About Us:

Who We Are

David M. Steiner is Founding Director of the CUNY Institute for Education Policy at Roosevelt House and the Klara and Larry Silverstein Dean at the Hunter College School of Education. His work at Hunter has achieved national recognition for innovation in video analysis, clinically-rich teacher  preparation, and partnership with charter school networks. As Commissioner of Education for the State of New York, he took a lead role in the State’s successful $700 million Race to the Top application to support the redesign of state standards, assessments, and teacher certification requirements. Dr. Steiner consults regularly with governments, school districts, and universities. He has served on federal, state, and foundation-funded education reform initiatives and authored books, book chapters, and more than fifty articles.

Ashley Rogers Berner is Deputy Director at the Institute. She has taught at a Jewish pre-school, an Episcopal secondary school, and an open university. Most recently, she co-directed the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture’s Program on Education at the University of Virginia. Dr. Berner has published articles and book chapters comparing the educational practices of democratic nations, and she regularly serves as a consultant on research projects that explore academic and citizenship outcomes in different school sectors. She is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University and holds an Honors A.B. from Davidson College and an M.Litt. and D.Phil. in Modern History from Oxford University.

Kelly Siegel-Stechler is Program Manager at the Institute. She has worked for a variety of educational programs focusing on leadership and global citizenship, including the United Nations Foundation’s Global Classrooms program, the Debate in the Neighborhood program at the Interfaith Center of New York, and Camp Rising Sun at the Louis August Jonas Foundation. She is Co-Founder and Managing Director at Foundations for Leadership, where she oversees program and events. Kelly holds a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Politics, both from New York University.

Mai Youa Miksic is the Equity Research Fellow at the Institute. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studies social welfare and education policy. Her most recent research focuses on early childhood education, specifically the effects of parent involvement in Head Start. Her past research has examined the effects of No Child Left Behind on English language learners and immigrant children and the black-white achievement gap. She holds a B.A. in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MSW, with a focus on policy practice, from Columbia University.

CUNY Institute for Education Policy at Roosevelt House Advisory Board

  • Harriet Fayne – Dean, School of Education at Lehman College
  • Tony Fisher – Principal, Hunter College High School
  • Robert Hughes – President, New Visions for Public Schools
  • Nicholas Michelli – Presidential Professor, CUNY Graduate Center
  • Jennifer Raab – President, Hunter College
  • Joseph Viteritti – Thomas Hunter Professor of Public Policy, Hunter College; and Faculty Chair of the Public Policy Program – Roosevelt House

Harriet Nikki Fayne

Harriet Nikki Fayne comes to Lehman from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, where she was dean of the School of Professional Studies, as well as interim dean of its Graduate School.

Dr. Fayne has led initiatives to improve scholarship, expand community partnerships, and foster institutional growth. As dean of the School of Professional Studies at Otterbein University, she oversaw five practitioner departments—Business/Accounting/Economics, Education, Nursing, Health/Sports Sciences, and Equine Science—and was responsible for managing budgets in excess of $7 million, as well as 57 full-time faculty. Under her leadership, the School codified policies and identified opportunities across the campus to expand graduate offerings.

Previously, as chair of Otterbein’s Education Department for 16 years, she added two graduate programs—the first to be offered at the University—and significantly increased its number of full-time faculty. She also had served as the director of the University’s Reading/Study Center and associate dean of Academic Affairs.

Dr. Fayne holds a B.A from Barnard College, an M.A.T. from Harvard University, an M.A. and M.Ed. from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Columbia University.


Tony Fisher

Tony Fisher has been on the faculty of Hunter College High School for six years and previously worked for more than a decade as a teacher and administrator in private schools. In 2010, Dr. Fisher was named acting principal of HCHS while a search committee began a national hunt for a permanent replacement. In 2012, Dr. Fisher was named principal.

