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CFB Staff

Under the direction of the Board, CFB staff assist candidates, audit and publicize how money is raised and spent in local elections, engage and educate voters, and make policy and legislative recommendations.

Paul S. Ryan

Executive Director

Paul S. Ryan has served as Executive Director of the New York City Campaign Finance Board since February 2024. Prior to joining the CFB, Mr. Ryan was the Deputy Executive Director of the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation. He is nationally recognized as a leading voice in the areas of campaign finance and democratic participation. He previously served as the Vice President for Policy and Litigation for Common Cause and as the Deputy Executive Director of the Campaign Legal Center.  Through his many professional experiences, Mr. Ryan has proven himself to be a capable manager and organizational leader. He is a graduate of UCLA Law School and the University of Montana.

Sauda Chapman

Assistant Executive Director for Campaign Finance Administration

Sauda Chapman is the Assistant Executive Director for the Campaign Finance Administration (“CFA”). She serves on the Executive Team and oversees the Special Compliance and Auditing and Accounting Units. The main tasks performed by both units are reviews of periodic disclosure statements, the administration of public funds to participants in the Public Funds Program and campaign compliance and complaints reviews and investigations. CFA staff work very closely with many units in the agency throughout the election cycle. From the beginning of a campaign, during the election cycle performing various reviews and payment of public funds to the end of the cycle and beyond when performing post-election audits leading to enforcement.

Prior to working at the CFB, Ms. Chapman was a Senior Auditor at Ernst & Young LLP, specializing in real estate and employee benefit plan audits. Ms. Chapman graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. While at SUNY Binghamton, Ms. Chapman was the Treasurer of the Black Student Union and a member of various professional and multicultural organizations such as the Bert Mitchell Minority Management Organization (BMMMO), the Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program (JUMP) and the Black Dance Repertoire.

Daniel Cho

Assistant Executive Director for Candidate Guidance and Policy

Daniel Cho is the Assistant Executive Director for Candidate Guidance & Policy at the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB). He serves on the Executive team and manages policies and procedures that affect candidates and their campaign staff in complying with the Campaign Finance Act and Board Rules. Mr. Cho oversees the communications and advice related to campaign financial disclosures and the public matching funds program. He has served in various roles at the CFB as Director of Candidate Services, Payment Coordinator, Auditor, and Compliance Analyst.

Mr. Cho is a past Co-Chair of the Program Committee for the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) and participant in the New York City Leadership Institute. He is a past Chair and Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Korean American League for Civic Action (KALCA). He currently serves as the Vice-President of Civic Engagement for the Korean American Association of Greater New York (KAAGNY) and is a member of the Council of Korean Americans. Mr. Cho holds a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College.

Eric Friedman

Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs

As Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs, Eric Friedman is responsible for managing the agency’s intergovernmental relations, policy research, and legislative outreach. Through the units that comprise the Public Affairs division (Marketing and Digital Communications, Partnerships and Outreach, Policy and Research, and Public Relations), he oversees the agency’s print publications and online communications, the NYC Votes voter engagement campaign, and the CFB’s promotional efforts, media relations, and public outreach. Mr. Friedman has served the CFB in a series of roles since 2006, as Policy Analyst, Press Secretary, and Director of External Affairs. Prior to joining the CFB, Mr. Friedman served as Press Secretary for U.S. Representative Christopher Shays (R-CT), a national leader on government ethics and campaign finance reform during his time in Congress. Mr. Friedman also managed communications for Congressman Shays’ re-election campaigns and worked on several campaigns for state and local office. Mr. Friedman began his career as a journalist, reporting on politics and government for a weekly newspaper in southwestern Connecticut. He is a graduate of Tufts University and the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.

Joseph Gallagher

Interim General Counsel

As Interim General Counsel, Joseph Gallagher manages the CFB’s legal team, which is responsible for enforcing New York City’s campaign finance laws; drafting rulemakings, legislation, and advisory opinions; representing the agency in litigation; and providing in-house legal counsel. As a member of the executive team, Joseph Gallagher also serves as a senior policy advisor. Joseph Gallagher started with the CFB in 2016 as an Associate Counsel and has served in a variety of roles, most recently as Deputy General Counsel. Prior to joining the CFB, Joseph Gallagher worked as an Associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. Joseph holds a B.S. from the City University of New York, an M.F.A. from Yale University, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Stephanie Gutierrez

Chief People Officer

Stephanie Gutierrez is the Chief People Officer at the NYC Campaign Finance Board. As the head of the Office of People Operations (People Ops), Stephanie leads a team responsible for NYCCFB’s people strategy. The People Ops team focuses on putting the employee first and continuously improving employee engagement, development, and retention. We seek to excel at all points of the employee experience journey.

