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Conversations with leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors about working together to make NYC greater.

Saving Summer Jobs for the City’s Teens

Each summer in NYC, government, private, and public organizations come together to fund and manage a program that’s become vital to tens of thousands of young people in the city: the Summer Youth Employment Program or SYEP matches teenagers with hundreds of employers and pays non profits to manage these relationships. This year, in the wake of COVID-19, Mayor de Blasio cancelled the $125 million program for the summer. Saskia Traill, CEO of ExpandED Schools, worked with many others to build a civic coalition to take the lead. Government followed and restored funding, ultimately saving the summer for 35,000 NYC teens.


Saskia Traill is the President & CEO of ExpandED Schools, dedicated to its mission of closing the learning gap by increasing access to enriched education experiences. Saskia came to ExpandED in 2009 as the Director of Policy, then quickly broadened her role to lead external and government relations as well as the research team. As ExpandED’s Chief Operating Officer for several years, Saskia has helped guide the organization’s fiscal and administrative functions. She now leads a team of 50 that designs, demonstrates, and sustains after-school innovations that directly improve outcomes for young people.

Saskia serves as a highly respected thought leader in youth employment, STEM, and social-emotional learning. Prior to joining ExpandED, Saskia built state systems for early care and education at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, where she convened diverse state stakeholders to analyze research and make recommendations to improve early care and education. Saskia has been awarded fellowships from the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, the Stanford Center on Adolescence, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media Fellowship, and the Foundation for Child Development Fellowship in Public Policy.

Saskia has served on multiple advisory groups and committees, including the Network for Youth Success policy committee and national STEM Hub. She chairs the New York City Middle School Task Force, re-thinking literacy in the middle grades and driving reform with a broad partnership of unions, advocates, intermediaries, and direct service organizations. Saskia earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology-Psychology from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. She lives in Harlem with her family.




Cheryl Cohen Effron

Cheryl Cohen Effron spent most of her career as a New York-based real estate developer. Ms. Effron left full-time real estate work to dedicate her time to tri-sector (government, non-profit and corporate) solutions for urban issues. Ms. Effron is currently board chair of Greater NY, a non-profit she co-founded during the financial crisis in 2009 which pairs civic leaders in the business world with the heads of non-profit organizations in two-year one-on-one strategic partnerships.


Jamie Rubin

Jamie Rubin is a veteran of federal and state government and a longtime investment professional. He served in the Clinton Administration, then spent 15 years on Wall Street as an investment banker and partner with two global private equity firms. Jamie rejoined the public sector in 2012. Jamie is now CEO of Meridiam NA, a developer of large infrastructure projects in the US and Canada. Jamie is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School. He and his wife, author and podcaster Gretchen Rubin, live in New York City with their daughters and a dog.