Staff, Fellows, and Board

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

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. Our staff is advised by our policy fellows, prominent New Yorkers with special expertise and accomplishment in specific areas of public policy. We also rely on expert consultants from government, academia, labor, business and the public interest world. We work closely with watchdog and advocacy groups across New York and national transparency, democracy, and anti-corruption organizations.


John Kaehny is the Executive Director and a founding board member of Reinvent Albany. John has won numerous improvements to New York government transparency and accountability, NYC Open Data Law — the world’s first open data law — and  John has testified before congress, the NY State legislature and New York City Council and served on city, state and federal government advisory bodies. Previously, John ran a consultancy centered on parking and street management and before that was longtime executive director of Transportation Alternatives.

Rachael Fauss, Senior Policy Advisor, has more than fifteen years of experience in state and city budget and public policy analysis and is an expert on conflict of interest and ethics issues. Rachael leads Reinvent Albany’s work on ethics, governance, transparency and budget issues. Previously, Rachael worked at Citizens Union and the New York State Assembly. Rachael has an MPA from Rockefeller College at SUNY Albany.

Tom Speaker, Legislative Director, joined Reinvent Albany in 2018 and managed its successful campaigns for a Database of Deals and clean contracting in New York State. He has worked extensively on ending irrational corporate subsidies, passing public campaign finance, and increasing NY government transparency. Previously, Tom was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia and a teacher in Japan.

Stephanie Jala-Thorne, Director of Operations, guides strategic planning and continuous improvement and manages Reinvent Albany’s large pool of consultants and internal systems. Previously she managed core teaching programs at Columbia University Medical Center.

Policy Fellows

Jon Orcutt, Senior Policy Fellow, is an expert on all aspects of urban transportation policy and has worked inside and outside of government for decades as a champion for bicycling, walking, public transit and sensible land use. Among other things, Jon was a senior leader at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and was Senior Policy Advisor for the NYC DOT during the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations, where he led efforts to create the world-leading Citi Bike bike share system. Jon is a lifelong bicycle commuter and former executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and Transportation Alternatives.

Ron Deutsch, Senior Policy Fellow, has been an Albany watchdog for over 30 years, and is a consultant to unions, good government groups, and faith organizations. Ron was most recently the Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), conducting research and analysis on a variety of public policy issues. Prior to that, he led the Statewide Emergency Network for Social and Economic Security (SENSES) and then became the Director of FPI’s sister 501(c)(4) organization, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness. Deutsch is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany.

Elizabeth Marcello, PhD, Policy Fellow, is a Doctoral Lecturer at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College – CUNY, with an appointment in Hunter’s Department of Urban Policy and Planning. Prior to joining Hunter College, Elizabeth worked at Reinvent Albany where she advocated for greater transparency of state economic development spending and more accountable public authorities. Elizabeth’s academic research focuses on public authorities, especially their role in city-state relations, regional governance, and urban economic development. 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.

Adrian Pietrzak, Associate Policy Fellow, is a PhD Candidate at Princeton University studying American Politics. Adrian’s academic research focuses on the political economy surrounding issues of urban housing and land-use, property taxation, and municipal finance. Prior, Adrian was a Research Associate at the Citizens Budget Commission, where he worked on City budget analysis and analysis of agencies such as the NYPD, DSNY, DHS, and the MTA.

Board of Directors

Aaron Naparstek, President and founding board member, is a principal at Proving Ground Media and is the founding editor-in-chief of Streetsblog. Aaron lectured on urban land-use and transportation planning and public policy at MIT and Harvard and his writing has appeared in many prominent media platforms.  Follow Aaron on Twitter: @Naparstek.

John Kaehny, Executive Director and founding board member.