Dr. Fisher began at Hunter as Mathematics Department Chair, before being asked to take on the newly created role of grade 7 through 9 Assistant Principal.  His accomplishments as a senior administrator have been many, but perhaps most significant has been his instrumental role in creating a middle school ethos in the building.  In doing so, he reinstated the 7th grade seminar, led the creation and implementation of 8th grade advisory, and instituted 7th and 8th grade study halls.  As Acting Principal, he has established a structure which allows for more faculty time spent on co-curricular opportunities, such as a science research coordinator position created with donor support, mathematics research talks organized in conjunction with Hunter College, and a journalism practicum-all allowing students to follow their related passions with more faculty guidance.  Curriculum alignment also has been a priority area for Dr. Fisher, who led the articulation of the core 7-12 curriculum and the development of new interdisciplinary units taught in the 7th and 8th grades.

Before joining HCHS, Dr. Fisher spent 15 years as a private school teacher and administrator, including time at Collegiate School and Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School.  He has earned a reputation across New York City as a superior educator and leader, and as principal he will draw upon his vast networks to champion the challenges and triumphs of public gifted education.

Robert L. Hughes

Robert L. Hughes  was appointed president of New Visions in September 2000. Under his leadership, New Visions has created 99 district and 4 charter public schools in New York City, provided mentoring services to hundreds of new principals, developed school-based certification programs for teachers and principals, and created an inquiry process now in use in 1,500 New York City public schools. New Visions currently is a partnership support organization providing direct support to 73 schools serving almost 40,000 students.

Hughes, an attorney, has worked on public education issues for his entire career. He served as co-counsel in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. The State of New York, challenging the constitutionality of the New York State’s educational finance system. Plaintiffs prevailed and secured a $5 billion remedial decree for operating aid and a $13.5 billion decree for capital construction for the New York City public school system.

Hughes received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his law degree from Stanford Law School where he was a Skadden Fellow. He clerked for the Hon. Shirley Abrahamson, (now chief) justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He has authored articles on public education for The New York Times, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Yale Law & Policy Review, and the Connecticut Law Review. He served as chair of the Committee on Education and the Law at the Association of the Bar of City of New York and chair of the board for Advocates for Children of New York, where he was previously deputy director. He currently serves on the Fund For Teachers Board of Directors.

Nicholas Michelli

Nicholas Michelli is Presidential Professor in the City University of New York’s Ph.D program in urban education.  Prior to this appointment he served as CUNY Dean for Teacher Education he was responsible for teacher education across the CUNY campuses and was liaison to the New York City Public Schools. For twenty years he was Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State University, where he is professor and dean emeritus.

His focus is on public education policy, critical and imaginative thinking, and teacher education. His research interests include, the connection between education, democracy and social justice, the public purposes of education, assessments of teacher education, urban schools, policy and school/university. He worked for 10 with the Lincoln Center Institute to integrate arts education in the NYC public schools and to foster imagination.  He now works with a spin-off not or profit group, Ed Imagination.  He worked for five years with the University of Wisconsin System to develop assessments using performance evaluation for prospective mathematics and science teachers, with Zayed University, a college for women,  in  Dubai and Abu Dhabi, The United Arab Emirates on improving teacher education, and with CREATE a collation of the University of Texas, University of Houston, Texas A & M, and the Texas state universities to improve partnerships and joint research between universities and schools.  His work in the United Arab Emirates led to Zayed University becoming the first university in the world accredited by the education accrediting agency outside the United States.   Hw now works with Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.  He served as visiting professor in Hong Kong and Shanghai examining the education/democracy connections.  For eight years he was a member of the New York State Professional Practices and Standards Committee, a Committee of the Board of Regents.

His recent publications include Teacher Education for Democracy and Social Justice (Routledge, 2005; Chinese Edition, East China Normal College Press, 2009) co-authored and edited with David Lee Keiser, Complex by Design in the May, 2006 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education; and, with Jonathan Cohen, School Climate: Research, Policy, Practice and Teacher Education in the January 2009 of Teachers College Record. His book co-authored and edited with David Imig and Penny Earley, Teacher Education Policy in the United States: Issues and Tensions in an Era of Evolving Expectations was published in April, 2011 by Routledge.  In addition he has numerous articles and chapters in books.  His current focus is a book on accreditation in the Middle East.

