Campaign for Courageous Leadership

As New York City emerges from the pandemic and welcomes new city, state, and federal administrations, there has never been a more important moment to nurture a new generation of diverse, creative, and informed leaders.

We believe the Urban Design Forum will launch those civic leaders. Our public programs feature visionaries executing major urban projects and implementing citywide policy change. Our Forefront Fellowship has trained 150 brilliant, young and diverse leaders on how to make change within government and beyond it. Our Director’s Circle programs keep the city’s design and development leadership informed and engaged in current affairs. 

Throughout the pandemic, the Forum transformed to meet this moment. We mobilized our local network, organizing hundreds of professionals to provide critical technical assistance to hard-hit neighborhoods. We activated our global relationships, inspiring New Yorkers with new programs and policies from Oakland to Singapore. We created new methods of remote collaboration to support hundreds of leaders as they organized around critical issues facing our city, whether to define a built environment agenda for the next administration or a new strategy for our streetscape. 

The next three years may be New York’s most important. We need to shape competent leadership now to confront critical issues like housing affordability, job creation, crumbling infrastructure, and the climate crisis. The Forum can and will mobilize diverse civic leaders across backgrounds and disciplines to define new solutions to the challenges of our time. Let’s work together so every New Yorker can have a healthy home, a dignified workplace, a safe commute, and a beautiful neighborhood.

Key Campaign Goals

Join us in supporting the Forum to become New York City’s leading center on the built environment. Our campaign will build upon our core offering and create powerful new programs over the next three years.

Global Exchange

Unique to the Forum is our ability to convene international and national civic leaders to share recent work and research. This reenergized program will showcase transformative approaches toward addressing New York’s enduring challenges like transit expansion or housing affordability.

Public Works

We aim to be the leading venue for public officials and civic leaders to present projects shaping the future city. This program will rapidly respond to newly announced projects and policies, allowing government and private sector leaders to share ideas and negotiate in off the record settings.

New City Critics

Our new fellowship with The Architectural League will launch a new generation of fearless and diverse writers to confront how we plan, design, and develop cities. The fellowship will support new fellows every two years to produce critical writing and shape the public narrative on the changing city.

Forefront Fund

Our annual fellowship supports diverse and emerging leaders as they learn to make change in city government and the private sector. This new fund will extend our investment in alumni with honoraria, mentorship and networking as they aim to create enduring change in their communities.

Community Design

With our partners at Van Alen, we mobilized 250+ talented professionals to support low-income communities recover and thrive from the pandemic. Next year, we will launch a new initiative supporting community organizations to redesign public spaces to reflect the diverse identities of our neighborhoods.

How To Support Us

We welcome individuals and companies who are interested in supporting our work in community design, civic engagement, and professional development, to give a one-time gift to our Campaign for Courageous Leadership.

Your support enables you to join us as a Company Member, which gives you unparalleled access to our global network of design and development leaders and provides civic engagement and professional development opportunities for your colleagues throughout the year.


Special thanks to Timur Galen and Linda Genereux for their founding contribution. We are grateful to the following individuals and companies who have made a contribution to date:


Timur Galen & Linda Genereux


Tommy Craig
Kohn Pedersen Fox
Thornton Tomasetti
Xin Zhang


Adjaye Associates
Melissa Burch
Paul Goldberger
Meredith Kane
Jamie von Klemperer
AJ Pires
Marilyn Jordan Taylor
Carol and Mark Willis


Buro Happold
Dattner Architects
DLR Group
Foster + Partners
Paul Goldberger
HR&A Advisors
Level Infrastructure
Weston Walker
Yale University


Atelier Ten
Future Green
Hargreaves Jones
Karp Strategies
Morris Adjmi Architects
Sam Schwartz Engineering
Starr Whitehouse
Trinity Wall Street


BJH Advisors
Fogarty Finger
Mark Ginsberg
Sabrina Kanner
Kyanite Partners