Andrea Batista Schlesinger Creates New Practice Focused on Equitable Growth and Inclusive Cities

andrea batista schlesinger


“The American city confronts increasingly urgent challenges of inclusion and equitable development. Building on our 40 year history of service to urban regeneration, Andrea Batista Schelsinger brings new skills, perspectives, and energies to our work. Her work will support the development of an urban future responsive to  the needs of all city residents, including those most vulnerable.”

–  John Alschuler, Chairman


HR&A is pleased to welcome Andrea Batista Schlesinger as a Partner in our New York office. Andrea is a nationally recognized leader in progressive public policy with a deep passion for cities. She will bring her vision of inclusive and equitable urban growth to HR&A, where she will advise clients on policies, programs, and advocacy strategies that address the challenges of economic inequality and the barriers to inclusion in cities.


“The primary goal of my work will be to establish HR&A as a leading resource in the promotion of equity in the growth of cities. It is increasingly important that we develop meaningful responses to the ways that cities have too often become exclusive of the communities that make them vibrant.”

–  Andrea Batista Schlesinger


Andrea has dedicated her career to advancing economic equality and social justice. Andrea comes to HR&A from the Open Society Foundations, George Soros’ global philanthropy, where she was Deputy Director of U.S. Programs. In that role, Andrea helped develop strategies to tackle state preemption of local laws, raise the minimum wage, improve the wages and working conditions of child care workers, and support progressive local elected officials throughout the country. While at Open Society, Andrea launched the innovative civic engagement initiative, “Talking Transition.” Working with local partners and HR&A Advisors as program manager, the New York City and Washington D.C. initiatives transformed the usual closed-door process between the mayoral election and inauguration into an opportunity for broad public engagement through public conversations about policy issues and their effect on communities.


Previously, Andrea served as a Special Advisor to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and as Executive Director of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, originally founded by an advisor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Andrea is the author of The Death of Why: The Decline of Questioning and the Future of Democracy (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009) and has advanced degrees in history from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, where she focused her studies on how global cities have constructed their responses to inequality during the latter half of the 20th century.

To reach Andrea and learn more about our vision for equity in economic development please email