Michelli has been recognized by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education with the Pomeroy Award for his contributions to teacher education, for his service for eight years as chair of the Governmental Relations Committee meeting with members of Congress regularly,  and he received the 2011 Distinguished Educator Award from the Association of Teacher Educators.

Jennifer Raab

Jennifer Raab  is the 13th President of Hunter College, the largest college of the City University of New York. Since assuming the presidency in 2001, she has led a successful effort to enlarge the faculty and recruit distinguished professors and artists. Standards throughout the college have been raised, and fiscal management has been modernized and strengthened. Entering SAT scores increased by 89 points in just seven years and are now 137 points above the national average. Hunter has won new levels of government awards, private grants and philanthropic contributions and launched the first capital campaign in its history.

Since her tenure began in 2001, President Raab has been responsible for more than $152 million in philanthropic support to Hunter College. Major changes include the renovation and reopening of the historic Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt House, which is now the Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, and the construction of a $131 million home in East Harlem for Hunter’s renowned School of Social Work that also houses the new CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College.

The reforms and improvements are reflected in Hunter’s rising national standing. The Princeton Review has ranked it among the Top 10 “Best Value” public colleges in the nation for three consecutive years. In U.S. News & World Report’s college rankings for 2012, Hunter placed 7th among the Top 10 public regional universities in the North, and Hunter has moved up 18 positions in just four years to No. 34 among all regional universities (public and private) in the North. Hunter is one of only seven colleges in the nation to be awarded an ‘A’ by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni in a study measuring the breadth of undergraduate core requirements.

President Raab’s role as an educational leader continues her long career in public service, from lawyer to political campaigner adviser to government official. Her career in government began in 1979 when she became special projects manager for the South Bronx Development Organization, an agency that played a critical role in the renewal of one of the city’s most distressed areas, and she was later named director of public affairs for the New York City Planning Commission.

President Raab went on to become a litigator at two of the nation’s most prestigious law firms – Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Quickly earning a reputation as a strong but fair advocate, she was appointed Chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, a post she held from 1994 to 2001. She was known for her effective and innovative leadership of the agency that protects and preserves the city’s historic structures and architectural heritage. In a 1997 profile, the New York Times’s David Dunlap said she had “developed some untraditional ideas about who belongs to the preservation community,” adding that the changes – which could have been made “only by an outsider” – had greatly reduced the city’s historic battling over preservation.

Crain’s New York Business named her as one of New York’s “100 Most Influential Women in Business” in 2007 and one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York” in 2009 and 2011. She has been honored by many New York and national organizations, including the Martina Arroyo Foundation, United Way, the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute and the League of Women Voters of New York.

Long active in civic and national affairs, President Raab is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of Directors of The After School Corporation and on the Steering Committee of the Association for a Better New York. She was appointed a member of the 2004-05 New York City Charter Revision Commission by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A graduate of Hunter College High School, President Raab is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Cornell University, holds a Master in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton and received her law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School. Harvard has named her to the Law School Visiting Committee, which reports to the University Board of Overseers.

President Raab is the 2012 recipient of Albany Law School’s Miriam M. Netter Award, which is awarded annually to the School’s Kate Stoneman Day keynote speaker, in honor of Stoneman’s lifelong commitment to actively seeking change and expanding opportunities for women.

Joseph P. Viteritti

Joseph P. Viteritti  is the Thomas Hunter Professor of Public Policy and Faculty Chair of the Public Policy Program at Roosevelt House. He also serves as Chair of the Urban Affairs & Planning Department at Hunter College. Professor Viteritti specializes in education policy, state & local governance, and public law.

His most recent of ten books are When Mayors Take Charge: School Governance in the City (ed.) and The Last Freedom: Religion from the Public School to the Public Square. Other books include Choosing Equality: School Choice, the Constitution, and Civil Society; Making Good Citizens: Education and Civil Society (edited with Diane Ravitch); and Across the River: Politics and Education in the City. His more than 100 essays have appeared in social science journals, law reviews, and popular media such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and Education Week.