In her role, Stephanie is responsible for helping to build a workplace of the future, where employees embrace NYCCFB’s values-based culture. We want our employees to feel that NYCCFB is a worthy place to work and that our mission is necessary to making New York City’s democracy more open, transparent, and equitable. Stephanie is passionate about helping people achieve their full potential and creating an office culture that allows employees to be their whole selves at work.

Stephanie has 19 years of human resources experience in New York City government. Serving in different capacities across various city agencies, Stephanie has implemented human centered design practices to make data driven improvements helping to create innovative human capital processes. In her most recent role, Stephanie served as the Director of People and Culture at NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM). Stephanie helped support one of NYC’s most critical agencies by furthering initiatives surrounding culture and staff experience, working with senior leadership to make NYCEM a sought-after place to work.

Eric Kovacs

Chief Technology Officer

Kirann Nesbit

EEO, Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Carlos Obando

Assistant Executive Director for Operations and Finance

As the Assistant Executive Director for Operations & Finance, Carlos Obando oversees the Campaign Finance Board’s Agency Chief Contracting Officer (ACCO), Finance Department and Facilities Management/Support Services units. With the support of these areas, Mr. Obando is responsible for the agency's financial, contract and procurement actions, including the facilities management for the agency. Mr. Obando provides recommendations to CFB’s board, senior level executives and program staff on major budget issues, critical agency policy initiatives and resource allocations related to the program areas.

Prior to joining the CFB, Mr. Obando was the Financial Services Executive Director at the NYC Department of Homeless Services, where he managed the Financial Services Department consisting of the Administrative Contracts Unit, Budget Operations and Payment Management Services. These units provided agency wide support related to emergency, non-human services contracts, budget and payment actions in excess of $300 million dollars. Mr. Obando comes to the CFB with over 20 years of city government experience having worked at several mayoral agencies including, the Office of Management & Budget, Housing Preservation and Development and other city agencies. He graduated from CUNY’s Hunter College and has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

Justin Brown

Director of Finance

Crystal Choy

Director of Product Management and Operations

As Director of Product Management and Operations, Crystal Choy oversees the unit’s project management team, which coordinates the planning, execution, and delivery of major/recurring projects such as the Voter Guide, candidate materials, and agency publications. This includes managing project schedules, estimating and procuring resources, identifying and mitigating risks, managing vendor relationships, and ensuring materials are compliant with accessibility mandates. She oversees the Language Access team in fulfilling the translation, interpretation, and other language needs of the agency. She also oversees updates and maintenance of the CFB website and other web properties. Additionally, Crystal manages procurement and budget tracking for the Public Affairs division. She collaborates with the Operations and Finance teams to track contract expiration dates and renewals, monitor spending, coordinate invoice approvals, and ensure the quality and timely delivery of billed work.

Crystal has served at the CFB since 2003 and previously held the roles of Compliance Analyst, Publications Coordinator, Designer (Print & Web), Communications Production Manager, and Associate Director of Production.

Daphne Colon

Director of Support & Logistics

As the Director of Support Services, Daphne Colon works alongside the Finance and Administrative Operations units, establishing, documenting, and updating standard operating procedures for procurement and support services. Ms. Colon also supervises the succession planning process for the team. She has been with the Campaign Finance Board since 2018

Cindy Lou Cuesta

Executive Project Manager

Cindy Lou Cuesta serves as Executive Project Manager at the CFB. She works agency-wide to help advance key executive priorities with a focus on technology-related solutions, tools, and processes. Ms. Cuesta has dedicated her career to creating and directing thriving, high-impact departments at mission-driven organizations. Prior to the CFB, she served as Director of Pro Bono and External Relations at a New Jersey legal aid nonprofit—managing across volunteer management, communications & marketing, client outreach, and partnerships. She has also served in leadership roles at several NYC nonprofit organizations including Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, the Opportunity Agenda, and Community Access leading project management, resource development, external relations, and strategic planning. Ms. Cuesta received her JD from Rutgers Law School, her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and is a Coro Leadership New York graduate (LNY 30).

