HR&A Advisors Names Andrea Batista Schlesinger as Managing Partner of Los Angeles Office

HR&A Advisors, Inc. (HR&A), a leading national consulting firm providing services in real estate, economic development, and public policy, announced that current firm Partner Andrea Batista Schlesinger has been named Managing Partner of HR&A’s Los Angeles office. Paul J. Silvern, who has served as Partner in Charge of HR&A’s Los Angeles office since 2007, will remain an active Partner at the firm and support Andrea in her new leadership position.
The announcement follows the hiring of Lamont Cobb as Director, a fifth generation Californian and third generation Angeleno who brings nearly 10 years of experience in neighborhood planning and economic development efforts for Black and Brown communities, including two years of experience working for the office of Los Angeles City Council District 8.
These staff announcements are part of HR&A’s strategic expansion across the West Coast, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest to drive equitable development in urban communities. For over 40 years, HR&A has been providing advisory services to the West Coast from its Los Angeles office. Led in recent years by Partners Paul Silvern, Amitabh Barthakur, and Judith Taylor, Senior Advisor Martha Welborne, Managing Principal Connie Chung, and Principal Thomas Jansen, the firm’s game changing projects include developing a citywide economic development strategy for Los Angeles, designing an inclusive participatory budgeting process in Portland, and supporting negotiations for community benefits, anti-displacement, and workforce development efforts around San José’s Diridon Station.
“Since joining the HR&A team nearly four years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to disrupt traditional approaches to economic development, centering on equity as a primary goal and equipping community members with the tools to advance a new vision for their cities,” said Andrea Batista Schlesinger, Managing Partner of HR&A’s Los Angeles office. “As a firm, HR&A is a bridge between generating ideas to realize equity and justice and the implementation of those ideas that change people’s lives. I look forward to leading HR&A’s Los Angeles office, making a demonstrable difference on the matters of consequence in the city and region, while cultivating a team who will go on to be the visionary leaders of America’s cities into the future.”
“We have a mission to improve economic opportunity and quality of life for people who live in cities,” said Eric Rothman, CEO of HR&A. “Since joining the firm in 2017, Andrea’s work has been transformative for our clients with its focus on racial equity and economic justice on projects including criminal justice reform, access to affordable housing, public banking, and more. Andrea’s leadership of our Los Angeles office will strengthen our capacity to promote a just and resilient recovery for cities across the West Coast.”
Andrea Batista Schlesinger and her Inclusive Cities practice works to realize equity and justice. Her work focuses on three core areas:
Equitable Economic Development, including work to develop an initiative addressing the food access crisis in South Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and work to advise the Economic Justice Circle, a group of grassroots activists in Pittsburgh, on how to advance an equitable economic development agenda starting with demands for a transparent City budget;
Systemic Change, including work with Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City to address challenges presented by inadequate access to safe housing for those involved with the criminal legal system and who are being released from Rikers Island due to COVID-19; and
Visionary Leadership, including work to support the historic transition plan for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, first woman and first Latina to hold this position in the largest county in Texas.
Prior to advising clients on policies, programs, and advocacy strategies at HR&A, Andrea served as Deputy Director of the United States Program of the Open Society Foundations (OSF). In this role, she managed program operations and grant-making portfolios including investments to advance equitable economic development in Southern cities. Previously, Andrea served as a Special Advisor to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, where she coordinated the Young Men’s Initiative, a $130 million comprehensive package of policy reform and programmatic initiatives designed to reduce the disparities challenging young African American and Latino males.