Team

THE CITY’s staff is united by a common mission: reporting hard-hitting stories that serve the people of New York.

We’ve assembled a team whose members bring a rich mix of work and life experiences, as well as hail from a variety of backgrounds. To learn more, see our most recent diversity report.

Claudia Irizarry Aponte

Claudia covers Brooklyn for THE CITY. Her reporting has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer and NPR’s Latino USA. A 2018 graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, she’s a recipient of the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award for Social Justice Reporting.

cirizarry@thecity.nyc
@clauirizarry

Kazi Awal

Kazi is a designer and graphics producer for THE CITY. Formerly he was a designer at The Washington Post and multimedia journalist at NBCOTS.

kawal@thecity.nyc
@superkazi

Reuven Blau

Reuven is a reporter for THE CITY. He previously worked at the Daily News, NY Post and The Chief-Leader.

rblau@thecity.nyc
@ReuvenBlau

Christine Chung

Christine covers Queens for THE CITY. She was previously a local government reporter at Newsday and a 2015 graduate of Columbia Journalism School.

cchung@thecity.nyc
@chrisychung

Ben Fractenberg

Ben is a visual producer for THE CITY. He previously worked at the Forward as a national political reporter and DNAinfo as a New York City-based reporter/photographer. He is a proud alumnus of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

bfractenberg@thecity.nyc
@fractenberg

Hasani Gittens

Hasani is a deputy editor for THE CITY. His priors include senior news editor for NBCNews.com and managing editor for NBCNewYork.com. He began his career as a copy kid at the New York Post and is a proud product of Baruch College’s newspaper, The Ticker.

hgittens@thecity.nyc
@hgitty

Rosa Goldensohn

Rosa is a reporter for THE CITY. She was previously a reporter for Politico New York, Crain’s New York Business and DNAinfo, and also checked facts at The New York Times.

rgoldensohn@thecity.nyc
@rosagoldensohn
646-397-1795

Yoav Gonen

Yoav is the City Hall reporter for THE CITY. Previously, he covered City Hall and education for the New York Post, after stints at the Staten Island Advance, NY Daily News and the Brooklyn Papers. Learned the ropes from Professor Blood.

ygonen@thecity.nyc
@yoavgonen

Eileen Grench

Eileen covers juvenile justice for THE CITY and is Report for America corps member. She was previously an investigative reporter for the Global Migration Project, where her work was featured in The Intercept, The Nation, and Documented. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, Eileen was also a 2016 Olympian.

egrench@thecity.nyc

Jere Hester

Jere is THE CITY’s founding editor in chief. Previous: founding director of award-winning NYCity News Service of Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY; New York Daily News city editor; editor of Downtown Express. Freelance: New York Times, New York magazine, NBC News, others. Author of “Raising a Beatle Baby.”

jere@thecity.nyc
@jere_hester

Alyssa Katz

Alyssa is a deputy editor with THE CITY and a former member of the NY Daily News editorial board. Previously, Katz was editor of The New York World and City Limits. She is the author of “The Influence Machine: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Capture of American Life” and “Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us.”

akatz@thecity.nyc
@alykatzz

Jose Martinez

Jose is THE CITY’s transportation reporter. He previously worked on-air for six years at NY1 News, where he also hosted the weekly “In Transit.” He is a veteran of the city’s tabloids, covering courts at the Daily News and the New York Post. He began at the Journal News in Westchester County.

jmartinez@thecity.nyc
@jmartineznyc

Clifford Michel

Clifford covers Staten Island and southern Brooklyn for THE CITY. He previously covered politics for the Staten Island Advance. His reporting has appeared in Gothamist, the Amsterdam News, Politico New York and Gotham Gazette.

cmichel@thecity.nyc
@cliff_michel
347-267-0448

Ese Olumhense

Ese is a reporter covering the Bronx for THE CITY. Before joining the team, she was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune and at The Investigative Fund. Originally from the Bronx, she is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School.

eolumhense@thecity.nyc
@essayolumhense
646-504-2673

Laura Osorio

Laura is THE CITY’s office manager. Prior, she was the office manager at the Research Alliance for NYC Schools at NYU. She is a proud CUNY Queens College graduate.

losorio@thecity.nyc
@osoriolaurac

Terry Parris Jr.

Terry is THE CITY’s engagement director, managing THE CITY’s community engagement, social and audience strategies. Previously, he ran a team at ProPublica that did the same thing. Have an idea? He’s listening. Call, text, WhatsApp, Signal:

tparris@thecity.nyc
@terryparrisjr
718-866-8674

Greg B. Smith

Greg is a reporter at THE CITY. He was a reporter at the New York Daily News from 1993 through 2018. His beats have included federal court, City Hall and public housing. He also is the author of several books, including “Made Men: The True Story of the Rise and Fall of a New Jersey Crime Family.”  

gsmith@thecity.nyc
@gregbsmithnyc
917-685-5580

Rachel Holliday Smith

Rachel covers Manhattan for THE CITY. She is proud to have previously worked for WNYC, DNAinfo and NY1 News. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Curbed New York, Gotham Gazette and others. She serves as the editorial adviser to New York University’s student newspaper.

rsmith@thecity.nyc
@rachelholliday

Josefa Velasquez

Josefa is the state Capitol reporter for THE CITY. She’s previously worked at The Associated Press, Politico New York and the New York Law Journal covering the governor and Legislature. Most recently she worked as a money-in-politics reporter for the startup Sludge.

JVelasquez@thecity.nyc
@J__Velasquez
516-509-1641

John Wotowicz

John is THE CITY’s publisher, overseeing all revenue, technology, business and operational activities. Previously, John was Managing Director and member of the European Investment Banking Operating Committee of Morgan Stanley and Vice President and member of the Global Management Committee of Dimensional Fund Advisors. John was a Board Member of NPR, Inc. and served as Vice Chair, Finance Committee Chair and Co-Chair of the CEO Search Committee. John was also a founding Board Member of the Texas Tribune. John is a graduate of Duke University (A.B.) and Columbia University School of Law (J.D.).

john@thecity.nyc

THE CITY INTERNS

Savannah Jacobson

Savannah is a reporting intern for THE CITY. She previously worked for the Gotham Gazette and is a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School.

sjacobson@thecity.nyc
@srjacobson1

Daniel Laplaza

Danny is a community engagement intern for THE CITY. He is currently studying for an M.A. in Social Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where he covers accessibility barriers in New York City.

dlaplaza@thecity.nyc
@djlaplaza

Mekdela Maskal

Mekdela is a community engagement reporter, photographer and videographer focusing on food and climate justice in New York City. She’s studying at Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Before journalism, Mekdela worked in media and e-commerce.

mmaskal@thecity.nyc
@mekdeezy

Gabriel Sandoval

Gabriel is a reporting intern at THE CITY. He previously was a researcher at ProPublica, and an intern at WNYC, ChicoSol, Chico News & Review and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He studies business reporting at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

gsandoval@thecity.nyc
@gluissandoval