human cities@NYC: Explorations of the smart city


11.17 Opening Forum speakers

Shin-pei Tsay is the Executive Director of Gehl Institute. Shin-pei brings diverse leadership experience with non-profits and research programs in start-up settings to Gehl Institute. Most recently, she served as the deputy executive director of TransitCenter. Prior to this, she served as a program director at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, and chief operating officer at Project for Public Spaces.




Carmen Oleksinski is a Transportation Planner at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. In this role, she is engaged in strategic projects aimed at increasing organizational effectiveness, optimizing system capacity, and improving the customer experience. Having attained master’s degrees in transportation engineering and planning at UC Berkeley, she is interested in using qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques to improve urban transportation networks.




Chris Pangilinan is the Program Director of Technology and Rider Engagement at TransitCenter. His work has focused primarily on developing and implementing faster and more reliable transit service through planning, engineering, and technology. Prior to joining TransitCenter in 2016, Chris served as a Transit Planner at New York City Transit and a Transit Engineer at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Chris is currently on the board of the Young Professionals in Transportation New York City chapter. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Portland State University, an MS in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a licensed private pilot.


Stephen Kennedy is a Product Designer at Flow, a Sidewalk Labs company. In previous roles, he was an interaction designer focusing on's financial inclusion challenges and a Design & Technology Fellow for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, working on digital tools to make American financial markets more equitable. Stephen’s background spans industrial and interaction design, as well as cartography, participatory planning, and urban design. An Atlanta native, Stephen holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech in Industrial Design, and an Master’s in City Planning from MIT.


Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman is an urban anthropologist living and people-watching in New York City. As the founder and director of THINK.urban, she specializes in research and analysis of behavior in public space. She has conducted numerous ethnographies of people in space, including the Occupy Portland campsite and an ethnography of place conducted on a Portland State University plaza where she completed her Masters in Urban Studies. Following the completion of her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, she was a part of a transdisciplinary research group assessing open space in cities worldwide, and more recently has worked with Project for Public Spaces and City ID in New York City.