Dominic Sonkowsky

Dominic brings experience in data analysis, stakeholder engagement, and narrative building to support projects that make cities more equitable and sustainable.


Dominic re-joins HR&A after serving as a Summer Fellow in 2022, where he supported projects like the redevelopment of New York Penn Station, the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative in Manhattan Chinatown, funding and financing for resilient infrastructure in South Africa, and HR&A’s Infrastructure Funding Navigator. While at another consultancy, he contributed to market analyses for the New York City hotel and wholesale beverage distribution industries, and a highway cap real estate development proposal in Cincinnati.

Dominic is an expert on New York City outdoor dining policy. For the nonprofit Welcome to Chinatown, he managed three surveys targeting distinct Chinatown audiences to gather feedback on the Open Restaurants outdoor dining program. He synthesized findings into a white paper presented to Manhattan Community Board 3. At New York University, Dominic was the lead author of a study finding that the Open Restaurants program brought outdoor dining to low-income, minority neighborhoods where it was previously out of reach to many small businesses. His work on outdoor dining has been featured in Gothamist, Streetsblog NYC, Crain’s New York Business, AM New York, Fast Company, Thrillist, and EATER New York.

Dominic has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Swarthmore College and a Master of Urban Planning from New York University. For his capstone project at New York University, Dominic led a team of graduate students in creating a Greenway Connectivity Plan for the City of Jersey City. The plan recommends 16 new or upgraded pedestrian and cyclist paths that will transform Jersey City’s separate greenways into a citywide active transportation network.

Melissa Holo

Melissa is a program and project management leader in the broadband sector pushing for affordable, high-quality internet for all.


Prior to joining HR&A, Melissa was Director of Program Management at the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) for the Lifeline, Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), and Affordable Connectivity Programs.  Melissa ran the project management office that orchestrated the launch of the temporary EBB program and then transitioned to the longer-term, $14 billion Affordable Connectivity Program. These programs provide monthly discounts on internet service to millions of households.  Melissa worked alongside federal partners to build application and program management systems, identify and resolve consumer and industry challenges, and track program goals. She executed strategic communication and outreach strategies to build program awareness and improve consumer experience.

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Virginia Tech and a Master of Historic Preservation from University of Maryland.

Rachael Grainger

Rachael provides analytical support to HR&A’s Digital Equity and Broadband practice with experience in public policy analysis, economic development, human centered-design, and behavioral economics.


Prior to joining HR&A, Rachael worked as an economic development and public policy consultant based in North Carolina, working closely with local governments on projects ranging from housing to entrepreneurship. She also worked with the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) to build the capacity of community organizations and local governments for digital workforce development in rural America. Most recently, she worked closely with the North Carolina Office of Digital Equity and Literacy to implement a human centered-design research project to inform equitable device distribution across North Carolina as part of her final Master’s Project. Rachael is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Ukraine, ’18-20) and was a Paul D. Coverdell Fellow at Duke University.

Rachael has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Film/Media with Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Masters of Public Policy from Duke University.

Shawn Daugherty

Shawn promotes digital equity through partnerships with governments, organizations, and the communities they serve.


Shawn is a Senior Program Manager in the Broadband and Digital Equity practice. Through her work with local and state governments, she strives to ensure that the plans and policies HR&A develops reflect the genuine needs of the communities we serve.

Before joining HR&A, Shawn led Government Relations for Human-I-T, a digital equity social enterprise where she managed engagement with federal, state, and municipal governments. She successfully obtained a contract to provide up to 3500 devices to low-income families in Los Angeles County and three CPUC CASF grants to support Human-I-T’s internet assistance work. She also secured the passage of the COVS Act in 2022. Shawn was also the Director of Operations for the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, where she worked to double its annual revenue and grow its membership by 20%. She also worked as a Senior Policy Associate at The Sheridan Group, a nonprofit public policy consultancy. She started her political career working for Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Shawn holds a Master of Public Administration from Suffolk University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Lynn Chong

Lynn provides research and analytical support to projects ranging from equitable economic development to transit-oriented development.


Lynn is an Analyst based in HR&A’s New York City office, where she provides research and analytic support for the firm’s economic/workforce development, sustainable infrastructure, and real estate advisory practices. She advises both private and public sector clients on effective policymaking, program design, stakeholder outreach, and funding strategy decisions utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Prior to HR&A, Lynn supported regional and municipal economic development planning initiatives, in addition to working in parks and public realm design.

Lynn holds a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Public Policy and Anthropology from the University of Chicago.

