Lonni Tanner

Chief Change Officer, New York City Department of Design and Construction

Lonni Tanner serves as the executive director of See ChangeNYC. A joint initiative of the former mayor's office and the New York City Department of Design and Construction, See ChangeNYC re-imagines the places and experiences where at-risk citizens come for city services. Think senior centers and shelters to probation centers and libraries, and the neighborhoods they touch.

Tanner has consulted for many nonprofits, foundations and companies, using design and ingenuity to draw public attention to the squalid conditions of inner-city poor families and to energize donors to contribute stunning amounts of cash and in-kind.

For 11 years, Tanner served as director of special projects for the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City, where she amassed donations of more than $50 million in cash, goods and services on behalf of innovative poverty-fighting projects. She convinced some of the nation's leading architects to design 31 award-winning libraries in public elementary schools.

Tanner re-imagined the design of soup kitchens, science labs, child care centers and playgrounds — and the programs that ignite them. She found innovative ways to affordably furnish apartments for formerly homeless families, designed a successful summer camp for struggling readers and a jobs program for struggling teens. She also helped launch City Year, an award-winning think-and-do tank for national service.

Her awards include a Lyndhurst Prize and a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

April 21, 2014