Roy Folkman

Roy Folkman is an expert on Israel’s economy and political system. And a leading thinker on democracies resilience in the age of populism (in the final stages of publishing a book on the subject). He served as a Member of Knesset from the Kulanu party led by Israel’s Minister of Finance, Moshe Kahlon. Folkman served as the faction head for the party and sat on numerous Knesset committees, including: the Finance Committee, Economic Affairs Committee, Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Joint Committee for the Knesset Budget, Special Committee for Transparency and Accessibility, Subcommittee for Promotion of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, among many others. Folkman has led on behalf of the finance secretary the approval of three national budgets in the Knesset.  Prior to his term in the Knesset, Folkman was the Policy Director for the Mayor of Jerusalem and Director of the Strategic Planning and Policy Division of the Jerusalem Municipality. Folkman received a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and M.A. in Public Policy from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, as well as an M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard University.  Folkman serves as a field medic  the IDF Infantry Brigade and is married with three children.

Amy Chester

Amy Chester has spent more than 20 years in municipal policy, community engagement, real estate development and communications advocating for the urban environment.

As the Managing Director of Rebuild by Design Amy is responsible for the organization’s day-to- day operations and management in addition to overseeing its fundraising and strategic direction. Her first task was to lead an international design-driven competition that utilized a truly inclusive and collaborative process to create implementable large-scale infrastructure projects to address the physical and social vulnerabilities exposed by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast United States. The competition created a network of 10 design teams consisting of over 200 individuals and more than 700 government agencies and community organizations who co-created the proposals, resulting in $930M in awards from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to implement the winning designs. Rebuild by Design now works with cities around the world to use the same collaborative process to address issues of climate change.

Previously, Chester worked for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Legislative Affairs and as a Senior Policy Advisor. In these roles she was responsible for the public engagement strategy of PlaNYC, the Mayor’s sustainability agenda, which included initiatives such as the Million Trees Campaign, congestion pricing, and the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan. Amy’s other experiences in New York City government have included positions at the New York City Council, where she successfully ensured the inclusion of affordable housing in large-scale neighborhood re-zonings, and at the New York City Housing Authority, where she created development plans to increase the utilization of government owned properties across the city.

Outside of government, Amy has also consulted for numerous nonprofit organizations and on many electoral campaigns. At the Freelancers Union, she was responsible for the design and construction of a patient-centered medical practice and as the lead organizer for Listening to the City, she crafted a democratic process to include community participation in the plans for the World Trade Center site redevelopment. She also worked as a consultant to a dozen non-profit organizations on issue-based campaigns with M&R Strategic Services and on a dozen electoral campaigns including Hillary Clinton’s winning NYS Senate campaign and Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Amy was raised and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.