PRI Convenes Inaugural Advisory Council

May 21, 2024 | Featured

Pictured left to right, bottom row: Mitch Stripling, Lisa Jones Chandler, Eric Wei, Danielle Greene, Wafaa El-Sadr, Kathie Lee, Tom Harris, Jilly Stephens, Ayman El-Mohandes, April Horton, Chelsea Mauldin, Tim Sheldon, Andrew Dahl. Top row: Chris McKallagat, Ben Dubin-Thaler, Rose Duhan, Allie Bohm, Lucy Cummings, Rebecca Henseler, Alana Tornello, Desiree Ramos Reiner.

Early last week, the New York City Pandemic Response Institute (PRI) held its inaugural Advisory Council meeting, bringing together a diverse group of leaders to guide the institute’s mission of preparing the city for future public health threats.

The Council, comprised of representatives from various areas of society, including emergency services, healthcare, business, community organizations, and the arts, reflects the city’s rich tapestry. Its members bring a wealth of experience and a shared commitment to building a more resilient city.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have each of these distinguished individuals join our Advisory Council,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, Co-Lead for the NYC Pandemic Response Institute. “Their diverse perspectives will be instrumental in shaping PRI’s activities as we work to safeguard New York City against future public health emergencies.”

The Council’s first order of business was electing co-chairs. Recognizing their extensive expertise in crisis management and business continuity planning, the Council voted for members Zachary Hodgson, Emergency Services Director at the Salvation Army, and Kathie Lee, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to lead the group. As Advisory Council Co-Chairs they will lead the council and serve as voting members of PRI’s Governing Board.

“We are stronger together,” said NYC Pandemic Response Institute Co-Lead Dean Ayman El-Mohandes. “By working collaboratively, we can ensure PRI’s initiatives have a tangible impact on the lives of New Yorkers.”

The meeting also focused a portion of its time on PRI’s upcoming COVID-19 Review Virtual Assembly. This critical forum aims to analyze NYC’s whole of society response to the pandemic, identify areas for improvement, and establish a path towards achieving racial equity in healthcare access. Advisory Council members actively engaged in the discussion, highlighting the need for culturally sensitive outreach programs, data-driven approaches to identify healthcare disparities, and robust communication channels during emergencies.

The inaugural meeting underscored the Council’s vital role in bridging the gap between various sectors of society and PRI. By harnessing the collective wisdom and experience of its members, the Council will ensure PRI’s work remains responsive to the evolving needs and concerns of all New Yorkers. See the full list of members below.

  • Allie Bohm, Senior Policy Counsel, New York Civil Liberties Union
  • Audrey Cooper, Editor in Chief, WNYC/Gothamist
  • Lucy Cummings, Director, Faith Sector Resilience, NYDIS
  • Andrew Dahl, Vice President, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Greater New York Hospital Association
  • Bhairavi Desai, President, New York Taxi Workers Alliance
  • Ben Dubin-Thaler, Founder and Executive Director, BioBus
  • Rose Duhan, President and CEO, CHCANYS
  • Tom Harris, President, Times Square Alliance
  • Jennifer Hawks Bland, CEO, New York BIO (Industry Group)
  • Rebecca Henseler, Director of Planning and Resilience, MTA
  • Zachary Hodgson, Emergency Services Director, Salvation Army
  • April Horton, Director, External Affairs & Government Affairs, Verizon
  • Lisa Jones Chandler, Chief of Compliance and Quality Chief of Diversity and Belonging, Vibrant Emotional Health
  • Kathie Lee, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
  • Chelsea Mauldin, Executive Director, NYC Public Policy Lab
  • Chris McKallagat, NYC Mesh Board Member, NYC Mesh
  • Christine Quinn, President and CEO, Women in Need, NYC
  • Desiree Ramos Reiner, External Affairs Officer, American Red Cross
  • Tim Sheldon, Assoc VP of Facilities Management and Expansion, The Fortune Society
  • Jilly Stephens, CEO, City Harvest
  • Alana Tornello, Director of Resilience, Human Services Council of New York
  • Marcel Van Ooyen, President and CEO, GrowNYC
  • Eric Wei, Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer, NYC Health & Hospitals