Trustees

Board of Trustees

Brooklyn Public Library's governing body is the Board of Trustees, consisting of 38 members all serving in non-salaried positions.

The Mayor and the Brooklyn Borough President each appoint 11 trustees. Twelve additional members are elected to serve on the board. The Mayor, City Comptroller, Speaker of the City Council and Brooklyn Borough President are ex-officio members of the board. All trustees, except ex-officio members, serve three-year terms.


Peter Aschkenasy

Peter Aschkenasy worked in the administrations of Mayors John Lindsey and Ed Koch. As the sole and partial owner of several restaurants, including The Oyster Bar, the Rainbow Room, Lüchow's, and Gage & Tollner, Peter served on both the NYC Restaurant League and the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau, and was a founding member of the Association for a Better New York. In addition to serving on BPL’s board, Peter is the Treasurer of BRIC, Director Emeritus of the Brooklyn Arts Council, and serves on the boards of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Fedcap.

Jordan Barowitz

Jordan Barowitz is the Vice President of Public Affairs at The Durst Organization, a real estate company, where he oversees government and media relations. He previously served as the First Deputy Press Secretary for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In addition to serving on BPL’s board, Jordan is an Executive Board Member of GrowNYC and a Steering Committee Member of the Association for a Better New York.

Michael Best

Michael Best is the Chief University Counsel of Long Island University. Mike spent more than 20 years in government service, including as Counselor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and General Counsel of the New York City Department of Education. He also worked at Bloomberg L.P. as the Chief of Staff to Michael Bloomberg and the COO of the Industry Verticals division, as well as co-host of the Bloomberg Law radio program. In addition to the BPL board, Mike serves on the board of the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund.

Milovan Blair

Milovan Blair has worked in the energy sector in New York his entire career. He was previously the Senior Vice President of Central Operations at Con Edison. In this role, Milo was responsible for planning, designing, operating and maintaining the company’s electric transmission system, substations, primary control center, steam generating plants and steam distribution system. In addition to serving on BPL’s board, Milo serves on the boards of the Northeast Power Coordinating Council, Bed-Stuy YMCA, Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the American Association of Blacks in Energy, and is a member of the Leadership Council at the Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York.

Madeline Carson

Madeline Carson is a former journalist who covered the North Country at the Glens Falls Post-Star and then spent over a decade at The Wall Street Journal, most recently as the Visual Editor for Enterprise Reporting. In addition to the BPL board, she serves on the board of Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She lives in Park Slope with her husband and two young children.

Jose Claxton

Jose Claxton is Managing Director and Head of Business Development for Engine No. 1, an impact focused investment fund. He previously held leadership positions at Blue Harbour Group, Latigo Partners, Lehman Brothers, and JP Morgan. In addition to BPL's board, Jose serves on the boards of the Charles Hayden Foundation and the Harlem School of the Arts. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he spent much of his time after school at Bushwick Library.

Nina Collins

Nina Collins is the chair of the Board of Brooklyn Public Library. She is an entrepreneur and author. For the first twenty years of her career she started and ran two different successful businesses in book publishing, the first an international scouting company and the second a literary agency. In her late 30s she went to graduate school at Columbia University and got a MS in Narrative Medicine, and from there she consulted in end-of-life care and simultaneously built from scratch an online community for women over 40 called What Would Virginia Woolf Do?. That group spawned a book by Nina of the same title (Hachette 2018), a podcast hosted by Nina called Raging Gracefully, and a subscription-based app called The Woolfer. The Woolfer was sold in 2021 to a digital events & community platform called Revel and Nina worked there as the Chief Creative Officer until 2023. Nina is a trustee of the publishing house Spiegel & Grau and also manages the literary estate of her late mother, the filmmaker and writer Kathleen Collins. She has four grown children and lives in Brooklyn.

Anthony Crowell

Anthony W. Crowell is a recognized leader in New York’s legal, government, nonprofit, and higher education communities. Since 2012, Anthony has served as the Dean and President of New York Law School, working to transform the institution as “New York’s law school” and building a nationally recognized diversity, equity and inclusion program. For more than a decade, he was a member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s senior management team, serving as Counselor to the Mayor.

Taiwo Danmola

Taiwo Danmola is a certified public accountant and a consultant on matters of shareholder reporting to public and large private entities. He retired after 18 years as a partner at Ernst & Young LLP and previously was a partner at Arthur Andersen LLP. In addition to the BPL Board, Taiwo serves on the advisory board of Touch Link, a domestic violence victim advocacy group, and on the board of Security Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York. 