Hannah Egerton

Director of Candidate Services

As Director of the Candidate Services Unit, Hannah Egerton manages the outreach, trainings, and guidance that the CFB provides to candidates and their staff in order to help them comply with the Campaign Finance Act and Board Rules. Ms. Egerton joined the CFB in 2012 as a Candidate Services Liaison, and most recently served as Deputy Director of Candidate Services. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Government from Smith College, and a Master’s degree in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from NYU Wagner. Ms. Egerton is a graduate of the New York City Leadership Institute.

Vincent Fabrizi

Director of IT Infrastructure

Vincent Fabrizi is Director of IT Infrastructure for the NYC Campaign Finance Board (CFB). Through collaboration with executive management and other unit and division leaders, Mr. Fabrizi works to develop, implement, and maintain the CFB’s Network and IT Infrastructure. 

Prior to working at CFB, Mr. Fabrizi was Information Technology Manager at National Bank of Canada responsible for the development of the technology architecture, infrastructure planning and engineering. Mr. Fabrizi has certifications in Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Microsoft Exchange 2010, FS-ISAC Cyber-Range Business Email Compromise, A+, IT Information Library Foundations Certification (ITIL), VMWARE V5.0, and FINRA Series 99.

Alissa Guzman

Director of Marketing and Digital Communications

As Director of Marketing and Digital Communications, Alissa Guzman leads the top-level marketing and communications strategy for the CFB, and creates the strategy behind all public-facing materials that directly engage and serve the needs of five million New Yorkers in thirteen languages. She leads a skilled team of content creators, social media experts, and graphic artists. Alissa works in tandem with the directors of Partnerships and Outreach, Policy and Research, Product Management and Operations, and Public Relations to expand the CFB mission to make all city elections fair and transparent. Alissa has served at the CFB since 2023, having previously worked as a Senior Director of Creative Marketing in the consumer lifestyle space.

Tim Hunter

Press Secretary

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Tim Hunter has served as the Press Secretary for the NYC Campaign Finance Board since 2022. Mr. Hunter is a former government staffer and has worked as a Communications Director in both the NYS Senate and the NYS Assembly. Mr. Hunter is also a former candidate for NYS Assembly and a former NYC Votes Youth ambassador. He served as USS Chairperson from 2019-2020 and formerly held a voting seat on the CUNY Board of Trustees where he represented the best interest of the over 250,000 students in the CUNY system. He graduated from CUNY’s New York City College of Technology, in 2020 where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in education, and is currently completing his Master’s Degree in Public Administration at CUNY’s Baruch College. For any press inquiries, please email Mr. Hunter here at thunter@nyccfb.info, or call him at (929)-989-8105.

Amy Lebowitz

Director of Public Relations

As Director of Public Relations, Amy Lebowitz oversees the media and communications strategy of the CFB. Her team works with journalists to navigate and report on complex campaign finance issues, establish best practices on communicating about elections and voting using inclusive language, and land accurate, informative coverage of democracy issues that matter to New Yorkers. The Public Relations team also runs the NYC Debates program, providing the public a clear view of mayoral candidates’ positions on voters’ top priorities. Amy brings a long-view, impact-driven approach to public relations, collaborating across the Public Affairs team to tell stories that advance local and national conversations about protecting democracy, pushing government to be more transparent, and making elections more accessible. Prior to joining the CFB, Amy was a Vice President at BerlinRosen, where she led communications strategies on behalf of grassroots political and organizing campaigns, economic researchers, activist shareholders, and progressive advocacy organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and lives in Brooklyn.

Amanda Melillo

Deputy Director of Public Affairs

As Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Amanda Melillo directly manages the agency’s outward-facing units (Marketing and Digital Communications, Partnerships and Outreach, Policy and Research, and Public Relations), which encompass the agency’s voter education and engagement initiatives that inform five million New Yorkers about their elections. Amanda has served at the CFB since 2014 and previously held the roles of Policy & Data Research Analyst and Public Affairs Officer. Prior to joining the agency, she worked on the Voting Rights and Elections team at the Brennan Center for Justice, where she oversaw communications research and trained organizations around the country on how to tailor communications best practices to advance legislative priorities around voting reform. She began her career working in media and local journalism, including the New York Post. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College, and a master’s in political science from Columbia University, where she studied elections and legislative behavior.

