Pratt Institute Trustees have named Adam Friedman as director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, New York City’s preeminent provider of architectural, urban planning, and environmental sustainability services to community-based organizations.  

For 47 years, the Pratt Center for Community Development has been an influential force in shaping land use and development in New York City under its only two previous directors, Ron Shiffman and Brad Lander. Friedman will report to the Provost of Pratt Institute, Peter Barna.

Friedman is one of New York City’s leading advocates in support of manufacturing and the employment opportunities it brings. He is founding executive director of the New York Industrial Retention Network (NYIRN), a non-profit economic development organization established in 1997 to strengthen the city’s manufacturing sector and promote sustainable development while maintaining the unique diversity of New York’s neighborhoods. Previously, Friedman served as executive director of the Garment Industry Development Corporation and director of economic development for Borough Presidents David Dinkins and Ruth Messinger. He has also taught urban planning courses at Pratt Institute and Columbia University.

At Pratt Center, Friedman will accelerate the organization’s work of promoting environmental sustainability and economic opportunity for New Yorkers.  Friedman also foresees widening collaborations between Pratt Center and Pratt Institute, involving students and faculty in community-based planning and sustainable development.  Friedman and NYIRN have worked closely with Pratt Center on research and advocacy in support of manufacturing, including the Zoning for Jobs campaign and a major study of New York City industry.

“Adam is a seasoned professional and well-regarded leader who brings to the Center a deep commitment to the well being of New York City’s poor and working class communities,” said Gary Hattem, chair of the advisory board for the Pratt Center for Community Development, Pratt Trustee, and president of Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. “As we all work to define a new economic path for our city, and country, Adam provides a skills set and perspective that will build on the historic strengths of the Center and Pratt Institute to define new ways to achieve a future of more broadly shared opportunity and prosperity.”

Friedman’s advocacy has proven instrumental in the creation of several manufacturing and sustainability initiatives. In 2005, he helped spur the creation of Mayor’s Office for Industrial and Manufacturing Businesses, along with the designation of 16 Industrial Business Zones intended to create safe havens for manufacturing throughout the city. Additionally, NYIRN’s RenewableNY program has helped 22 industrial businesses to implement energy efficiency projects including two solar roofs, helping to reduce demand by more then two megawatts, an amount that equals the demand of 1,700 typical apartments, and its Green Manufacturing Initiative has helped local architects and developers find local manufactured green building products.

“Healthy communities need a wide variety of resources, from housing and jobs to parks and strong local organizations.  I am tremendously excited by the opportunity to take a comprehensive approach in working with communities to help them develop and implement their visions” said Friedman.  “We can emerge from the recession stronger and with a more diverse economy than before if we invest in communities to make them more competitive for job creation, with community-based organizations acting as instigators for economic development projects and policies” he added.