Chad Dickerson

Chad Dickerson is an executive coach and Fellow at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island. Previously the CEO and CTO of Etsy, he led the company through intense organizational growth and change. In addition to the BPL board, Chad serves on the boards of St. Ann’s Warehouse and Jalopy Theatre and School of Music. He plays piano and guitar and is a frequent patron of Carroll Gardens Library.

Asher Freeman

Asher Freeman serves as the Chief of Staff to Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, overseeing all staff operations in Borough Hall. Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, he served as a Senior Advisor on Reynoso’s campaign for Borough President and Legislative and Land Use Director to then Council Member Reynoso. In his role as Legislative and Land Use Director, Asheroversaw the passage of legislation to overhaul the private sanitation industry; led the office’s efforts to create the Bushwick Community Plan, a neighborhood-driven rezoning; and helped to manage the office’s discretionary budget.

Blake Foote

Blake Foote started her career as a workshop facilitator and counselor for homeless jobseekers and at-risk youth. She went on to launch workforce programs in several states and then research workforce policy for US Congress. She was the Executive Director of NYC's Workforce Investment Board and led multiple industry desks at the NYC Department of Small Business Services. In addition to serving on the BPL board, she is currently the Chair of CUNY's School of Professional Studies Foundation board.

Xochitl Gonzalez

Xochitl Gonzalez is a cultural critic, producer, screenwriter, and the New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming. Named a Best of 2022 by The New York Times, TIME, Kirkus, Washington Post, and NPR, Olga Dies Dreaming was the winner of the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize in Fiction and the New York City Book Awards. Gonzalez is a 2021 M.F.A. graduate from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her non-fiction work has been published in Elle Decor, Allure, Vogue, Real Simple, and The Cut. Her writing at The Atlantic was recognized as a 2023 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary. Prior to writing, Gonzalez was an entrepreneur, fundraiser and all-around hustler for nearly 20 years. She is a board member of the Lower East Side Girls Club and the Brooklyn Public Library, and a trustee of the corporation of Brown University, where she received her B.A. in Visual Art. A native Brooklynite and proud public school graduate, she lives in her hometown of Brooklyn with her dog, Hectah Lavoe.

Hank Gutman

Hank Gutman is a Retired Partner of the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he led the Intellectual Property Practice Group. He litigated a range of high-profile intellectual property cases over the course of his legal career and has lectured at Harvard Law School and New York Law School. The Chair of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Hank also serves on the boards of St. Ann’s Warehouse and Brooklyn Bridge Park in addition to BPL. He has lived with his wife in Brooklyn Heights for over 35 years.

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine and creator of the landmark 1619 Project. She has received numerous awards, including a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, known as the Genius Grant, for her work on educational inequality. In 2016, Nikole co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a training and mentorship organization geared towards increasing the numbers of investigative reporters of color.

Claire Hoffman

Claire Hoffman is an author and a journalist. Her first book, a reported memoir, Greetings from Utopia Park, was published in 2016. As a journalist she has written about culture, religion, celebrity, business, and more. A former staff reporter for the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone, she holds an MA in religion from the University of Chicago, an MS in journalism from Columbia University and an MFA from NYU. She sits on the board of ProPublica, the Columbia Journalism School and the Goldhirsh Foundation. She is at work on a biography of famed Hollywood evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.

Tim Ingrassia

Tim Ingrassia is the Co-Chair of Global Mergers & Acquisitions at Goldman Sachs. In addition to serving on BPL’s board, he has served as Chair of the BAM Endowment Trust and on the boards of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy and Brooklyn Central YMCA. Tim has also served in different capacities at the University of Virginia on the Alumni Association Board of Managers, the College of Arts & Sciences advisory board, and in various roles, including Chair, of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation.

Johari Jenkins-Taylor

Johari Jenkins-Taylor is Director of Regional and Community Affairs/Corporate Affairs for Con Edison. In this capacity, she oversees Con Edison's community affairs and regional government relations activities, including emergency response communications, for Brooklyn. She is responsible for developing and enhancing relationships with elected officials, government agencies, community boards and key community and business leaders to effectively promote company initiatives throughout the diverse borough of Brooklyn. Johari also implements and measures a portfolio of new and existing grants and programs which support the company's philanthropic efforts.

