President, The Trust for Governors Island
Leslie Koch is responsible for the planning, redevelopment and ongoing operation of Governors Island, a 172-acre island in New York Harbor.
Under Koch's leadership, Governors Island has been transformed from an abandoned military base into a vibrant public space, becoming New York City's newest destination for the arts and culture.
Koch led the creation of a master plan for the island's park and public spaces. Now in construction, the plan received awards and recognition for its exceptional design, as well as its innovative, inclusive public input process of encouraging and experimenting with new public uses and experiences on the island. Its iterative approach to planning and design has been cited as an "enlightened urban experiment."
Before joining The Trust for Governors Island, Koch was CEO of the Fund for Public Schools and was previously an executive at Microsoft. A native New Yorker, she received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale College and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale School of Management.
2012 conference presentation