Under the direction of the Board, CFB staff assist candidates, audit and publicize how money is raised and spent in local elections, engage and educate voters, and make policy and legislative recommendations.
Amy M. Loprest
Amy Loprest has been the Executive Director of the New York City Campaign Finance Board since September 2006. Ms. Loprest has worked at the CFB for two periods from May 1999 to the present and from November 1990 to August 1992. Prior to becoming Executive Director, she held a number of key positions at the CFB, including: two years as the Board’s Assistant Executive Director, Director of Campaign Finance Administration, Deputy General Counsel, and Chief of the Candidate Services Unit. Ms. Loprest has been a speaker and participant at forums nationally and internationally on campaign finance issues. In 2006, she authored a report for IFES, an international nonprofit organization that supports the building of democratic societies, titled Transparent Public Funding in Nigeria. Ms. Loprest is an active member of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) and served as its president. She is a member of Fordham Law School’s Public Interest Advisory Council. She clerked for the Honorable Denise Cote, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, and was an adjunct professor of Political Science at Fordham University. Ms. Loprest received a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and graduated cum laude from Fordham University School of Law, where she was a Stein Public Interest Law Scholar, a member of the Order of the Coif, and a member of the Fordham International Law Journal.
Roberta Maria Baldini
Assistant Executive Director for Campaign Finance Administration
Roberta Maria Baldini has been the Assistant Executive Director of Campaign Finance Administration since October 2015. Ms. Baldini supervises the Audit and Accounting, Special Compliance and Investigations, and Candidate Services Units. Prior to joining the CFB, she was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) as an International Prosecutor and then to the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and finally served as UN Chief of Investigations, with worldwide jurisdiction. Prior to her time at the UN, Ms. Baldini was the Acting Africa Director for the International League for Human Rights. Ms. Baldini began her legal career as a law clerk for former NYS Supreme Court Justice, Leslie Crocker Snyder, and later moved to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, in the Sex Crimes/Domestic Violence Bureau. She developed and co-wrote, for judges and prosecutors, “Understanding Sexual Violence, Prosecuting Adult Rape,” under the auspices of NOW Legal Defense, National Judicial Education Program, and the US DoJ. Ms. Baldini graduated from New York Law School, where she was a Joseph Solomon Fellow, and from Bard College.
Chief of Staff
Kitty Chan has been with the CFB for almost three years. As Chief of Staff, Ms. Chan’s primary responsibility is direct supervision of the Operations Division, which includes Administrative Services, Document Processing, Records Management and Systems. She works with all of the unit heads on day-to-day issues and manages tasks and projects as requested by the Executive Director. Previously, Ms. Chan worked extensively in the non-profit sector and has served as Chief of Staff at both Harlem United and Safe Horizon.
Sue Ellen Dodell
General Counsel for Policy Guidance
Sue Ellen Dodell supervises the Policy Guidance Unit, where she develops internal controls to ensure consistency of agency policies, advises the Board and CFB staff on non-litigation issues, reviews all major agency documents, and develops staff training. Ms. Dodell was the General Counsel of the CFB from May 2000 to February 2017, managing the 12-person Legal Unit and advising the Board and CFB staff on a variety of legal and policy matters, including proposed legislation, rules, advisory opinions, enforcement, and litigation. Prior to her time at the CFB, Ms. Dodell was Deputy General Counsel to the New York City Comptroller, serving three comptrollers over 17 years. She also served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the city’s Law Department. Ms. Dodell began her legal career as a litigation associate in a midtown law firm. She graduated from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and the Writing and Research Editor of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, and from Mount Holyoke College, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs
As Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs, Eric Friedman is responsible for managing the agency’s intergovernmental relations, policy research, and legislative outreach. Through the units that comprise the Public Affairs division (Communications, Public Affairs, Public Relations, and Voter Assistance), he oversees the agency’s print publications and online communications, the NYC Votes voter engagement campaign, and the CFB’s promotional efforts, media relations, and public outreach. Mr. Friedman has served the CFB in a series of roles since 2006, as Policy Analyst, Press Secretary, and Director of External Affairs. Prior to joining the CFB, Mr. Friedman served as Press Secretary for U.S. Representative Christopher Shays (R-CT), a national leader on government ethics and campaign finance reform during his time in Congress. Mr. Friedman also managed communications for Congressman Shays’ re-election campaigns and worked on several campaigns for state and local office. Mr. Friedman began his career as a journalist, reporting on politics and government for a weekly newspaper in southwestern Connecticut. He is a graduate of Tufts University and the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.
