Pierina Sanchez

Senior Fellow for Policy

Pierina has dedicated her career to centering racial and economic justice in urban policy and planning decisions. As Senior Fellow for Policy at the Pratt Center, her work is focused on ensuring a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, one that focuses on the most impacted and the most vulnerable. Pierina is also contributing to projects that aim to democratize data access and ensure public value is recovered from public actions. 

Prior to joining the Pratt Center for Community Development, Pierina served as senior advisor at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, where she advised on the intergovernmental and external relations of over 20 housing and economic development agencies, and liaised with the city’s labor unions. She negotiated legislation that will ensure a prevailing wage for workers in city-subsidized residential buildings, preserve for-hire vehicle driver wages, and protect children from lead hazards. When COVID-19 struck, Pierina’s work pivoted to the City’s response. She pushed to add testing sites, distribute protective equipment, and ensure the meal delivery system was reaching every New Yorker in need. Pierina also developed an action plan to protect NYCHA residents. 

Previously, Pierina served as the New York Director at Regional Plan Association during the development of the 4th Plan, a long-term plan for NY tristate anchored in proactive thinking about the future. She led research in affordable housing, transportation and sustainability, as well as the Plan’s community engagement program that reached thousands of low-income residents and residents of color and ensured social justice was a central Plan goal. In prior roles, Pierina served as a Chicago Mayor’s Office fellow, a White House intern and a New York City Council member’s senior aide.  

Pierina teaches a course on gentrification and public policy at Pratt Institute and is a proud alumna of the Bronx Community College Upward Bound program. She holds a BA in psychology from Harvard University and a MPA from Princeton University. 

Pierina is a lifelong resident of the Bronx where she volunteers with the Jerome Avenue Revitalization Collaborative and Bronx Community Board 5, and organizes community service events with local groups.