Next City Adds Two Members To Its Board of Directors

With its mission of using solutions journalism to advance equity in cities in mind, Next City’s board of directors voted unanimously in April to welcome two new members — Allison S. Joe and Syed Ali.

“The board and I are excited to welcome Syed and Allison as new board members. They bring unique experiences to advance the Next City strategic plan and an enthusiastic commitment to Next City’s mission and work,” says board chair Eric Shaw. 

Next City, a nonprofit news organization, is in its 20th year of publishing journalism that amplifies solutions to the problems that oppress people in cities. With its stories and events, Next City provides city-builders and changemakers with information that fuels the fight for economic, social and environmental justice. 

Joe is an urban planning and community design consultant working at the intersection of climate, economic, and racial justice, both on the ground and in our governmental institutions. 

A lifelong Californian, Joe was an appointee of Governor Jerry Brown to the California Strategic Growth Council and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, where she supported the implementation of the California Climate Investments program that focused investments on affordable housing, active transportation, transit, and land conservation resulting in more livable and vibrant communities across the state. She was part of the 2013 cohort for Next City’s Vanguard in Cleveland.

“Next City amplifies the solutions and leaders who move our communities forward. I’m honored to be a part of the Next City organization and can’t wait to continue this transformative work,” Joe says.

Ali is a New Yorker and urban planner working towards a future in which a person’s zip code does not determine their health and wealth. He is currently the director of partnerships and operations at Trinity Church Wall Street Philanthropies, which strives to end the cycles of mass incarceration and mass homelessness in New York and build capacity for faith-based organizations around the world.

Ali previously held a post at urban planning consulting firm HR&A Advisors, where his work ranged from a citywide civic engagement campaign to downtown business development to food policy and infrastructure.

“Next City provides tremendous value to all of us supporting community development in American cities, from urban planners in civil service to movement organizers to philanthropic funders,” Ali says. “As our cities ache and innovate with challenges old and new, I’m confident that Next City’s journalism only grows more important with every day.”

Next City publishes hundreds of stories each year on the ways urbanism can make cities more equitable. The outlet also compiles its best reporting into ebooks, hosts webinars with practitioners who share lessons from their work, and convenes live events such as the annual Vanguard Conference for rising urban leaders. More than 500 Vanguard alumni are working today around the globe. Originally named The Next American City, the organization began publishing a quarterly magazine in 2003. What started as a black-and-white printed publication staffed by volunteers ultimately grew into a popular and influential magazine that reached 1 million people over the course of its 31 issues. 

Today, Next City is a trusted voice on urban policy, reaching more than 2 million influential doers and changemakers via Next City’s website annually. Another 150,000 follow coverage on social media, and 50,000 subscribe to newsletters. All are searching for ways that cities can be reimagined as truly equitable and inclusive.

As a nonprofit, Next City depends on financial support from thousands of donations each year, plus the backing of partners such as the Surdna Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the Mellon Foundation and more. For a complete list, please visit To donate, please visit

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