Staff

Karla Garcia

Chief Financial Officer
 
Karla Garcia is responsible for all financial activity at The Assembly and additionally serves as program coordinator for various projects. Ms. Garcia has previously held several positions at Columbia University, as financial assistant at the business office of Columbia’s School of Law and as a restricted funds specialist at Columbia’s Office of the Controller, among others.
 
Ms. Garcia received a BA in History and Political Science from Hunter College.
 

Joe Karaganis

Vice President
 
Joe Karaganis's work focuses on the regulation of the knowledge economy, and has recently included research on intermediary liability, broadband adoption, and media piracy. He also directs the Open Syllabus Project.  Prior to joining The American Assembly, he was a Program Director at the Social Science Research Council.

His publications include Media Piracy in Emerging Economies (2011), Copy Culture in the US and Germany (2013), and Shadow Libraries (2018).  Mr. Karaganis’s other projects include the Takedown Project and the

Mark Leneker

Program Coordinator
 
Mark Leneker joined The Assembly in 2003, after leaving an administrative assistant position at The Institute for Democracy Studies.
 
Prior to this career change, Mr. Leneker worked as an agent assistant at the commercial talent agency Schiffman, Ekman, Morrison, and Marx and an administrative assistant at Chesky Records in New York City. As a performer, he has worked off-Broadway at The Actors Playhouse and Grove Street Theater, and also appeared regionally at Glimmerglass Opera, Cortland Repertory Theater, and The Hangar

David Mortimer

President
 
Before joining The Assembly, David H. Mortimer worked at Kuhn-Loeb & Co., an investment bank. At The Assembly, Mr. Mortimer has overseen more than eighty national projects on domestic and international topics.  He was also responsible for several books publishing arrangements. He has been involved in every aspect of the planning, implementation, and follow-up of 100 regional programs led by The Assembly with various institutions across the United States, Asia, Canada, and Europe.
 
Mr

Pamela Puchalski

Executive Director
 
Prior to joining The American Assembly, Pamela Puchalski led a civic consultancy advancing forward-looking models for inclusive growth, city-to-city learning, and collaboration. Working in the US and internationally, she has designed and implemented initiatives for urban resilience, neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and competitiveness. Her work helps cities and communities persevere and prosper in the face of a growing list of threats linked to climate change, economic instability, and inequality.
 
Ms. Puchalski was part of the founding team for Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities where she led the effort to develop

Stephanie Sung

Deputy Director of Projects
 
Stephanie Sung is responsible for the development and launch of new initiatives across various program areas. Her primary role is to influence public policies that expand economic and social mobility in underserved regions. She currently leads capacity-building efforts for community-based organizations in middle neighborhoods. Chief among her past projects is a legacy cities initiative which aimed to establish coalitions of grassroots organizations to promote inclusive urban revitalization in older industrial cities.
 

Bee Vang

Digital Media Strategist
 
Bee Vang joined The Assembly in early 2018. Mr. Vang has developed workshops in the US and China concerning media, Asian American history, and racial and social justice. Additionally, he has also pursued activism around domestic issues, urban policy, food justice, agriculture, and development through research endeavors, grassroots organizing, and international traveling to China and Hong Kong.
 
He has held other professional positions at various organizations such as The Economist, First Look Media, the International Leadership Foundation (ILF), the Conference for Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL),

Akua Williams

Database Assistant
 
Akua Williams joined The American Assembly in June 2018. She is currently working on data aggregation and processing to maintain The Assembly’s database architecture of contacts and ensure the quality of their primary data through research and development (R&D). She has an extensive background in research primarily focused on the recruitment tactics deployed in the global commercial sex trade industry. Ms. Williams has presented in several domestic and international conferences, such as the Buffalo McNair Conference and the Mid-Western Criminal Justice Annual Meeting, where she presented her work on organized crime pertaining to the illicit industries in the

Amy Zhang

Open Syllabus Project (OSP) Development Intern
 
Amy Zhang joined The American Assembly in 2017 as a database intern and is now a summer development intern. Ms. Zhang works for the Open Syllabus Project, where she is developing a gender identification tool based on author names and working on network data visualization.
 
She is currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at Barnard College pursuing a degree in computer science. 

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