General Counsel for Legal Affairs
Hillary Weisman heads the Legal Affairs Unit. This Unit manages litigation and enforcement of the Campaign Finance Act and CFB Rules; provides legal support and advice for other units; drafts legislation, rules, advisory opinions, and Board determinations; and acts as agency counsel for internal matters. Ms. Weisman has been at the CFB for ten years, and she has previously been Deputy General Counsel and Director of the Legal Unit. She attended Barnard College and Rutgers Law School. Before coming to the CFB, Ms. Weisman worked at a large private law firm, at the New York City Law Department, and at the New York State Attorney General’s office.
Chief of Records Management
As the Chief of Records Management, Rudy Castro oversees the preservation and retrieval of all records, including paper files, electronic files, online content, and database information. Mr. Castro works to create efficient and reliable storage and filing systems. In addition to assisting all units with their records, Mr. Castro’s team produces the documents that the public requests through the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Mr. Castro has been at the CFB for 9 years, since he started in Document Processing. He also serves as the agency’s Fire Warden, and he recently became an Equal Employment Opportunity counselor.
Director of Auditing and Accounting
Sauda Chapman has been with the CFB for 4½ years. She started in 2012 as a Senior Auditor, was promoted to Deputy Director in 2015, and most recently was promoted to Director of Auditing and Accounting in March 2016. Her team’s goal is to conduct quality audits of all candidates running for city office and inform the public of these audits. Prior to working at the CFB, Ms. Chapman was a Senior Auditor at Ernst & Young LLP, specializing in real estate audits and employee benefit plans. Ms. Chapman graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton with a degree in accounting. While at the SUNY Binghamton Ms. Chapman was the Treasurer of the Black Student Union for two years and participated in several other student organizations such as the Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program and the Black Dance Repertoire. Aside from the wonderful work that she is a part of with the CFB, Ms. Chapman is also the mother of two amazing daughters ages 5 and 1.
Director of Candidate Services
Daniel Cho manages the outreach, trainings, and guidance that the CFB provides to candidates and their staff in order to help them comply with the Campaign Finance Act and Board Rules. Mr. Cho oversees communications and assistance related to all campaign financial disclosures and the matching funds program. Prior to his role in Candidate Services, Mr. Cho was the Payment Coordinator for the CFB in the Auditing & Accounting Unit, responsible for the calculation and verification of public matching funds. He also served as an Auditor and Compliance Analyst when he started at the CFB in 2005. Mr. Cho has served on the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) as Co-Chair and Vice-Chair of its Programming Committee. He participated in the 2010-2011 New York City Leadership Institute. In 2014, Mr. Cho was selected by the New York Korean Consulate General to participate in and moderate at the Future Leaders’ Conference in Seoul, South Korea. Mr. Cho is a past Chair and Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Korean American League for Civic Action (KALCA) and currently serves as a member of the Emerging Leaders Council of BRIC Arts Media in Brooklyn. In his free time, Mr. Cho also assists the Council of Korean Americans based in Washington, DC and supports the Brooklyn Historical Society. Mr. Cho holds a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College.
Onida Coward Mayers
Director of Voter Assistance
As the Director of Voter Assistance, Onida Coward Mayers leads outreach; develops programming and policies aimed at increasing voter registration, advocacy, education, and participation; and designs and implements new and innovative nonpartisan voter initiatives, while monitoring voter trends and patterns across the city. Ms. Coward Mayers has played a key role in the launch of NYC Votes, the Campaign Finance Board’s voter education initiative. Prior to joining the CFB in 2011, Ms. Coward Mayers served as the head of the NYC Voter Assistance Commission, where she launched the city’s first-ever Video Voter Guide television and online program; the NYC Youth Poet Laureate program, a voting-themed teen competition designed to energize youth voters through spoken word poetry; and Voter Awareness Month (VAM), a city-wide campaign to promote voter education, registration, awareness, and participation. Ms. Coward Mayers also served as the Founding Director of Brooklyn Community Access Television/BCAT at BRIC, where she led the design, construction, launch, and daily management of the television station and its community training programs. She has served as an Officer for the Brooklyn Branch of the NAACP and in several organizations such as Jack and Jill of America, the Delta Rho Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and The Brooklyn Young Mothers Collective. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the City University of New York and a Board Member for WNET, Representation 2020, and other nonprofit and civic boards. Most recently, Ms. Coward Mayers was recognized by the Brooklyn District Attorney with a Community Service award.