Eddie Joyce

Eddie Joyce is a writer and small business investor. His first novel Small Mercies was shortlisted for the Grand Prix De Litterature Americaine in France and was a NY Times Big City Book Club pick. He has written pieces for N+1, Electric Literature, and Akashic Books. He is part owner of the bookstore Books Are Magic and an investor in Ingas, a restaurant in Brooklyn Heights. A graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown Law Center, he was a white collar criminal defense lawyer for ten years before starting his writing career. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three daughters. He was born and raised on Staten Island. 

Miriam Katowitz

Miriam Katowitz is a Certified Public Accountant retired from a long career in both for profit and not-for-profit entities. She has served as a Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Deputy University Controller and a Managing Director. A longtime resident of Brooklyn Heights, she serves on several Brooklyn not-for-profit boards.

Jerry Lee

Jerry Lee is a partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he advises biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. He holds a BA from Yale and an MBA from Wharton. A long-time resident of Brooklyn, he also serves as a Trustee of the Packer Collegiate Institute.

Michael Liburd

Michael Liburd directs Griffin Ward, LLC, a partnership that advises companies in management, marketing and content development. Before becoming an entrepreneur, he contributed to the success of iconic consumer brands and media properties at firms such as ViacomCBS's Showtime Networks and Kraft General Foods. In addition to BPL’s board, Michael serves on the board of Poly Prep Country Day School and as the Chair of BRIC Arts Media.

DeWayne Louis

DeWayne Louis joined Versor Investments as a Founding Partner and is based in New York. DeWayne has 20 years of experience in quantitative investment strategies, investment banking, private equity and hedge funds. Prior to Versor Investments, DeWayne joined Investcorp’s Hedge Fund Group at the inception of the North America and Europe branches. He remained there for nearly a decade. Prior to Investcorp, DeWayne was an Associate Director in UBS’ Private Equity Secondary Group, focusing on buying and selling private equity interests in the secondary market. Earlier in his career, DeWayne was an Associate in the Investment Banking Division of Credit Suisse where he focused on mergers, acquisitions and project finance transactions. DeWayne was appointed by New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, to the board of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (“NYCEDC”). 

Sarah Mallory

Sarah Mallory is the Deputy Chief of Staff for the New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development after more than a decade in public service positions focused on policy, operations, and community engagement. She spent the last few years fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, most recently as Chief of External Affairs for the New York City Vaccine Command Center. Sarah lives in Crown Heights and visits the Central Branch regularly.  

Susan Marcinek

Susan Marcinek started volunteering at Brooklyn Public Library in 2002 in the Adult Learning Center and has served as a BPL trustee since 2012. She earned her Master’s in Library Science from Pratt Institute and previously worked at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Time, Inc., in business affairs and project management. Susan lives in Prospect Heights with her husband and two children.

Steve Mei

Steve has been working with The Chinese American Planning Council, Inc. (CPC) for the past 20+ years. For 14 years Steve worked tirelessly in youth development in different capacities. In his role as Deputy Director of CPC’s Youth Services Division, Steve led, advocated, and fought for services for young adults. Steve Mei currently serves as the Director of CPC’s Brooklyn Community Services. In his current role Steve continues to advocate for lower income and immigrant communities in Sunset Park and throughout Brooklyn. Steve oversees the CPC Brooklyn program portfolio including, benefits support, language access, senior services, healthcare access, legal immigration services, special needs services, etc. Through partnerships with community leaders, engaging local elected officials and rallying our constituents, Steve looks forward to achieving the goal of providing equitable access to all community members. Steve currently serves on the Age Well Task Force, the Prospect Park Committee and the Citi bike equity board.

Cassandra Williams Metz

Cassandra Williams Metz started her career as a corporate lawyer at various organizations, including MTV Networks, a division of Viacom Inc., and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Her corporate work focused on transactions across all stages of corporate development, from mergers to acquisitions to affiliate, restructuring and venture capital transactions. Currently, Cassandra is a writer and photographer with a special interest in travel and landscape photography. In addition to the BPL board, she serves on the board of Poly Prep Country Day School.

Brian O'Neil

Brian O'Neil is the Chief Investment Officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where he is responsible for the foundation’s $11 billion investment portfolio. Brian previously worked at the Equitable Life Assurance Society (now AXA Equitable) for over 20 years, where he held several roles including Chief Investment Officer. A father of four, Brian lives in Park Slope.

