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Christopher Cirillo

Visiting Assistant Professor


Christopher Cirillo became the Executive Director + President of Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation in July 2012. Based in East Harlem, Ascendant has preserved and developed over 800 affordable rental apartments in Northern Manhattan. The organization currently has almost 600 affordable rental apartments in its new construction pipeline and almost 1600 units in its public housing preservation pipeline. Among its new projects are a 210-unit senior housing project and a 33-unit shared housing project for LGBTQ young people. Since arriving at Ascendant, Chris has expanded the organization’s work to include neighborhood planning, historic preservation, and asset management. Chris helped to establish the Northern Manhattan Collaborative, an alliance of local non-profit housing providers, and Landmark East Harlem, an alliance of local historic preservation advocates. Before joining Ascendant, he spent 6½ years as Vice President for Development at The Richman Group Development Corporation. Chris also held several positions at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) over a ten-year period, including Director of Large Scale Development and Assistant Commissioner for Neighborhood Planning. Chris is a graduate of Brown University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies. He completed his Master of Science in Historic Preservation at Pratt Institute. He now serves as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Historic Preservation and Real Estate Practice programs at Pratt.

Brown University – Bachelor of Arts (Urban Studies)

Pratt Institute – Master of Science (Historic Preservation)