StartUp New York Steering Committee

Steering Committee:


Reshma Saujani is the founder of Girls Who Code and the former Deputy Public Advocate of New York City. As Executive Director of the Fund for Public Advocacy, Reshma brought together public and private sectors to encourage entrepreneurship and civic engagement across NYC. Today, she has galvanized industry leaders to close the gender gap in STEM education and empower girls to pursue careers in technology and engineering. In 2010, Reshma became the first South Asian woman to run for Congress, promoting smarter policies to spur innovation and job creation. Advocating for a new model of female leadership focused on risk-taking, competition and mentorship, Reshma is the author of a new book entitled, Women Who Don’t Wait in Line, to be released by Amazon Publishing in 2013.

Tom Gray is currently Executive Director for Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce.  Tom is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, worked as Director of Land Use for the New York City Public Advocate and worked on several campaigns including Hillary Clintons 2008 presidential bid. Tom graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice.

Jeff Hittner is Professor of Leadership and a member of the MBA faculty at the Bard MBA in Sustainability Program. He is also the co-founder and currently runs two social ventures named Ethikus and 3CS respectively.  Ethikus is an online community of ethical consumers that seeks to harness consumer purchasing power to positively influence local business practices in NYC.  3CS is a university program, which fosters collaboration between business leaders, university students, and professors in order to bridge the sustainability gap in the undergraduate education space.  Previously, he founded and led IBM’s Corporate Social Responsibility Consulting practice.

Jack Friedman is currently Executive Director for Queens Chamber of Commerce, responsible for all Chamber activities. Jack is a master networker, facilitator, and cheerleader for anything Queens related. Jack has had an eclectic career, as the owner of a Video store and a 1 Hour Photo store, a salesperson for Carlton Cards (American Greetings), and a sales and logistics manager of small to mid-market businesses for DHL. Jack has also held positions in supply side operations at Display Technologies, and worked in City government as COS and Capital and Expense budget expert in the office of David Weprin.

Bob Zuckerman joined the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (LES BID) as the Executive Director in April 2010, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience in the progressive advocacy and economic development arenas. Prior to joining the LES BID, Bob was a candidate for City Council in New York City. Immediately prior to running for office, Bob was Executive Director of both the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC), a local nonprofit economic development organization, and its affiliate, the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, a new environmental nonprofit organization. Through his work with both groups, Bob advocated for smart development along the Gowanus Canal corridor and developed new strategies for environmental remediation of the canal and its adjacent land. Bob is the former Executive Director of the Greenwich Village – Chelsea Chamber of Commerce and the New York Nightlife Association. Bob graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He then received his J.D. from the Washington College of Law at American University.