Chief of Document Processing
As Chief of Document Processing, Rhonda Gaskins supervises the management of all incoming documentation and data, including mail, hand-delivered paper, and electronic submissions. Ms. Gaskins also establishes procedures to meet business needs and communicates them to affected staff. She will have been with the Campaign Finance Board for 12 years as of July 2017. Ms. Gaskins was hired in 2005 as an administrative assistant, promoted to Deputy Chief of Document Processing in 2009, and promoted to her current position as Chief of Document Processing in 2010. Ms. Gaskins will be graduating cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in Human Services this summer. She is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Director of Systems Administration
Ken O’Brien is the Director of the Systems Administration Unit. Mr. O’Brien oversees the Network Support team and the Application Development team. Together, these teams administer a number of programs for the agency, including C-SMART, the web-based application used by campaigns to submit disclosure statements; C-Access, the web portal through which campaigns receive CFB documents; and the Voter Guide Submission Application, the web-based application used by candidates to submit Voter Guide statements. Mr. O’Brien has been part of the CFB Team since February 1989, when he started as a Systems Administrator before being promoted to Director of Systems Administration. Prior to joining the CFB, he was a Systems Administrator at the New York City Department of General Services (now known as the Department of Citywide Administrative Services). While at DGS, Mr. O’Brien also held the positions of Audit Supervisor, Special Projects Analyst, and Confidential Investigator. In 1980, he earned a bachelor of the arts degree in French and sociology from the College of the Holy Cross.
Director of Special Compliance
As the Director of the Special Compliance Unit (SCU), Jesse Schaffer oversees three separate functions, each of which has one fulltime analyst: checking the city’s Doing Business Database (DBDB) against campaign contributions to ensure that contributions from people with business relationships observe lower limits and are not claimed for match; monitoring independent expenditures (IEs) and liaising with independent spenders; and conducting investigations based on Audit referrals and complaints received by the Board. In addition, Mr. Schaffer maintains the agency’s relationships with outside investigative and prosecutorial agencies and manages the CFB’s private investigator contract. Mr. Schaffer started at the CFB in 2011 in his current position in order to coordinate the development and implementation of the IE regulations, which were new at the time. Prior to that, he was at the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, where he created and implemented the DBDB. Mr. Schaffer began his career at the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), where he worked for five years before moving into the electoral arena in 1988. Mr. Schaffer worked for Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger for nine years on her government and campaign staffs. He has also worked on various campaigns for candidates in NYC, at the city, state, and national level. Mr. Schaffer studied math and computers at SUNY Binghamton and Baruch College, and is a Certified Fraud Examiner.
Director of Administrative Services and Human Resources
Corey Schaffer is the Director of Administrative Services and Human Resources. Mr. Schaffer’s unit oversees all of the essential administrative and personnel functions of the agency, including: contracting, purchasing, maintaining the agency’s financial data (including the Public Fund), payroll, timekeeping, training and development, and providing information to employees regarding health benefits and city programs. Mr. Schaffer has been at the CFB for two and a half years and he was previously the Deputy Director of Auditing and Accounting. Prior to coming to the CFB, Mr. Schaffer was the appointed City Clerk for the city of West Hollywood, California, where he worked for 12 years. Mr. Schaffer has a bachelor’s degree from Berkeley and a master’s degree in public administration from California State University. He also recently completed the NYC Leadership Institute.
Director of Public Relations
Matthew Sollars has worked at the CFB since 2012. Prior to joining the agency, Mr. Sollars was a reporter covering city and state politics at Crain’s New York Business and WNYC and a budget policy analyst at the Citizens Budget Commission. He has a master’s in journalism from CUNY, a bachelor’s degree in Italian from Columbia, and a certificate in culinary arts.
Elizabeth A. Upp
Director of Communications
Elizabeth Upp is the Director of Communications, which is responsible for art direction, graphic design, editorial development, and production of CFB publications and promotional materials, including the print and online Voter Guide, which is distributed to nearly five million New York City voters. Ms. Upp joined the CFB in 1997 as Chief of Publications. She has been active in the Council on Government Ethics Law (COGEL) for many years, serving on the Publications Committee, chairing the Technology Committee, and presenting and moderating panels at several annual conferences. Prior to joining the CFB, she was Managing Editor of The C++ Report, The Journal of Object-Oriented Programming, and The X Journal, and founding Managing Editor of Object Magazine for SIGS Publications She holds a degree in English literature from Fordham University, and she is a 2010 graduate of the New York City Management Academy.