Rasmia Kirmani is a Senior Fellow at Hester Street, beginning November 1, 2021. She is an independent consultant focusing on urban problem solving, housing, movement building, governance design, non-profit management, narrative development, and strategic planning.
Rasmia is working with the Ford Foundation on public housing transformation, most recently leading resident-centered Working Group of 38-members that released a collective response to the impact of COVID-19 on public housing residents in New York City; and in partnership with Hester Street is developing a national social housing network. In partnership with Community Change and the Ford Foundation, Rasmia advised and contributed to New Deal for Housing Justice: A Housing Playbook for the New Administration, which was released in January 2021. Other partners and clients include: Center for Popular Democracy, NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, Change Capital Donor Advised Fund, Community Voices Heard, and the NYC Economic Development Corporation. Until December 2018, Rasmia was Director at the Office of Public/Private Partnerships, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), appointed to the executive team in 2015. There, she developed and managed NYCHA’s strategic relationships with external cross-sector entities. While at NYCHA, Rasmia founded The Fund for Public Housing in 2016 where she served as its first president. The Fund for Public Housing invests in the well-being of public housing residents and their communities by collaborating with partners to re-imagine and improve the way public housing in NYC works. Prior to that, Rasmia served as director of The Brownsville Partnership, a community-based organization focusing on collective impact working with community residents, many of whom live in public housing.
Rasmia earned a Master of Science degree in Urban and Public Policy from The New School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from the College of Wooster in Ohio. She is a Trustee of the New York Foundation, serves on the board of the Center for Court Innovation, and Chair of the Youth Design Center (formerly Made in Brownsville, Inc). In 2018, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation named Rasmia a Sterling Network Fellow, New York City leaders from government, non-profit and business sectors working together to tackle the challenge of increasing economic mobility across the five boroughs. With Annika Sarin and Smita Vadakekalam, Rasmia is a co-founder of The Other Desi Girls, a creative narrative and multi- media project exploring the experiences, and definitions, of being South Asian. Rasmia is an adjunct Associate Professor at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where she teaches in the urban planning and urban policy disciplines.