Mackenna Caughron

Mackenna drives HR&A’s approach to business development by integrating operational and analytical frameworks that build, measure, and expand the company’s pipeline of new work while spearheading strategic initiatives that expand our impact, such as Growth Areas.


Prior to joining HR&A, Mackenna worked as a Sr. Project Manager for the Walt Disney Company Studios. In this role as a project manager, Mackenna combined tactical execution, process improvement, and enterprise-wide alignment to increase team throughput and quantify impact. She also worked as a strategy, management, and technology consultant for Point B and PricewaterhouseCoopers. During her consulting career, she delivered multi-faceted analysis across a breadth of industries including: non-profits, media & entertainment, retail, financial services, manufacturing, and healthcare. Mackenna sold consulting services, led account relations, and codified selling behaviors for customers in the New York metropolitan area.

In addition to her consulting work, Mackenna served on a team of resource managers, where she partnered with sales leadership to prioritize inbound opportunities with available talent. Mackenna sits as a co-chair of The Bowery Mission’s Associate Board. She is responsible for fundraising, member relations, external engagement, and contribution measurement.

Mackenna holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Information Systems and Labor Management Relations from McGill University. She is human-centered design certified from the Luma Institute. Part time, Mackenna pursues her Master of Urban Planning at New York University.

Ryan Canavan

Ryan harnesses data through analysis and visualization to help clients meet critical challenges and seize policy opportunities in housing and urban development.

Prior to joining HR&A, Ryan worked for The Pew Charitable Trusts’ housing policy initiative, conducting research on housing development and home financing. Whether in articles that drive coverage in leading national media outlets, presentations to state legislative committees, or comment letters to federal agencies, Ryan helps decision makers cut through the noise and get the answers they need. His interest in urban planning grew out of his years working in public health and health equity for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where he facilitated multiple strategic planning initiatives and where his data management tools supported field teams and a call center.

Ryan holds a dual Master of City Planning and Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science in the Biology of Global Health from Georgetown University.

David Anton

David brings experience in real estate market analysis, evaluation of policy interventions, valuation of infrastructure assets, and financial management of government programs.


He currently works with transit agencies, local governments, and developers in Transit Oriented Development plans, infrastructure funding and financing strategies, and monetization of government real estate assets. Prior to HR&A, David worked on defining the user fares and subsidy structure of the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Bus Network – one of the largest transit systems in Latin America – and was an advisor for Argentina’s Department of the Treasury on matters related to multilateral cooperation and infrastructure development.

David earned his Masters in Public Administration at Columbia University, and previously obtained a BS in Economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina. 

Sierra Scott

Sierra’s interests lie in the interdependence between institutions and the resulting impact on environmental sustainability, equity, and economic development.


While working for the Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP), Sierra conducted research to identify infrastructural gaps between environmentally sustainable policy and application. Focusing on air quality, energy, watersheds, and waste management, she created a database tracking sustainable legislation in these sectors. Additionally, she was tasked with analyzing municipal climate change initiatives in the Southeastern U.S. and identifying applicable funding sources provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. After reading over 300 city plans, she co-produced a report that was subsequently published, identifying almost 150 plans from 38 cities across 12 Southeastern states, and created an appendix identifying 71 funding sources.

In her urban design studio at the Georgia Institute of Technology, she was on a team that partnered with the Georgia Conservancy and the Habersham County Government in order to create a growth management plan. For this project she created a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program for the county and redesigned the county’s zoning map in order to encourage development along industrial corridors.

Sierra has a Bachelor of Science in Music Management and an Urban Studies Minor from the Georgia State University, and a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Nick Alexander

Nick provides analytical and advisory services for clients in the commercial real estate development and asset management sectors, helping to facilitate the creation and implementation of equitable and purpose-driven real estate strategies.


Nick joins the firm’s growing Knowledge Economy Practice in Atlanta, GA as a Senior Analyst. He was previously an Asset Manager with Trimont where he gained extensive experience in commercial real estate loan servicing and construction administration while working on the Credit Administration and Asset Management Team. As an Asset Manager he worked in a cross-functional capacity assisting with the completion of transitional projects and community revitalization efforts in the Atlanta market and nationwide.

Before working with Trimont, Nick worked as a Senior Associate for SitusAMC providing market research and analysis, financial modeling and analytics, and reporting and compliance services for a portfolio of commercial real estate properties across all asset classes.

Nick holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Georgia State University, where he earned a degree in finance from the Robinson College of Business.