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Team

THE CITY’s staff is united by a common mission: reporting hard-hitting stories that serve the people of New York.

We’ve assembled a team whose members bring a rich mix of work and life experiences, as well as hail from a variety of backgrounds. To learn more, see our most recent diversity report.


Vania André

Vania is THE CITY’s communication and marketing director, where she works with the entire team to promote THE CITY and its work while expanding its growing reach and reputation as the go-to local news source for New York. Previous positions include publisher and editor in chief of The Haitian Times, communications director for former-Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, and communications manager for Pubilc Agenda, a nonpartisan research institute.
vandre@thecity.nyc


Claudia Irizarry Aponte

Claudia covers The Bronx for THE CITY. Her reporting has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer and NPR’s Latino USA. A 2018 graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, she’s a recipient of the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award for Social Justice Reporting.
cirizarry@thecity.nyc
@clauirizarry

Suhail Bhat

Suhail is THE CITY’s data reporter, responsible for bringing numbers to life. Previously, he was a data and graphics reporter at Louisville Public Media, where he covered the Ohio Valley and received the “Best Use of Data” award for his COVID-19 coverage from the Society of Professional Journalists, Louisville. Suhail is an engineer turned journalist, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and a former Reuters News correspondent.

sbhat@thecity.nyc

@suhbhat


Reuven Blau

Reuven is a reporter for THE CITY. He previously worked at the Daily News, NY Post and The Chief-Leader.
rblau@thecity.nyc
@ReuvenBlau


Christine Chung

Christine covers Queens for THE CITY. She was previously a local government reporter at Newsday and a 2015 graduate of Columbia Journalism School.
cchung@thecity.nyc
@chrisychung


Nic Dawes

Nic is THE CITY’s executive director, responsible for growing the organization’s reach, impact and strategy as well for revenue and business operations. Nic has been a reporter, editor and non-profit executive on three continents, most recently serving as deputy executive director of Human Rights Watch in New York. He was previously editor-in-chief at South Africa’s Mail & Guardian, and chief editorial and content officer at Hindustan Times in Delhi.
nic@thecity.nyc
@NicDawes


Ben Fractenberg

Ben is a visual producer for THE CITY. He previously worked at the Forward as a national political reporter and DNAinfo as a New York City-based reporter/photographer. He is a proud alumnus of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.
bfractenberg@thecity.nyc
@fractenberg


Hasani Gittens

Hasani is a deputy editor for THE CITY. His priors include senior news editor for NBCNews.com and managing editor for NBCNewYork.com. He began his career as a copy kid at the New York Post and is a proud product of Baruch College’s newspaper, The Ticker.
hgittens@thecity.nyc
@hgitty


Yoav Gonen

Yoav is the City Hall reporter for THE CITY. Previously, he covered City Hall and education for the New York Post, after stints at the Staten Island Advance, NY Daily News and the Brooklyn Papers. Learned the ropes from Professor Blood.
ygonen@thecity.nyc
@yoavgonen


Eileen Grench

Eileen covers juvenile justice for THE CITY and is a Report for America corps member. She was previously an investigative reporter for the Global Migration Project, where her work was featured in The Intercept, The Nation, and Documented. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, Eileen was also a 2016 Olympian.
egrench@thecity.nyc
@GrenchPAN


John Halpin

John leads THE CITY’s development effort as Associate Director - Development. John brings more than eight years of experience growing the development activities of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Mailman School of Public Health, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He is a graduate of the Masters of Public Administration program at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.
jhalpin@thecity.nyc
917-536-3388


Jere Hester

Jere is THE CITY’s founding editor in chief. Previous: founding director of award-winning NYCity News Service of Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY; New York Daily News city editor; editor of Downtown Express. Freelance: New York Times, New York magazine, NBC News, others. Author of “Raising a Beatle Baby.”
jere@thecity.nyc
@jere_hester


Alyssa Katz

Alyssa is a deputy editor with THE CITY and a former member of the NY Daily News editorial board. Previously, Katz was editor of The New York World and City Limits. She is the author of “The Influence Machine: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Capture of American Life” and “Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us.”
akatz@thecity.nyc
@alykatzz


Samantha Maldonado

Samantha is a reporter for THE CITY. She previously covered energy, environmental and transportation policy for Politico New Jersey and New York. Her reporting also has appeared in The Associated Press and on CNN. She’s a 2018 graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.
smaldonado@thecity.nyc
@sssmaldo


Jose Martinez

Jose is THE CITY’s transportation reporter. He previously worked on-air for six years at NY1 News, where he also hosted the weekly “In Transit.” He is a veteran of the city’s tabloids, covering courts at the Daily News and the New York Post. He began at the Journal News in Westchester County.
jmartinez@thecity.nyc
@jmartineznyc


Clifford Michel

Clifford covers Manhattan and the politics of Staten Island for THE CITY. He previously covered politics for the Staten Island Advance. His reporting has appeared in Gothamist, the Amsterdam News, Politico New York and Gotham Gazette.
cmichel@thecity.nyc
@cliff_michel
347-267-0448


Laura Osorio

Laura is THE CITY’s Business Manager. Prior, she was the office manager at the Research Alliance for NYC Schools at NYU. She is a proud CUNY Queens College graduate.
losorio@thecity.nyc
@osoriolaurac


Gabriel Sandoval

Gabriel covers Brooklyn for THE CITY. He previously was a researcher at ProPublica, and an intern at WNYC, ChicoSol, Chico News & Review and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He studied business reporting at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.
gsandoval@thecity.nyc
@gluissandoval


Greg B. Smith

Greg is a reporter at THE CITY. He was a reporter at the New York Daily News from 1993 through 2018. His beats have included federal court, City Hall and public housing. He also is the author of several books, including “Made Men: The True Story of the Rise and Fall of a New Jersey Crime Family.”
gsmith@thecity.nyc
@gregbsmithnyc
917-685-5580


Rachel Holliday Smith

Rachel focuses on explanatory and service journalism, as well as climate and resiliency coverage for THE CITY. She is proud to have previously worked for WNYC, DNAinfo and NY1 News. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Curbed New York, Gotham Gazette and others.
rsmith@thecity.nyc
@rachelholliday


Josefa Velasquez

Josefa is the state Capitol reporter for THE CITY. She’s previously worked at The Associated Press, Politico New York and the New York Law Journal covering the governor and Legislature. Most recently she worked as a money-in-politics reporter for the startup Sludge.
jvelasquez@thecity.nyc
@J__Velasquez
516-509-1641


Will Welch

Will is an interactives/graphics producer for THE CITY. He was previously a news applications developer at Newsday and graduated from Stony Brook University School of Journalism.
wwelch@thecity.nyc
@willcwelch


Contributors


Greg David

Greg David is a contributor and Ravitch fiscal and economics reporter at THE CITY. He spent 35 years at Crain’s New York Business as editor, editorial director and a columnist. He is also the director of the business and economics reporting program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY as well as the Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program.
gdavid@thecity.nyc
@GregDavidonNY


Hiram Alejandro Durán

Hiram Alejandro Durán takes photos for THE CITY. A recent graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, he’s photographed general assignments for The Riverdale Press and Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, and interned for Times Square Alliance and the Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg.
@HiramADuran