Ethel Sheffer

Ethel Sheffer, FAICP, is an urban planner, civic and community leader and educator. She has served as an Adjunct Professor in Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation for more than 15 years. She has taught courses in community planning, political participation and has supervised a number of planning studios essential to the Master’s Graduate Program and which have provided consultation services to many government and community agencies in New York City. She has an extensive knowledge of New York City’s neighborhoods, has served as Chairperson of Community Board 7 and has been a community leader in several noteworthy battles and developments. She continues to serve on Community Board 7 and is now leading studies and evaluations of New York’s open streets programs.

Ethel Sheffer has served three terms as President of the New York Metro Chapter of the national American Planning Association. The New York Metro Chapter (APA-NYM) supports members, local communities, schools, and practicing professionals through advocating for good planning practice, hosting diverse events and facilitating professional development opportunities in New York City, Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties), Hudson Valley East, and the Hudson Valley West.

During her tenure as NY APA President and for many years after the terrible event, she served along with all of the architectural, disciplines on the planning and design of the 9/11 Memorial and was deeply involved in the recovery of downtown and New York City for many years.

Ethel Sheffer has recently served for six years as the Mayor’s Representative on the New York City Public Design Commission which is the agency of the New York City government that reviews permanent works of architecture, landscape architecture, and art proposed on or over city-owned property.

Ethel Sheffer continues to give lectures and informal talks on topics such as “Why Does New York Look the Way it Does” to many community and neighborhood organizations around the city.

Updated June 21, 2023