Board of Directors
Joseph S. Allerhand, Co-President
Benjamin Tisch, Co-President
Richard Mack, Chair
Barry Bergman, Vice President
Stacy Scheinberg, Vice President
Linda Spitzer, Secretary
Scott M. Weiner, Treasurer
Merryl H. Tisch, Chair Emeritus
Joseph C. Shenker, Chair Emeritus
Steven Price, Chair Emeritus
Raanan A. Agus
Lawrence J. Cohen
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein
Honorary Board Members
Joel S. Beckman
Joseph I. Lieberman
Joseph C. Strasburg
Chief Executive Officer: David G. Greenfield
David G. Greenfield is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Met Council. He is an accomplished legislator, popular law professor and noted media personality with broad experience in government and not-for-profit organizations. As CEO and Executive Director, David ensures that Met Council fulfills its mission to aid, sustain and empower poor and near-poor New Yorkers.
In his eight years in the City Council, David authored nearly 30 pieces of legislation that were signed into law by Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio. David passed historic legislation mandating affordable housing, reforming the landmarks preservation process, and providing free security guards for over 100,000 private school children.
David chaired the New York City Council’s influential Committee on Land Use from 2014 through 2017, overseeing the Department of City Planning, the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. In that role, David was instrumental in developing and implementing a new affordable housing plan for New York and rezoning four neighborhoods including East Midtown Manhattan. He was also a member of the Speaker’s leadership team and the Council’s budget negotiation team, which is responsible for determining the City's more than $85 billion budget with the Mayor’s office.
Prior to serving on the City Council, David was Executive Vice President of the Sephardic Community Federation, working closely with public officials at every level of government to improve the lives of all New Yorkers. He was also the founding Director and Counsel of TEACH NYS, advocating on behalf of parents of New York State’s 500,000 Catholic, Jewish and independent school-children. His work led to legislation providing for $600 million in tax credits to parents of all school-age children.
David is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. and Touro College in New York City, where he graduated summa cum laude and was valedictorian. Greenfield is also an adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School. He is a proud lifelong resident of Brooklyn, where he happily lives with his wife and children.
Chief Operating Officer: Melissa Perlin
Melissa Perlin is the Chief Operating Officer at Met Council. In that capacity, Melissa runs the day-to-day operations of Met Council’s vast array of programs that help 225,000 New Yorkers in need. She came to Met Council from a long career in non-profit work in multiple senior positions including most recently - Vice President of Finance at the National MS Society.
In her role as Vice President of Finance, Melissa oversaw financial and administrative operations and strategic planning for the National MS Society’s forty chapters across the United States. While at the MS Society, Melissa implemented a standard approach to functionalized expenses and consolidated the audit process of the nearly $200 million non-profit organization.
Melissa also has significant experience in the private sector, having spent five years as a Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) where she managed a team focused on financial system selection, implementation, and training. Melissa’s clients included some of the country’s largest nonprofits including UJA-Federation, Salvation Army, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, as well as public utilities including the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA).
Melissa is a graduate of Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer: Debra Cohn
Debra Cohn joined Met Council as the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer in January 2014 to oversee all legal and compliance matters. She has held senior positions in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Most recently, Debra served as Senior Counsel to CF Ventures, Inc., a business to business media and marketing organization with a specialty serving the advertising specialty industry.
Prior to that, Debra served for eight years as New York State Deputy Attorney General, first overseeing the Criminal Division and then serving as a member of the Executive staff, responsible for office-wide policy and special initiatives. Previously, she served for four years as Special Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice, focusing on health care, debt collection, and child support enforcement and four years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Philadelphia specializing in health care and government fraud, environmental enforcement, and other affirmative litigation.
Debra clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and for U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge James L. Oakes.
In addition, Debra taught for ten years as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School, primarily courses on health care and public advocacy. Debra has served as a board member of several not-for-profits including the Jewish Publication Society and the National Museum of American Jewish History.
Debra earned her J.D. from New York University and her A.B. from Harvard-Radcliffe College.
Chief Financial Officer: Matthew M. LoCurto
Matthew M. LoCurto joined Met Council in January of 2016 to oversee the Fiscal and Information and Technology functions. Matt has over two decades of comprehensive experience at the senior and executive level in the nonprofit, governmental and for profit sectors holding a variety of positions as Chief Financial Officer, Controller, Vice President and Senior Director. Using his unique blend of financial and operations experience, Matt has developed a reputation as a “change – agent” and has a proven track record of streamlining operations, implementing systems, improving financial reporting and reducing operational costs.
Most recently Matt was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation (Seedco), a national nonprofit organization, and was responsible for all fiscal and administrative functions for the organization. From 2009 to 2013 he served as a Vice President at Goldman Sachs and Co working exclusively with the Firm’s two signature charities – the Goldman Sachs Foundation and the Goldman Sachs Charitable Gift Fund. From 2006 to 2009 Matt held the position of Controller at the Rockefeller Foundation where he gained valuable large private foundation experience. From 2001 to 2006 he held a number of positions at the City University of New York and last served as the Chief Financial Officer at the College of Staten Island. Matt has also held senior positions at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Garan Incorporated, and started his career at Ernst and Young.
Matt holds Bachelor in Science in Accounting from St. John’s University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York. He also taught as an adjunct lecturer at the City University of New York, is a member of the New York State Society of CPAs, and serves on the advisory board of St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset NY.
Managing Director, Housing: Jeffry Nearby
Jeff Nearby has been involved in the development and management of special needs housing for over 30 years. He has worked in the private and not-for-profit sectors in both New York and New Jersey. Jeff has been the Managing Director of Housing at Met Council since December 2015 and previously served as the Senior Property Manager. Since joining Met Council in 2005, Jeff has been involved in all aspects of the development, financing, and management of over 400 units of Senior Housing.
Before coming to Met Council, Jeff was the Chief Operating Officer of SERV Properties and Management, the development and management arm of New Jersey’s largest non-profit provider of supervised and supportive housing for mentally ill adolescents, and adults. During his 18 year tenure with SERV, Mr. Nearby developed multiple group homes and apartment programs, oversaw the acquisition of a struggling provider of Developmental Disability services, managed the successful initial Joint Commission accreditation process, and partnered with a local faith based organization to renovate a 100 year old landmarked building into 51 units of low income senior and special needs housing.
Mr. Nearby has a degree in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and multiple certifications from the National Center for Housing Management.
Managing Director, Food Programs: Jessica Chait
Jessica Chait is the managing director of food programs at Met Council, responsible for the Kosher Food Network, the largest free kosher food distribution system in the world and for bringing greater visibility to food insecurity within the Jewish community. Prior to joining Met Council, Jessica worked for at UJA-Federation of New York, in roles of increasing responsibility, culminating as Chief of Staff, responsible for strategic initiatives, including UJA’s year long centennial celebration. Jessica is passionate about helping the vulnerable and, prior to her move to New York, worked for non-profits in Poland and Zambia.
Jessica grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and holds B.A. in Psychology from University of Texas and Masters of Public Administration from New York University.