Board of Directors

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Managing Director   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 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 Projects  Gloria Lau

Gloria Lau is an urban designer with a Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of City Planning from University of Pennsylvania. She previously served as project coordinator for Open Architecture/New York on the Concrete Safaris Jungle Gym project. Gloria is excited to collaborate with communities and volunteers to provide impactful design.



  • 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.

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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.

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Director of Impact  Cameron Toler

Cameron graduated from UC Berkeley, College of Environmental Design with a B.A. in Architecture.  He co-founded an annual youth architecture camp which was established in 2014 and designs affordable housing in NYC.  Cameron is excited about collaborating with communities to create impactful change at a local level.

Fun Fact!  Cameron celebrated his 30th birthday with a Midnight BBQ in Prospect Park.


  • Assist with development of projects

  • Streamline and document impact of projects and events

This a new role as of 2017.

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.

 Project Coordinators


Amy Leong

Project: Red Rabbit


Steven Yavanian

Project: St. Marks Community Garden


Gloria Lau

Project: Concrete Safaris - JungleGym