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Seth W. Pinsky was appointed President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in February 2008, seven months before the collapse of Lehman Brothers ushered in one of the most significant economic downturns in generations. Seth has worked to meet the challenge presented by the crisis by re-evaluating the agency’s strategy for expanding the City’s economy and redoubling existing efforts to position the City as the international center for innovation in the 21st century.
NYCEDC’s agenda includes an aggressive slate of programs aimed at diversifying the City’s economy, helping legacy industries transition to 21st Century business models, and expanding entrepreneurship to ensure that the City is well-represented in the fields of tomorrow. The more than 60 programs launched during Seth’s tenure focus on industries such as the arts, bioscience, fashion, finance, green services, manufacturing, media, and technology and include: incubator spaces providing hundreds of low-cost work stations and business development services to startup companies; the first City-sponsored investment fund outside the Silicon Valley; and international competitions aimed at spurring the creation of new business plans and smart-phone applications using long-neglected government data.
Beyond working to overhaul the City’s economy, Seth’s efforts have also included modernizing NYCEDC’s property management portfolio; overseeing $2.5 billion in capital investments ranging from basic infrastructure improvements to new parks and streetscapes across the City; and helping to negotiate and structure the City’s involvement in some of the most complex development projects in recent years, including the World Trade Center, Yankee Stadium, and Citifield. Under Seth, NYCEDC has further continued its efforts to implement several of the Administration’s most ambitious area-wide redevelopment projects, bringing new housing, infrastructure, and job opportunities to underserved neighborhoods throughout the Five Boroughs. Examples of these projects include: creation of the City’s first LEED-certified neighborhood in Willets Point, Queens; upgrades to the South Bronx Greenway to improve air quality and recreational opportunities in some of the City’s poorest neighborhoods; revitalization of the 27-acre amusement district and surrounding community in Coney Island, Brooklyn; and projects at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and New York Container Terminal in Staten Island to help revive the City’s working waterfront. Additionally, under Seth’s leadership, the City became the first municipality in the nation to develop a selection process and make allocations under a federal stimulus program designed to spur employment and encourage development during the recent downturn.
An attorney by training, prior to joining NYCEDC, Seth was an associate at the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in the Real Estate practice and a financial analyst at the Mergers & Acquisitions boutique, James D. Wolfensohn Incorporated. Seth is a graduate of Columbia College, where he majored in Ancient History, and Harvard Law School.