Board of Directors

PBP is guided by a Board of Directors, which oversees the organization. See full bios at the bottom of the page.

Michael Menser, Chair
Alina Chatterjee, Secretary
Silaka Cox, Treasurer
PBP green 1
Joan Bakiriddin
Evan Graner
Robert Sherman
Chelsea Tu
Cyndi Tercero-Sandoval

Michael Menser, Chair

Michael Menser, Chair
City University of New York | New York City

Menser is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College and Earth and Environmental Science and Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center, and he is the Chair of the Board of The Participatory Budgeting Project. His current research focuses on participatory democracy, urban environmentalism, food sovereignty, and the “solidarity economy.” Menser is an active member of the PSC-CUNY faculty union and has worked with a range of labor, neighborhood and direct action groups including the NYC and World Social Forum, US Solidarity Economy Network, Brooklyn Food Coalition and the Participatory Budgeting 45th District Committee in NYC.

Alina Chatterjee, Secretary

Alina Chatterjee, Secretary
Scadding Court Community Centre | Toronto

Alina is Senior Director of Redevelopment and Innovations at Scadding Court Community Centre in Toronto. She has extensive experience in the community sector with a strong background in equity work, fundraising and program development. Some of her past work includes senior management positions with United Way Toronto and York Region, Toronto Community Housing, the City of Toronto, and she also served as Executive Assistant to City Councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam. While at Toronto Community Housing, Alina managed the housing authority’s participatory budgeting process, the first housing process in North America. With a BA from the University of Toronto in international relations, she has been a volunteer member of several non-profit Boards, from Social Planning Toronto, Council of Agencies Serving South Asians to Urban Alliance on Race Relations. Alina currently sits on the Board of Drum Arts Canada in addition to PBP.

Silaka Cox, Treasurer

Silaka Cox, Treasurer
Fund for the City of New York | New York City

Silaka is a currently a Program Associate at the Fund for the City of New York, working under the portfolio of the Center for Court Innovation. She previously served as the Chief Operations Officer at the Rockaway Youth Task Force (RYTF), where she was instrumental during it’s founding years, helping grow the organization to a half a million dollar yearly budget by 2016. Silaka has served as a member of the Board of the Participatory Budgeting Project since 2016, and has spoken about Participatory Budgeting in Vallejo, CA, New York City, NY, Boston, MA and Baltimore, MD. Silaka first become involved with PB during the inaugural year of PBNYC in Council District 32 in 2014. In addition to her participation in PBNYC, she has served as a member of Community Board 14 in Queens, as well as the Rockaway East NYRCR Planning Committee to help create a reconstruction plan for $15.1 million in CDBG-DR implementation funds. In 2014, she was awarded a City Council Proclamation by Councilman Donovan Richards, for her commitment and community advocacy in the Rockaways. In 2015, she was a #PBParty Honoree at PBP for her leadership of youth voice in Participatory Budgeting.

Joan Bakiriddin

Joan Bakiriddin
Elsevier Inc. | New York City

Joan’s been a leader in PBNYC since its first cycle in 2011, serving as a facilitator, budget delegate, District Committee leader, and Citywide Steering Committee member. Her passion for PB stems from seeing how the process mobilizes and empowers disenfranchised folks who feel like they don’t have a voice. She’s a Business Systems Training Manager at Elsevier Inc. and a community advocate who believes in peaceful troublemaking. Joan is eager to grow and sustain PB at powerful scales, and she brings a tremendous amount of experience from leading the largest PB process in the U.S. since its inception.

Evan Graner

Evan Graner
Landor | San Francisco

A proud native of North Dakota, Evan Graner is a Director in the Brand Engagement practice at Landor, the world’s leading brand and design consultancy.  At Landor, he helps the leaders of major companies devise strategic plans for applying their brand in leading their business strategy and then activating that strategy with employees;  participatory budgeting is quite similar, simply replace business leaders with city leaders and employees with residents.  Additionally, Evan’s has had the joy of seeing the country’s mayors in action via past work in Global Public Affairs at Citi, including work with their sponsorship of the US Conference of Mayors. He also votes in his participatory budgeting process as a resident of New York City’s third district (the west side of Manhattan from TriBeCa to Hell’s Kitchen).  Evan joined the Board because he believes that now – more than ever – it is paramount for residents to make their voices heard so that there can be transparency and accountability in the distribution and use of public money. 

Robert Sherman

Robert Sherman, PhD
New York City

Robert F Sherman Ph.D. has been focused on youth civic activism and social justice teaching/learning for most of his career.  He works as a consultant to foundations and nonprofits in areas of education reform, youth development and leadership, civic engagement and arts education.   Until March 2013 he served as Director, Initiative for Social and Emotional Learning at the NoVo Foundation where he was a major architect of a robust, 8 large district learning/teaching initiative., advancing educational experiences and practices.  Prior to NoVo, Sherman served as Executive Director of the Action Center to End World Hunger, a division of Mercy Corps where he supervised the agency’s Global Citizen Corps, a youth activist and service program involving thousands of young people from 11 countries who convened in person and online in a yearlong peer-to-peer leadership, learning and service effort focused on local action-taking on global challenges around hunger, poverty, conflict, and human rights.  Sherman, founded and directed the national Effective Citizenry program at the Surdna Foundation in New York City, where he served for 15 years.   Sherman served in the NYC government for 8 years, founding and directing a grassroots focused division of the Mayor’s office.  He graduated from Haverford College, and holds a clinicial psychology Ph.D. from the Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University.

Chelsea Tu

Chelsea Tu
Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment | Oakland

Chelsea joined the board of the Participatory Budgeting Project in July, 2018. She is currently also a Senior Attorney at the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment. In her previous role as a Staff Attorney at Public Advocates in 2017, Chelsea collaborated with PBP staff to successfully convince the Bay Area’s transportation planning agency to spend $1 million in transportation money through Participatory Budgeting.

Cyndi Tercero-Sandoval

Cyndi Tercero-Sandoval
Phoenix Union High School District | Phoenix

Cyndi Tercero-Sandoval is the Student Support Services Manager for the Phoenix Union High School District. Cyndi has been with the district for over 24 years working in student services and dropout prevention. She actively seeks partnerships that promote student achievement by eliminating barriers to learning and creating social emotional learning opportunities for students to be empowered. Cyndi is considered a resident expert in dropout prevention initiatives and student support services. She has received several awards for her work with youth and was recently recognized as a White House Champion of Change in 2016. She is very active in the community and serves on several other boards and coalitions that focus on improving youth outcomes.