Senior Staff Bios


James PatchettJames Patchett 
President and CEO

James joined NYCEDC in February of 2017. Before his appointment by Mayor de Blasio, James served as chief of staff to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen where he worked closely with NYCEDC to achieve the shared goals of affordable housing, strong neighborhoods, and creating good jobs.

Before joining the office of the deputy mayor for housing and economic development, James served as Vice President of the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs where he helped finance a variety of real estate and economic development projects across the country. He also served as Senior Analyst at NERA Economic Consultants, assisting public and private organizations with major economic development initiatives, including mixed-use projects and transportation infrastructure. James holds a BA in Economics from Amherst College and an MBA from Stanford University.

James N. Katz
Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff
James oversees NYCEDC's Government and Community’s departments, the Policy and Diversity practices, and the Public Affairs and Marketing departments. He is also chiefly responsible for day-to-day management of the President’s Office. James has served since the beginning of last year as NYCEDC’s Director of Policy and Planning, helping to manage NYCEDC’s transition to the de Blasio administration. Before this, he was a Senior Advisor and Special Counsel to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, where he worked on enforcement and legislative matters related to nonprofit governance and public integrity. James holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Euan Robertson 
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Euan leads the Strategic Planning Team, the Center for Economic Transformation, and—together with Seth Myers—the Asset Management and Capital Divisions. Recently, Euan spent 17 months as the First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services, where he oversaw the launch and implementation of key initiatives including the Small Business First program and the City’s First Look initiative. Previously, Euan served as President and COO of the not-for-profit MaRS Discovery District in Toronto and as an Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Center for Economic Transformation here at NYCEDC. Euan holds an MBA from London Business School and an MA from the University of St. Andrews.

Carolee Fink
Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer
Carolee oversees the RETS and PDT departments here at NYCEDC. Previously, Carolee served as Senior Advisor to Deputy Mayor Glen and, before that, to Deputy Mayor Robert Steel. In those roles, she was responsible for implementing the de Blasio administration’s City-wide economic development strategy and job-creation efforts. She also served as the lead City Hall Advisor for NYCEDC, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Hudson River Park Trust. During the Bloomberg Administration, Carolee championed economic development and job creation efforts in Brooklyn, serving as the lead City Hall advisor for DOT and DCP, following a long tenure in Real Estate Transaction Services here at NYCEDC. Carolee is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

Kim Vaccari
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Before joining NYCEDC, Kim served as the chief financial officer and treasurer for the New Jersey Transit Corporation. Before joining New Jersey Transit, she worked as a public finance banker for Banc of America Securities on P3 projects and transportation bond financings and as director of finance for the MTA, where she was responsible for all aspects of funding the MTA’s capital program funding and debt issuance. Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in government finance from Wheaton College.
Meredith J. Jones
Executive Vice President and General Counsel 
Before joining NYCEDC, Meredith worked at corporate law firms and as counsel to a multi-national engineering and construction company. She also served as general counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and as Chief of the Cable Services Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and received her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.
Seth Myers
Executive Vice President and Director of Project Implementation
Seth attended Columbia University and received a graduate degree in urban planning. Before joining NYCEDC, Seth worked in the Mayor’s Office of Capital Project Development where he was involved with key projects in Lower Manhattan and, in particular, at the World Trade Center site. Since 2006, he has managed the planning, design, and construction of large-scale capital and infrastructure projects, with a focus on coordination between multiple agencies or government entities.
Patrick Askew 
Executive Vice President, Capital Division
Patrick Askew leads the Capital Division at NYCEDC, managing the division’s $5 billion project portfolio, including 100+ projects in design/construction, as well as 30+ engineers, architects, landscape architects, and other technical and administrative project support staff. Before joining NYCEDC, Patrick worked with the MTA and served as the Deputy Director of the Independent Engineering Consulting Group where he helped oversee and monitor the MTA’s $32 billion capital program. Before that, he worked at the Port Authority overseeing design and construction at the newly developed World Trade Center site. Patrick is a graduate of Temple and New York University and holds a Masters in Civil Engineering and Business Administration (MBA).

