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, 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.
Marlene Nadel, Secretary
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.
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 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.
Travis Johnson attended New York University’s College of Arts and Science where he earned degrees in Journalism and Africana Studies in 2000. He then went on to graduate from New York University School of Law in 2003. Travis worked as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Practice from 2003 to 2008, representing youth in abuse, neglect, and delinquency proceedings. In the Spring of 2008, Mr. Johnson joined The Door’s Legal Services Center as the Family Law Staff Attorney working with youth between the ages of 12 and 21 on issues ranging from foster care advocacy to immigration. Currently Mr. Johnson is the Assistant Attorney-in-Charge at the Legal Aid Society.
James G. Kagen
Mr. Kagen is a Consulting Director of The Chartis Group and has over 30 years of experience assisting health care providers develop and achieve their strategic and financial goals. He was a co-founder of APM, Inc., the largest American management consulting firm solely devoted to health care and Vice President of Computer Sciences Corporation’s Global Health Solutions Group, APM’s successor organization. Before founding APM, Mr. Kagen was First Deputy Commissioner of Health of New York City and Director of the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services, New Jersey’s social service and child welfare agency. Prior to the Health Department, he was Business Manager of “40 Acres and a Mule,” the New York Urban League Street Academy’s student newspaper.
Mr. Kagen holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Columbia Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College. He is a Board member of University Settlement, The Door and the Board of Visitors of the University of Maryland’s College of Health and Human Performance.
Jacalyn D. Lee
Jacalyn D. Lee is the Senior Director of School Design (in the Office of School Design and Charter Partnerships) at the New York City Department of Education. Prior to that, she served as the Family Engagement Director and as the Associate Director of Policy at NYC's Department of Education. She has her MPH from Hunter College and her BA from Wesleyan University.
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.
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.
Julie L. Shapiro
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.
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.
Zenja Smalls is a caregiver of a student at Broome Street Academy and joined the board in 2015.
Elizabeth R. Spector
Elizabeth Spector is a Legal Associate in the Labor & Employment Department of Proskauer Rose LLP. Prior to that, she held positions at Success Academy Charter Schools, the New York City's Department of Education, and Teach for America. She received her J.D. from New York University's School of Law, her M.S. from Pace University, and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Spector joined the board in 2014.