law Offices of Vaccaro & White, LLP
  • National Freedom Of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
  • Anonymous

Small Donors from Around NY State
Including Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, Long Island, New York City, Westchester

Audits, Tax Returns

See this page for Reinvent Albany’s audited financial statements, federal tax returns, and state filings.

For more information about Reinvent Albany, please email info [at] or call 917-388-9087.