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  expert consultants and advisors from government, academia, labor, business and the public interest world. We also work closely with watchdog and advocacy groups across the state.

Staff

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. He has led the advocacy for numerous new laws and policies that improve government transparency and accountability. In New York City, John led the campaign for the NYC Open Data Law — the first of its kind in the world.  Previously John was a consultant for U.S. and international environmental and urban development groups and was the 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 considered an expert in conflict of interest and ethics issues. Rachael also has a special expertise in MTA budget and governance issues. Previously, Rachael worked at Citizens Union and the New York State Assembly. Rachael has a Master of Public Administration from Rockefeller College at SUNY Albany.

Elizabeth Marcello PhD, 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, joined Reinvent Albany in 2018 and has managed its campaigns to win a Database of Deals and clean contracting in New York State. He also writes Subsidy Sheet, Reinvent Albany’s weekly newsletter on NY corporate welfare, and has worked extensively on campaign finance and transparency. Prior to joining Reinvent Albany, Tom was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia, focusing on education and community development, and also worked as a teacher in Japan.

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.

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.

Funding

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
(Alphabetical)

  • 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
(Alphabetical)

  • 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] reinventalbany.org or call 917-388-9087.