Who We Are


Jennifer Leone

Chief Sustainability Officer / New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Jennifer Bloom Leone is the Chief Sustainability Officer at NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development, where she oversees the strategic development and implementation of HPD’s sustainability programs. In addition to her role as adjunct professor at the New York City College of Technology, she is a licensed architect with a background in architecture, construction management and sustainable development. She holds an M.Arch. from Yale University, a B.A. in Environmental Design from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. in Sustainability from the City College of New York.

Jamie Bemis, CEM, EIT

Account and Market Development Manager / Bright Power

Jamie Bemis is an Account and Market Development Manager at Bright Power, an energy efficiency and renewable energy consulting firm based in New York. In her current role, Jamie works with affordable housing developers across New York City to incorporate energy efficiency measures and renewable energy installations into existing buildings and new multifamily housing developments. Jamie is a graduate of MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where her master’s thesis addressed how energy efficiency improvements in existing buildings can contribute to improved quality of life, good jobs, and reduced environmental impacts. She is passionate about sustainability, affordable housing, and social and environmental justice and is committed to helping to make NYC a more just and equitable place for all.

Joanna Grab

Senior Sustainability Consultant / Steven Winter Associates

Joanna Grab is a Senior Sustainability Consultant at Steven Winter Associates. She specializes in a range of multifamily residential building certification support, including Passive House, Enterprise Green Communities, LEED for Homes, and ENERGY STAR programs. She has 9 years of experience collaborating on green affordable housing projects. Her expertise in several energy-modeling software programs and incentive programs assists project teams in making informed cost-effective decisions.

Danielle Donnelly

Sustainability Associate / The Community Preservation Corporation

Danielle Donnelly is a Sustainability Associate and has been with The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) since March 2018. In her current role, she collaborates with internal and external partners to promote energy efficiency and water conservation measures in CPC’s lending portfolio of multifamily buildings. Danielle also takes part in facilitating internal sustainability initiatives and also plays an active role in fostering CPC employee engagement around the company’s carbon neutrality commitment.

Before joining CPC’s Sustainability Team, Danielle was a Project Manager in charge of monitoring and compliance for the company’s remaining Hurricane Sandy Build it Back and SPARC storm recovery programs. She comes to CPC from the New York City Human Resources Administration where, as a Community Associate she conducted outreach to low- and moderate-income and elderly tenants to help them navigate the resources available through New York City’s various agencies for repairs and rental assistance. Danielle graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2014 with a B.A. in English and Political Science.

Atalia Howe

Manager of Sustainability Programs at The Community Preservation Corporation / Community Preservation Corporation

Atalia Howe is the Manager of Sustainability Programs at The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), a nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company based in New York City. There she supports CPC’s role as a leader in promoting energy efficiency and high-performance building practices as well as a strategic partner to both public and private organizations to drive market adoption of sustainable building design. Prior to joining CPC, Atalia was a Sustainability Manager at EcoAct, a sustainability consultancy, where she worked with businesses to develop and implement innovative carbon-neutral strategies. Atalia has an MSc in Economic Development and Environmental Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.

The Capstone Team


Katherine Gloede Silverman

Academic Program Manager at Sustainability in the Urban Environment / City College of New York 

Katherine in the Academic Program Manager for the M.S. in Sustainability at CCNY (CUNY). Outside of her role, she is working on her dissertation in the Constructed Environment Ph.D. Program at the University of Virginia School in the Department of Architecture. Her research is focused on affordably retrofitting existing apartment buildings for resilience to climate stressors—specifically rent-regulated housing in New York City. While at UVA, Katherine was a teaching assistant both in sustainability courses and for the global sustainability capstone class. Prior to joining City College, she was a resiliency planner at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and a data journalist focused on green building at Hanley Wood—publishers of Architect and Builder Magazine among other trade publications.

While completing her M.A. in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU, she served as the assistant to the program’s director. Katherine holds a B.S. in Geography and Environmental Inquiry from Penn State.

Sadi Aksit

Sustainability Masters Student at City College of New York

Sadi Aksit is a member of the capstone group II who collaborates with the team above. Their capstone project’s aim is to incorporate outreach initiatives in order to extend the Open Passive House study project. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Erciyes & University of Debrecen. Worked as a Project Manager and Project Coordinator for Facade and Window firms in Russia, Turkey, and New York. In forensic examinations, condition surveys, mock-up and field research, has experience and expertise. He is currently employed as a Lead Building Envelope Engineer at a third-party testing firm, and he is a big enthusiast of Passive House. 

Kestana Anokye

Sustainability Masters Student at City College of New York

Kestana Anokye is one of the capstone team II members working with this team to implement outreach strategies to expand the Open Passive House research project.

Katie Cordeal

Sustainability Masters Student at City College of New York

Katie Cordeal is one-third of the capstone group I working with the team above. The goal of their capstone project is to implement outreach strategies to expand the Open Passive House research project. She received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri but has since worked in the film industry for over ten years. She is also a residential property manager and focuses on implementing sustainable renovation strategies. Katie is a Passive House enthusiast and is currently in training toward her CPHC through PHIUS.

Lillibeth Liriano

Sustainability Associate, NYC Sustainability Help Center
Sustainability Masters Student at City College of New York

Lillibeth Liriano makes part of the Open Passive House capstone team I. She holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Hunter College and is a LEED Green Associate. In her final year as an undergrad, she completed a 9-month fellowship at the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability where she was tasked with researching and drafting language to update the City’s Environmental Preferable Purchasing Standards.

She currently works at the NYC Sustainability Help Center which is dedicated to assisting building owners comply with several NYC Sustainability laws such as: Local Law 84 (benchmarking) Local Law 33 (letter grades) and Local Law 87 (energy-audits and retrofits).

Varsha Halarnkar

Sustainability Masters Student at City College of New York

Varsha Halarnkar is one of the capstone team I members working with this team to implement outreach strategies to expand the Open Passive House research project. She received her undergraduate degree in Architecture from the Academy of Architecture in Mumbai, India. She practiced as a junior architect and worked on residential redevelopment projects in Mumbai for two years before moving to the United States to get a Master’s degree. She is currently employed as the Program Assistant for the Sustainability in the Urban Environment Program at the City College of New York and plans to pursue a career as a Sustainability Consultant.