Richard Cote
Executive Vice President, Asset Management
Rich Cote oversees NYCEDC’s facilities operations, maintenance, and construction management. Under his leadership, NYCEDC has developed and implemented facilities management standard operating procedures and reorganized the section to centralize repairs and maintenance to reduce costs, track work orders, and improve responsiveness to tenants requests. As supervisor of the construction management section, he has overseen $100 million plus worth of capital improvements to NYCEDC assets in the last two years. Before his work at NYCEDC, Rich served in the United States Army starting in 1982 and currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Retired Reserve. Rich is a combat veteran and was responsible for developing and building bases, training facilities, and housing overseas, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the U.S., he was an executive officer, facility manager, contracting officer, and operations officer at various locations. Rich is a Graduate of Valley Forge Military College and Manhattan College.

Thomas McKnight
Executive Vice President and Head of Planning, Development, and Transportation
Thomas is a graduate of Fordham University and also has a graduate degree from New York University in urban planning. Before joining NYCEDC, Thomas worked at New York City Council.
Jeffrey Nelson
Executive Vice President for the Real Estate Transaction Services Group
Jeff is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in political science. He received his MBA from the Wharton School of Business. At NYCEDC, Jeff oversees a portfolio of NYCEDC-led public-private development projects throughout New York City with a focus on the 125th Street corridor, Financial District, the St. George Waterfront, and Downtown Brooklyn. During his time at NYCEDC, Jeff has closed transactions that comprise over 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use development and have generated more than $400 million in proceeds for the City.
Charles Gans
Executive Vice President and Co-head of the Real Estate Transaction Services Group
Before his role at NYCEDC, Charlie worked at (Bovis) Lend Lease, a construction management firm, where he managed residential, office, and hotel construction projects during various stages of pre-development, construction, and close-out. Since joining NYCEDC in 2010, Charlie has overseen numerous complex public-private development projects including Cornell NYC Tech, Seward Park (Essex Crossing), and a new ambulatory care center for Memorial Sloan Kettering co-located with a nursing school for Hunter College. Charlie received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in civil engineering from Northwestern University.
Spencer Hobson
Executive Vice President and Treasurer, Finance Group
Spencer oversees NYCEDC’s Finance Division, which includes the Accounting, Budget, and Grants Management departments. Previously, he assisted in managing NYCEDC’s Internal Audit group for many years. He is a life-long resident of Queens, NY and received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from CUNY at York College in Jamaica, Queens. He is a certified public accountant as well as a certified internal auditor. Before joining NYCEDC, Spencer spent several years conducting audits throughout the east coast for a hotel and restaurant employee’s union trust fund. 

Matthew Kwatinetz
EVP, Asset Management Revenue
Before NYCEDC, Mr. Kwatinetz was the Managing Partner of QBL Partners, a real estate advisory firm focused on multiple bottom line outcomes. QBL’s clients include City of Seattle, City of Austin, King County (WA), City of Surrey (BC), City of SeaTac, Penn’s Institute for Urban Research, City of Shoreline (WA) and the US Department of Energy. From 2010, he worked for Kinzer Real Estate Services, where he supported real estate investment decision-making and site selection for such clients as the University of Washington, Alaska Airlines, and Starbucks Corporation. For Starbucks, he led a team to negotiate the creation of a $150mm manufacturing plant in Augusta, GA. Following that project, he was recruited by the Mayor of Augusta to create Augusta Regional Collaboration Project, which worked with the City and State to consolidate a new research university into the downtown. He specializes in developing quantitative urban models to change the underlying economics of multiple bottom line development— he has presented these models for ICSC, Americans for the Arts, NAIOP, Net Impact, and the Centre for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities. Matthew received his MBA in Real Estate at The Wharton School. He is a graduate of Deep Springs College and Harvard University.