Thursday, October 12th, 2023 | 10:00 am

Thursday, October 12th, 2023 | 10:00 am

Opening Plenary and Keynote

10:00 am to 10:30 am
Included with registration
Renowned author and policy thinker Richard Kahlenberg will open the day with discussion of his new book, Excluded: How Snob Zoning, NIMBYism, and Class Bias Build the Walls We Don't See.


Richard Kahlenberg

Author of Excluded: How Snob Zoning, NIMBYism, and Class Bias Build the Walls We Don't See


Richard D. Kahlenberg is an education and housing policy researcher, writer, consultant, and speaker.  

He is also a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institutea nonresident scholar at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, and a professorial lecturer at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public AdministrationHe was recently featured in a front-page New York Times profile on his policy work as a “liberal maverick.”

The author or editor of 18 books, Kahlenberg has been recognized primarily for his expertise in three policy areas:

Kahlenberg’s articles have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the New Republic, and elsewhere. He has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, PBS, and NPR.

His books include: Excluded: How Snob Zoning, NIMBYism, and Class Bias Build the Walls We Don’t See (PublicAffairs Press, 2023); A Smarter Charter: Finding What Works for Charter Schools and Public Education (with Halley Potter) (Teachers College Press, 2014), Why Labor Organizing Should Be a Civil Right: Rebuilding a Middle-Class Democracy by Enhancing Worker Voice (with Moshe Marvit) (Century Foundation Press, 2012); Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race and Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2007); All Together Now: Creating Middle Class Schools through Public School Choice (Brookings Institution Press, 2001); The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action (Basic Books, 1996); and Broken Contract: A Memoir of Harvard Law School (Hill & Wang/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992).

The Remedy was named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post, and Tough Liberal was named one of the best books written on labor unions by the Wall Street Journal. 

Kahlenberg has been a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation, a Fellow at the Center for National Policy, a visiting associate professor of constitutional law at George Washington University, and a legislative assistant to Senator Charles S. Robb (D-VA).

His work has been supported by leading foundations including Broad, Jack Kent Cooke, Ford, Gates, Hewlett, Lumina, Nellie Mae, Spencer, Walton, and W.T. Grant.

He serves on the advisory boards of the Pell Institute and the Albert Shanker Institute. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

Jolie Milstein

President and CEO, New York State Association for Affordable Housing


Jolie Milstein is President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), Executive Director of House New York Inc. and a Managing Member of Closing USA Affordable Housing, NYSAFAH’s joint venture title insurance company.

Jolie joined NYSAFAH from Praxis Housing, where she was responsible for creating the organization’s permanent supportive housing developments. Jolie’s background in economic development, business management, and finance includes tenure as Executive Director of the Ulster County Development Corporation, Senior Director for Economic Development at the New York City Partnership, Business Manager for Paperhouse Productions, and Commercial and Residential Mortgage Investment Banker at First Boston Corporation.

A licensed architect, Jolie holds a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley, a Master of Architecture from UCLA and the Architecture Association and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale University. She is also adjunct faculty at the Fordham University Real Estate Institute.

Makada Henry-Nickie

Research Director of Housing Finance Research, JPMorgan Chase Institute


Makada Henry-Nickie serves as Research Director of housing finance research at the JP Morgan Chase Institute. Before JP Morgan, she was the Robert and Virginia Hartley Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative, leading research on financial inclusion, algorithmic bias, housing policy, and consumer regulatory policy. Her work at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau working on critical fair lending and financial inclusion issues exemplifies her deep commitment to public service and lifting up policies aimed at disrupting the double binds between inequality and race that limit mobility for marginalized communities. Makada received her undergraduate degree from Hunter College-CUNY and Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Economics from Howard University.

Roger Heim

Chief Financial Officer, Vitus Group, LLC


Roger Heim leads Vitus’s corporate administration, financial reporting, credit and treasury operations, risk management, and information technology platforms. He brings over 20 years of financial and business operations experience to the company. 

Prior to joining Vitus in 2012, he worked in executive and senior management positions in the construction, manufacturing and transportation industries, focusing on corporate structuring, private equity acquisitions, private placements, SEC compliance and reporting. Roger began his financial business career with international professional services firm Deloitte & Touche, is a graduate of Washington State University and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp. 

Outside of Vitus, he currently serves on the board and executive committee of Up For Growth Action promoting federal legislative action for housing production and is a publicly elected Fire Commissioner in the county where he resides.