Alice Fisher Rubin

The Honorable Alice Fisher Rubin is a retired New York City Civil Court Judge, former trial attorney, former member of NYS Governor's executive team, and former NYC Commissioner. She has taught at Long Island University and CUNY Technical College. In her fifth decade as a BPL trustee, Alice also serves on the board of the Kings County Supreme Court Law Library and as the Chair of CUNY Technical College Foundation.

Sandra Schubert

Sandra Juhn Schubert is an Investment Advisor in the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs, where she supervises $2.5 billion of client assets for foundations, endowments and families. She is also the Founder and Co-Chair of the Asian Professionals Network for the same division of Goldman Sachs, and a former Advisory Board member of Concordia Conservatory, in Westchester County, New York.

Christina Tettonis

Christina Tettonis is the Superintendent of The Hellenic Classical Charter Schools, which rank among the top charter schools (Pre-K to 8) in New York City. Christina previously served as Principal of HCCS's first school in Park Slope, and prior to HCCS, as Principal of PS 170 in Bay Ridge. She began her career as a public-school teacher at PS 186 and PS 105. The eldest daughter of Greek immigrant parents, Christina was born and raised in Brooklyn, where she has raised her own family.

Erin Texeira

Erin Texeira is a Senior Editor for PBS’s Frontline, leading their Local Journalism Initiative. During her 15-year newspaper career, she was an award-winning staff writer at the Associated Press, the Baltimore Sun, Newsday and the Los Angeles Times. Her coverage focused on race, demographics and social justice movements. In addition to the BPL board, she serves as the Chair of Brooklyn Children’s Theatre and Secretary of READ 718. Born and raised in Southern California, Erin now lives in Fort Greene with her husband and two children.

Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston is an activist, comedian, Emmy-nominated host and the author of How to Be Black. Working at the intersection of race, technology and democracy, he is the Executive Producer and host of the podcasts How To Citizen with Baratunde and We’re Having A Moment. Baratunde previously held leadership roles at The Onion and The Daily Show. In addition to the BPL board, he serves on the board of BUILD.

Patrick Train-Gutiérrez

Patrick Train-Gutiérrez is counsel at McGrail & Bensinger LLP. He represents individuals and companies in federal and state actions in all aspects of commercial litigation. Patrick has lived in Williamsburg for 12 years with his wife and two sons. In addition to the BPL board, he serves on the board of NEST+m PTA and is a founding leader of Cub Scout Pack 111 in New York’s Big Apple District.

Michelle de la Uz

Michelle de la Uz is the Executive Director of Fifth Avenue Committee, Inc. (FAC) and has over 25 years of experience in public and community service. Michelle oversees the organization’s mission and comprehensive programs that serve more than 5,500 people with low- and moderate- incomes; a budget of nearly $10 million and several non-housing affiliate corporations with annual budgets of over $8 million, real estate assets over $160 million, and a housing development pipeline of over 1,700 units, representing more than $800 million in total development costs. She serves on several boards including the national board of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Additionally, Michelle served as a City Planning Commissioner on the New York City Planning Commission from 2012-2021.

Dominic Williams

Dominic Williams is an Associate Partner in McKinsey & Company’s New York office. He joined the firm from the Biden-Harris transition and previously served in senior leadership roles in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, most recently as head of the Mayor’s Office of Policy and Planning and Chief Policy Advisor to the Mayor. Prior to City Hall, Dominic served as Chief of Staff and Deputy Public Advocate in the Office of the Public Advocate. Growing up in East Flatbush, he spent much of his time after school at Rugby Library.

David Womack

David Womack serves as the Deputy Director of Financing Policy and Coordination for the New York City Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to joining OMB, he served as the Executive Vice President and Head of Public Finance Banking for Blaylock Van, LLC, directing the public finance origination efforts and transaction execution for state and local municipal bond issuers nationwide. He has previous experience as an investment banker with firms including J.P. Morgan, Citigroup and Rice Financial Products Company.


Ex-Officio Members 

Hon. Eric Adams
Mayor of the City of New York
Represented by Sarah Mallory, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development

Hon. Antonio Reynoso
President of the Borough of Brooklyn
Represented by Asher Freeman, Chief of Staff to the President of the Borough of Brooklyn
 
Hon. Brad Lander
Comptroller of the City of New York
Represented by Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director of Fifth Avenue Committee

Hon. Adrienne Adams
Speaker of the New York City Council
Represented by Jason Otaño, General Counsel for the New York City Council
 

Brooklyn Public Library's Conflict of Interest Policy

BYLAWS of Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library Charter