For immediate release:
January 23, 2023, New York, NY – Starting on January 23, 2023, Eva Neubauer Alligood will serve as Executive Director of Hester Street (HST). Based in New York City with projects in all five boroughs and cities across the country, HST is renowned for its unique approach to community engagement and community development that leverages technical expertise in urban design and planning alongside a deep commitment to racial and economic justice.
With over 30 years of experience in community development, a deep commitment to advancing racial equity, and extensive ties to community-based social justice organizations in NYC, Ms. Alligood is uniquely qualified to lead HST. She joins HST from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), where she was Senior Director for Partnerships and Programs leading LISC NY’s strategy for growing new partnerships to advance racial equity and bring capital and resources to underinvested neighborhoods and commercial corridors throughout New York State. During her ten years at LISC she led the strategy in New York City for creating and managing partnerships with government, philanthropy and non-profit community development organizations to foster economic opportunity, strengthen small businesses, develop and preserve affordable housing, and advance health equity in historically disinvested neighborhoods. She has designed and led multi-million dollar programs that strengthen the capacity of neighborhood-based organizations to help communities recover from natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, create inclusive economic development spaces, and tackle the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before joining LISC in 2012, Eva served as Vice President for Strategic Planning and Communications at the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco), a multi-service community-based organization in the South Bronx. She began her career as Associate for Program Development at the Pratt Center for Community Development, a university-based community planning and advocacy organization, and held several positions at the Corporation for Supportive Housing, a national organization whose mission is to create stability for vulnerable people who do not have a home. Eva holds a Bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute.
After seven years characterized by tremendous growth and transformation for HST, former Co-Executive Directors Betsy MacLean and Nisha Baliga stepped down in November 2021. Since that time, Interim Executive Director Rasmia Kirmani has worked alongside HST’s staff to prepare for new leadership and continue to build HST’s portfolio of projects that advance racial and economic justice in local communities.
HST’s recent successes include creating the Futures NYC multidisciplinary campaign and interactive data story; fostering a national network of community-based organizations and local governments working to ensure equitable investment of American Rescue Plan Act funds; and working on the team of consultants building the first-ever environmental justice data portal and report for NYC. HST is now celebrating its 20th anniversary year, and Ms. Alligood joins at a time when the organization is poised to build on a strong foundation of accomplishments and expertise to meet today’s critical social and economic justice challenges in steadfast solidarity with communities of color and low income communities.
“On behalf of HST’s Board of Directors, we are thrilled to announce Eva Alligood’s appointment as our new Executive Director. After an exhaustive and competitive search, we are confident we have identified the candidate who will lead HST with integrity and vision. I look forward to working closely with Eva to continue to build more just and equitable neighborhoods through HST’s work,” said Timothy Johnson, Chair of HST’s Board of Directors.
“Make the Road NY is pleased to welcome Eva Alligood as Hester Street’s next Executive Director,” said José López, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road NY. “Having worked with HST to advance dignity and justice for immigrant and working-class communities across NYC, we look forward to collaborating with Eva and the team in this new chapter for HST.”
Jeremy Saunders, Co-Executive Director of VOCAL-NY, said, “Hester Street was crucial to VOCAL finding our new permanent home in downtown Brooklyn. We’re so glad that Eva Alligood has found a home at HST, and we look forward to supporting HST’s work to fight gentrification and displacement by building community control of local assets.”
“This is an exciting time for Hester Street,” said Don Chen, President of the Surdna Foundation. “Eva Alligood has been a colleague and friend for many years. As HST welcomes Eva to the team, we at Surdna look forward to continuing our work together to support community-based leaders working to build racial and environmental justice in their neighborhoods and cities.”
Javier Valdés, Director, Civic Engagement and Government at the Ford Foundation said, “Eva
Alligood’s appointment as Hester Street’s next Executive Director will ensure that the organization remains a leader in creating innovative models for civic engagement that are accessible and inclusive. We at the Ford Foundation look forward to continuing to working together to combat inequality and foster transparency and accountability for communities of color and low-income communities in New York City and across the country.”
“Hester Street has been an incredible partner as we re-envision a borough built for and by the people, and I know that with Eva Neubauer Alligood at the helm, that great work will only continue to grow,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “I’m so grateful to Interim Executive Director Rasmia Kirmani for all that she has done over the past year to help us kick off comprehensive planning in Brooklyn, and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for her next. A huge congratulations to Eva and the entire Hester Street team on this exciting new chapter.”
“After the past year as Interim Executive Director at HST, I am confident the team is ready to work alongside Eva to continue building HST as a leader in the national movement to ensure cities and neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live there,” said Rasmia Kirmani, Senior Fellow at Hester Street.
“I am honored to be joining the team at HST as their next Executive Director. HST is a nationally recognized social justice leader in community-centered design and development and their work is more important than ever. I look forward to collaborating with their staff, board and partners to build on their successes and shape the future of their work,” said Eva Alligood of her new appointment as Executive Director of HST.
Upon Ms. Alligood’s appointment, Rasmia Krimani will transition out of her role as Interim Executive Director to focus on leading a national network for the transformation of social housing in the US. Funded by the Ford Foundation, the network will be housed at HST, with Ms. Kirmani leading its implementation alongside partners across the country.
About Hester Street: Hester Street (HST) devotes urban planning, design, and development expertise to support community-led change. We create and facilitate deeply democratic planning and policy making to advance racial and economic justice and to radically re-create cities shaped by low-income communities of color.