Board of Directors


Managing Director   Shannon Beck

Shannon Beck is formally trained with a BFA in Interior Design from The New York School of Interior Design. After moving to New York, over seven years ago, Shannon joined Open Architecture / New York and has been a continuous Project Coordinator on the Homeless Shift Project, ReNEW YORK + JERSEY for home assessments, and Sustainable South Bronx.

Fun Fact! Shannon grew up in Texas; she can raise cows, bale hay, drive tractors, and if needed, she can change the brakes, tires and oil in your car!



  • The Managing Director is responsible for both the day-to-day running of the organization and for developing plans for the future of the organization.
  • Leading the organization and developing its organizational culture, maintaining and intimate knowledge of everything within the organization. This includes events, membership, budget, assets, information, communications, outreach, advocacy, and all other resources to make the best use of them and increase the organization's success and profile.
  • Serving as the bridge between headquarters and the chapter, and maintains the lines of communication with reports on the chapter's progress.
  • Mentoring & motivating all directors, project coordinators, volunteers, etc.
  • Serving as chief creative director; ultimately responsible for the quality of the final creative work of the organization.


Director of Membership  Christina Esser

Christina Esser previously served as the Director of Operations for Open Architecture / New York and has been team member for several projects. Christina graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Architecture in 2011, and currently works as an Intermediate Designer for RKTB Architects designing schools throughout New York City.

If you would like to become involved with Open Architecture / New York please contact Christina.

Fun Fact! Christina has a serious sweet tooth and can never say no to an Italian cannoli. 



  • The Director of Membership manages volunteer resources to assist in project delivery for the organization. This includes directly managing volunteers, and/or providing guidance, support, resources and tools to staff who supervise volunteers.
  • Managing the monthly working meetings. This includes introducing new and innovative ways to make meet-ups productive and engaging following the guidelines of the mission statement.  
  • Managing member records. Create accessible information about each member.  
  • Creates activities that appeal to members not involved directly with projects.  
  • Speak knowledgeably about the organization to interested volunteers and members. 
  • Comprehensive public speaking in group forums, meetings, and events.  
  • Assist in facilitating project staffing with the Directors of Projects. 

Director of Project Management  Kathy Mu

Kathy Mu graduated from Tulane University with a Masters in Architecture and was involved in community design build projects in New Orleans.  She has been involved with Open Architecture Collaborative previously working on the Under the BQE project and helping with coordination of Day of Impact.

Fun Fact!She hopes that space tourism will happen in her lifetime.



  • Seeking out opportunities for new projects, and developing those opportunities into projects for board review. 
  • Working with the Director of Membership to build a volunteer team for each project and to create and administer new Project Coordinator orientation.
  • Working with project teams in the initial phases of projects to ensure that the proper foundation is set for each project. Attending and overseeing initial kick-off meetings, and serving as a contact point until a project team has been established.
  • Attending meetings throughout project as needed and working with the Managing Director to ensure project scope and quality is maintained.
  • Assisting Project Teams in acquiring information and resources that would benefit projects, including sustainable design efforts.
  • Working with the Directors of Outreach and Communications to properly advocate the work of Open Architecture / New York and working with the Director of Operations to create new documents for project teams and reporting.

Director of Outreach  Sarah Hakes

Sarah graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Studio Art and Sculpture. She is passionate about seeking opportunities where she can bring seemingly disparate groups together to create unique synergies.



  • Developing long term financial plans in consideration of the organization’s strategic plan, current projects & programs, and potential opportunities.
  • Seeking grants, fundraising, and other financial opportunities that align with Open Architecture / New York's mission and which will benefit the organization and its projects.
  • Creating funding plans for Open Architecture / New York operations and assisting project teams with project funding.
  • Fostering external relationships to cultivate collaborations that work to toward achievement of Open Architecture / New York’s mission.

Director of Communications  Kim Koo

Kim Koo is a marketing professional in the architecture and design industry. In 2011, Kim graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University in Media, Culture and Communications and a minor in Urban Design and Architecture. 

Fun Fact! When she's not hanging out with Netflix, Kim enjoys walking dogs at her local animal shelter.



  • Oversees maintenance and development of the Open Architecture / New York web presence.
  • Track and report key metrics for all email marketing and social media.
  • Responsible for graphics, media relations, event coordination, community relations, third-party collaborations and all external communications.
  • Manages the communication committee (social media and media relations).
  • Develops templates for documents, letters, and presentations.

Director of Operations +
Lead Photographer  Sakeenah Saleem        

Sakeenah Saleem first joined Open Architecture / New York as the lead photographer in 2014. After receiving her Bachelor of Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2012,  Sakeenah joined Arenson Office Furnishings as an architectural and interiors photographer. 

Fun Fact! Sakeenah loves to dance. Whether or not its considered good dancing doesn't matter, she just loves to move. 



The Director of Operations creates and maintains the infrastructure required for maintaining and communicating the information of the organization both internally and externally.

  • Maintaining the website and working in close tandem with the Directors of Projects and Communications to publicize project progress as well as the Director of Outreach to properly disseminate information related to advocacy.
  • Publishing the organizations activities and accomplishments on the website.
  • Maintaining all records of the organization within one central, organized filing structure, both accessible and secure. 
  • Working with the Director of Communications to generate the publications and promotional materials of the organization.
  • Structuring meetings, preparing agendas, maintaining schedules, keeping and reporting minutes and communications.
  • Generating records for all events and meetings for which they are in attendance and coordinate records for those they are unable to attend.

Graphic Designer  Naz Kalipci

Bio coming soon!

Naz Kalipci joined Open Architecture / New York in the spring of 2016. 

The Graphic Designer assists the Director of Communications in the day to day tasks of developing both internal and external communications programs.

  • Developing graphics for Open Architecture / New York's web presence, which includes, network site and social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube).
  • Developing graphics for internal and external communications for newsletters, media outreach, events and third-party collaborations.
  • Developing templates for documents, letters and presentations.

Fun Fact!  Naz teaches yoga!