Jesse Schaffer

Director of Special Compliance

As the Director of the Special Compliance Unit (SCU), Jesse Schaffer oversees three separate functions, each of which has one fulltime analyst: checking the city’s Doing Business Database (DBDB) against campaign contributions to ensure that contributions from people with business relationships observe lower limits and are not claimed for match; monitoring independent expenditures (IEs) and liaising with independent spenders; and conducting investigations based on Audit referrals and complaints received by the Board. In addition, Mr. Schaffer maintains the agency’s relationships with outside investigative and prosecutorial agencies and manages the CFB’s private investigator contract. Mr. Schaffer started at the CFB in 2011 in his current position in order to coordinate the development and implementation of the IE regulations, which were new at the time. Prior to that, he was at the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, where he created and implemented the DBDB. Mr. Schaffer began his career at the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), where he worked for five years before moving into the electoral arena in 1988. Mr. Schaffer worked for Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger for nine years on her government and campaign staffs. He has also worked on various campaigns for candidates in NYC, at the city, state, and national level. Mr. Schaffer studied math and computers at SUNY Binghamton and Baruch College, and is a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Rhonda Gaskins

Director of Records, Data & Information

As Director of Records, Data, and Information, Rhonda Gaskins supervises the management of all incoming documentation and data, including mail, hand-delivered campaign related documentation, and electronic submissions. Ms. Gaskins also establishes procedures within her unit to meet business needs and communicates them to affected staff. She has been with the Campaign Finance Board for 16 years as of July 2021.

Omar Suarez

Director of Partnerships and Outreach

Omar Suarez is the Director of Partnerships and Outreach. He leads a team dedicated to working with community organizations, city agencies, and businesses to increase voter education and participation in City elections. The Partnerships and Outreach unit also conducts, and recruits volunteers for, direct voter outreach and education campaigns. Prior to joining the CFB in 2020, Omar served as Program Director for Dominicanos USA in New York, an initiative dedicated to advancing the civic engagement of Dominican immigrants and Dominican-descended individuals in the US. Omar holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from CUNY Baruch College and a Master in Policy Management degree from the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy.

Allie Swatek

Director of Policy and Research

As the Director of Policy and Research, Allie Swatek leads the team that conducts intergovernmental outreach, performs policy and legislative analysis, and produces original, data-driven research on voting and campaign finance issues. Her team writes the Voter Analysis Report and the Post Election Report and manages voter education content, such as the campaign to familiarize New Yorkers with ranked choice voting. Allie also worked as a Candidate Services Liaison during the 2013 election cycle. Prior to returning to the CFB, Allie worked on elections and finance policy issues at the 2019 NYC Charter Revision Commission and supported the governmental affairs team at JPMorgan Chase. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and a Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.

Mohee Uddin

Deputy Director of Technology

Mohee Uddin is the Deputy Director of Technology at the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB). Mohee joined the CFB in May of 2014. As Deputy Director of Technology, Mohee is responsible for managing the agency's technology operations and ensuring that the agency's technology systems are reliable, efficient, and secure. He works closely with agency leadership to identify technology needs and opportunities for improvement, and he oversees a team of skilled professionals who implement and maintain the agency's technology systems.

Prior to joining the CFB Mohee spent 10 years at the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) working as a Developer and then ultimately as Manager of Applications Development. He received his BA in Information Systems from SUNY Stony Brook University.

Elizabeth A. Upp

Director of Candidate Policy and Communications

As Director of the Candidate Policy & Communications Unit, Elizabeth A. Upp oversees policy analysis and candidate communications related to compliance with the Campaign Finance Act and Board Rules. Ms. Upp joined the CFB as Chief of Publications, and most recently served as Director of Communications in Public Affairs. She has served on the Publications Committee and chaired the Technology Committee for the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL), and was a moderator and panelist at several of its annual conferences. Prior to joining the CFB, she was Managing Editor of The C++ Report, The Journal of Object-Oriented Programming, and The X Journal, and founding Managing Editor of Object Magazine for SIGS Publications. Ms. Upp holds a degree in English literature from Fordham University and is a graduate of the New York City Management Academy.

Danielle Willemin

Director of Auditing and Accounting