The Bennett Midland Team

Our staff draws on years of experience serving in government and not-for-profit organizations. We know the context in which our clients work and we are familiar with the issues and challenges they face every day.

Leadership

Sarah Graizbord

Partner

A skilled strategist, Sarah draws on her experience collaborating with municipal leaders around the world to implement innovative and effective policy and programming. Her areas of expertise include program design, performance measurement, strategic planning, and operations and business process analysis.

Sara Mogulescu

Partner

Sara has dedicated her career to the civic sector, and has established an expansive record of working with leaders of public agencies, national foundations, and community organizations to achieve impact and implement change. She is a nationally recognized expert in juvenile and criminal justice program design, management strategy, and innovation in city government.

Brooke Smith

Partner

Brooke has twenty years of senior management experience in the public and private sectors, including leadership roles in local and state government and international agencies. She is an expert in municipal government policy and administration, organizational strategy, and large-scale program implementation.

Dalia Mechanic

Principal

Dalia is an accomplished project leader with a decade of experience in the public and non-profit sectors. She leverages her expertise in operations, financial management, and program design to support a range of social impact organizations.

Eric S. Lee

Founder & President

For over twenty years, Eric has developed innovative solutions to address problems in urban planning, community and economic development, and criminal justice. He is a trusted advisor to elected officials, senior government staff, and not-for-profit executives in New York and nationally.

Team

Frieda Adu-Brempong

Senior Associate

Frieda has supported strategic planning for the Center for Court Innovation’s Harlem Community Justice Center, conducting research about the East Harlem community, its housing challenges, and new and valuable opportunities for the Center. She also works with the Innovation Teams grant program, providing coordinated support to mayoral teams working on a range of issues—from neighborhood revitalization to improving transportation and infrastructure. Frieda graduated from Dickinson College with a BA in Policy Management.

Wayne Byun

Associate

Wayne supports strategic planning for FPWA, a policy and advocacy nonprofit that coordinates an expansive network of human services and faith-based organizations to promote the social and economic well-being of New Yorkers. As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams grant program, Wayne also provides organizational support to a group of municipal teams tackling their cities’ most urgent local problems. Wayne holds an MA in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

Angela Ferrante

Administrative Associate

A specialist in operations and administration, Angela has experience providing staff and project support in a wide variety of contexts. At Bennett Midland, Angela assists with finance and firm operations while coordinating business development and knowledge management activities. She provides day-to-day operations solutions to ensure Bennett Midland consistently functions with excellence.

Ben Hoynes

Senior Associate

Ben supports the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in administering the Safety and Justice Challenge—a $100 million grant-making initiative to change the way America thinks about and uses jails. He has also collaborated on the development of a strategic plan for the New York Legal Assistance Group, a non-profit civil legal services organization that works to combat social and economic injustice. Ben graduated from Wesleyan University with a dual degree in Government and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures.

Stacy Klingbeil

Civic Designer

Stacy is a human-centered designer with broad experience facilitating and implementing design methods within civic and social organizations to create new, innovative programs. At Bennett Midland, Stacy serves as the design coach for the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams, providing support to teams in mayors’ offices across the country as they generate innovative solutions to pressing problems, such as homelessness and violent crime.

Sam Knowles

Strategic Communications Specialist

Sam has broad experience helping civic sector organizations advance their missions through strategy, storytelling, and messaging. At Bennett Midland, Sam serves as the communications lead for Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams program, which supports over 20 cities across the world solving problems in new ways to deliver better results for residents.

Shelby Kohn

Manager

Shelby is a skilled strategist and an expert in driving operational improvements in local government. At Bennett Midland, Shelby has facilitated strategic planning for major social service organizations, including the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, Sanctuary for Families, and the New York Legal Assistance Group. She has advised mayors’ offices across the country to help them make a measurable impact on major challenges in their cities, and supported implementation planning for “Raise the Age” New York City.

Xiuhui Lim

Manager

Xiuhui is an accomplished civic sector leader with a background in policy and public administration. At Bennett Midland, Xiuhui has supported cities across the United States in tackling diverse challenges, through programs such as the Reinvestment Fund’s Invest Health initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams grant program, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge.

Alexis Medina

Manager

Alexis has supported the design of multiple complex grant-making initiatives at Bennett Midland, including What Works Cities—a national initiative from Bloomberg Philanthropies to help 100 mid-sized American cities accelerate their use of data and evidence to engage citizens and improve people’s lives. She also led our work to help launch the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, and collaborated on the development of New York City’s first ever Digital Playbook.

Ahmed Muneeb

Associate

At Bennett Midland, Ahmed has supported the implementation of new intake processes for Sanctuary for Families, a leading service provider for victims of gender violence in New York City, as well as the development of an innovative legal services model for the Immigrant Justice Corps. He provides coordinated support to multiple cities tackling diverse issues as part of the Innovation Team grant program. Ahmed holds an MA in Public Policy from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, Germany.

Courtney Okwara

Associate

Courtney collaborates on our support for the Justice Implementation Task Force, an initiative of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to plan and implement strategies that advance the City’s goal of closing the Rikers Island jail complex. She graduated from Harvard College with a BA in Chemistry and Government.

Elyse Oliver

Associate

In her time at Bennett Midland, Elyse has supported the development of a nation-wide scaling strategy for Spark MicroGrants in Rwanda, which will enable 14,000 villages to launch their own social impact projects. She also coordinates our firm’s support of a national study examining the economic impact of dedicated bike lanes in seven U.S. cities, and collaborates with Bloomberg Philanthropies in the administration of the Innovation Teams grant program, providing direct support to a cohort of mayoral teams. Elyse graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in International Studies and Sociology.

Charles West

Civic Innovation Fellow

Charles is a national leader in municipal innovation and criminal justice reform. As Bennett Midland’s Civic Innovation Fellow, Charles leads our support to Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Teams, providing strategic advice and technical assistance to mayoral teams across four countries that are working to address their city’s most urgent challenges.

Bjorn Whitmore

Manager

Bjorn applies his capacity for program design, organizational analysis, and implementation across a breadth of topics at Bennett Midland. Working with the Immigrant Justice Corps, he helped to assess, model, and launch a new service offering intended to increase access to legal counsel for immigrants. Bjorn has led strategy and planning sessions with diverse groups, including the Seattle Police Department, city hall Innovation Teams across the U.S., and numerous not-for-profit organizations.

Asher Young

Associate

Asher provides research and analytical support for New York City’s “Raise the Age” implementation planning effort. He has also supported the Invest Health program, an initiative of the Reinvestment Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that helps mid-sized cities across the United States engage city leaders to work together to improve health outcomes in low-income communities. Asher graduated from Wesleyan University with degrees in Government and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures.