Board of Trustees

Broome Street Academy graciously thanks our Board of Trustees for their support and commitment to providing our students with an ample education that is grounded in the principles of positive youth development. Their expertise and dedication to our school from the ground up provides a greater sense of stability for the entire community.


David Zurndorfer, President

David Zurndorfer is a partner at the law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP, serving in the Labor & Employment Law Department since 1979. David is experienced in advising clients on a wide range of employment and labor law issues, including discrimination matters, administration of collective bargaining agreements, and the wage and hour laws. He has represented management in collective bargaining and in arbitrations, and in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, the Public Employment Relations Board, the New York City Office of Collective Bargaining, and various other administrative agencies. David has represented some of the largest employers in the New York City metropolitan area. They include the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Transit Authority, the City of New York, Bristol-Myers Squibb, United Parcel Service, New York University, and Columbia University. He recently represented the City in fact-findings and arbitrations that determined the collective bargaining agreements of the City's 80,000 teachers and 25,000 police officers. David has also represented the MTA and the Transit Authority in numerous important arbitrations and in proceedings to enjoin a threatened bus and subway strike. He received his undergraduate education at Penn State University (magna cum laude, B.A. in political science) and continued his education at Harvard Law School (cum laude, J.D.). Mr. Zurndorfer is a longtime board member of Learning Leaders and is also a member on The Door's board.

Mónica de la Torre, Vice President

Mónica de la Torre is a public interest attorney who previously served as Director of The Door’s Legal Services Center. Formerly the Director of the Public Interest Law Center at New York University, Ms. de la Torre received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. She also serves on The Door’s Board of Directors.

Julie L. Shapiro, Secretary

Julie L. Shapiro is a nonprofit leader with 20 years of experience improving outcomes in employment, education, health, legal status and housing for low-income adults and youth. Ms. Shapiro has been Executive Director of The Door since 2010. Prior to coming to The Door, Ms. Shapiro was a Senior Vice President at Seedco, where she worked for eight years to oversee the development, management and growth of nationally recognized workforce development programs that are implemented through networks of community-based organizations. Prior to joining Seedco, Ms. Shapiro was Assistant Vice President for Welfare to Work Services at F.E.G.S Health and Human Services System, where her projects included two large initiatives to improve the language and literacy skills of limited English speakers. She has also been a Project Manager in the New York City Human Resources Administration’s Office of Policy and Program Analysis. Ms. Shapiro received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Julie joined the Broome Street Academy board in 2016.

Noah Leff, Treasurer

Noah Leff is the Chief Financial Officer at the Touch Foundation. He is a nonprofit financial executive with ten years of expertise in budgeting, forecasting, and financial management and modeling. Prior to the Touch Foundation, he held finance positions with the Freelancers Union, Seedco, and consulted for multiple non-profit and government organizations. Mr. Leff received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Community Development Finance from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.


Herb Elish

Herb Elish is the Chief Operating Officer at The College Board. He previously served in a number of executive capacities in both the public and private sectors, including as Chairman and CEO of Weirton Steel Company and the director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Benjamin Felt

Ben is a Managing Director of The Invus Group, a leading global investment firm, where he actively manages growth equity investments across industries and sits on the boards of several private companies in which Invus has invested.  Previously, Ben was a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, where he worked with clients in the consumer products, industrial goods, and financial services industries, in addition to pro bono projects in the education non-profit sector. Ben graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Yale University.

Jeffrey Katzin

Jeff Katzin is a Principal at Bain & Company, a leading management consulting firm. During his time at Bain, Jeff has led multiple pro-bono initiatives within the education sector, including working with charter schools and networks, and other education non-profit organizations. Previously, Jeff worked at Cambridge Associates, providing investment advisory support to institutional clients, including higher education organizations and other non-profits. Jeff received his B.A. from Tufts University and a Master's in Business Administration from Harvard University.

Marlene Nadel

Marlene Nadel is a retired attorney with over 20 years of experience in the New York State Judicial System. Before retiring, she served as Special Counsel to Hon. Jonathan Lippman, then-Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York. She received her B.A. from Barnard College and her J.D. from Fordham Law School. Ms. Nadel serves on the Board of Trustees of Temple Shaaray Tefila and is a volunteer tutor in a public school literacy program.

Helen C. Santiago

Helen Santiago is currently the Associate Vice President of the New York City Leadership Academy. Previously, she was the Vice President for College Board Schools at The College Board. Ms. Santiago has served in many education positions throughout New York City, including Senior Instructional Manager, K-12; Community School District 1 Superintendent; and Deputy Superintendent in Community School Districts 3 and 9. She has also held the positions of Elementary School Principal, Director of Professional Development, Coordinator of Programs, and a bilingual teacher in New York City, Biloxi, Mississippi, and Dysart, Arizona. She is a graduate of Hunter College and received her master's from Fordham University.

Gail Schargel

Gail Schargel retired after a 25 year career in Commercial Real Estate Finance.  Her most recent position was Executive Director at UBS and co-head of the Real Estate Group of the Swiss National Bank's Stabilization Fund.  Prior to UBS, she was a Director at Capmark Investments (GMACCM).  Gail served as Treasurer of the Auxiliary Board of White Plains Hospital, was a member of the board of the Larchmont/Mamaroneck Community Counseling Center, and University Settlement. She was an active volunteer at Lou's Place, a daytime shelter for women, in Sydney, Australia where she lived from 2013 to 2017.  Gail is currently mentoring a student at Broome Street Academy.  She graduated from Lehigh University in 1981 with a B.S. degree in accounting.

Elaine Schott

Elaine Schott is an educator and psychiatric social worker with over 30 years of experience. She has a master's in Pyschology from New York University and a master's in Social Work from Hunter School of Social Work. She currently supervises social work interns and is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors or Wurzeiler School of Social Work.

Charles Simon

Charles Simon is General Counsel and Director of Policy at Case Commons, Inc., a non-profit that has built a transformative information management system for human services agencies. Previously, Mr. Simon served in senior positions at the U.S. Department of Justice and with New York State. He began his career as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell, and also served as Senior Vice President for Public Policy at Clear/Verified Identity Pass, Inc. Mr. Simon received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.