SIPA Faculty-Seth Pinsky

Seth Pinsky

Adjunct Senior Research Scholar of International and Public Affairs

SIPA Faculty-Seth Pinsky

1 212 854 3239

Personal Details

Seth Pinsky's current work at SIPA focuses on the issues of housing affordability in New York City. Specifically, Pinsky is exploring the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of the City's existing housing programs. He is also undertaking research designed to understand whether these progams have unintended and adverse consequences on the City's real estate market (especially the industrial real estate market), which in turn, might have a negative impact on the ability of some of the populations that affordable housing programs are looking to assist in finding employment.

Pinsky also serves as Executive Vice President, Fund Manager, Metro Emerging Markets & Public Affairs Director. In this role, Pinsky is leading RXR’s efforts to invest in “emerging opportunities” in New York City and the surrounding Tri-State region, focusing on asset classes and geographic regions that have historically been characterized by underinvestment, but that have significant growth potential due to planned or in-place infrastructure and other relevant characteristics.

Prior to joining RXR, Pinsky served as Director of Mayor Bloomberg’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, which developed a $20 billion plan to help neighborhoods stricken by Hurricane Sandy to rebuild smarter and stronger and to protect critical citywide systems and infrastructure from the likely impacts of climate change in coming decades.

Pinsky also served as President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), a position to which he was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2008, after joining the agency in 2003 as a vice president.  During his tenure, NYCEDC became an international leader in the field of economic development, focusing both on transforming the city’s underlying economy and investing in its critical infrastructure.

While at NYCEDC, Pinsky served as a lead negotiator on behalf of New York City for projects ranging from Yankee Stadium and Citifield, to the World Trade Center, to the acquisition of Hunters Point South in Queens, the largest middle-income housing development in the City since Starrett City.

Among the initiatives advanced by NYCEDC under Pinsky’s leadership were the redevelopment of Willets Point in Queens, Coney Island in Brooklyn, the Homeport in Staten Island, and the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, as well as the creation of a major new bioscience research park on City-owned land, north of Bellevue Hospital.  Under Pinsky, NYCEDC also managed the construction of the first two phases of the High Line in Manhattan, launched a new East River Ferry service connecting Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan and announced and advanced plans for the world’s largest observation wheel in St. George in Staten Island.

In the area of economic modernization, under Pinsky, NYCEDC created the Center for Economic Transformation (CET), which, in addition to launching a network of business incubators across the City that, at the time of Pinsky’s departure, housed more than 600 companies, developed and oversaw the Bloomberg Administration’s international Applied Sciences NYC competition.  The Applied Sciences competition will result in a significant expansion of Columbia University’s engineering school, as well as the creation of a new engineering institute in Downtown Brooklyn led by NYU that will include CUNY, Carnegie Mellon University and others.  It will also result in the creation of a $2 billion engineering campus on Roosevelt Island, being developed by Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

Prior to joining the NYCEDC, Pinsky was an associate at the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in the Real Estate practice and a financial analyst at James D. Wolfensohn Inc.  He is a graduate of Columbia College, where he majored in Ancient History, and of Harvard Law School.  Pinsky lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Angela and their children, Theo and Amelia.


  • JD, Harvard Law School
  • BA, Ancient History, Columbia University