Grove Fellowship Program Leaders

Spring 2017 Leaders for the Grove Fellowship Program

Dr. Lilliam Barrios-Paoli

Dr. Lilliam Barrios-Paoli was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio as Chair of the New York City Health + Hospitals Board in September of 2015. The Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal healthcare system in the nation with a budget of $6.7 billion, and about 37,000 employees, and includes 11 acute care hospitals, five nursing homes, six large diagnostic and treatment centers, more than 70 community-based health centers, a large home care agency, and one of the New York area’s largest providers of government-sponsored health insurance. Dr. Barrios-Paoli also serves as a Senior Advisor to the President of Hunter College with a focus on special projects and community partnerships.

Earlier Dr. Barrios-Paoli was appointed Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services by Mayor Bill de Blasio, serving from 2014 – 2015 overseeing the following agencies: Human Resources Administration, Administration for Children Services, Homeless Services, the Department for the Aging, the Department for Youth and Community Development, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and Health and Hospitals Corporation.

In December of 2008, she was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) by Mayor Bloomberg, following a long career in both City government and the nonprofit sector.  More recently, she was President and CEO of Safe Space NYC, Inc., a non-profit organization serving over 25,000 children and families in New York City.  Before joining Safe Space, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Executive for Agency Services at United Way of New York City.  Barrios-Paoli’s prior government service includes appointments as Commissioner at four agencies during the Koch and Giuliani administrations: the Department of Employment, the Department of Personnel (now DCAS), the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Human Resources Administration and Executive Director of Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx. In June 2016, as part of a $10.4 billion, five-year plan, the Cuomo administration created a homelessness task force that includes Lilliam Barrios-Paoli.

A graduate of the School of Anthropology of Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Dr. Barrios-Paoli also holds a Masters degree and a PhD from the New School for Social Research.  She is a former Trustee of the New School.

Dr. Barrios-Paoli serves on the JPB Foundation Poverty Advisory Committee. The mission is to enhance the quality of life in the United States through transformational initiatives that promote the health of our communities by creating opportunities for those living in poverty. Dr. Barrios-Paoli is also a member of the SEEDCO Board, whose mission is to advance economic opportunity for people, businesses, and communities in need. She also serves on the Good Shepherd Services Board of Directors.

Charles Kaiser

Charles Kaiser was born in Washington D.C. and grew up there and in Albany, N.Y., Dakar, Senegal, London, England, Windsor, Conn., and New York City.

He started writing for The New York Times while still an undergraduate at Columbia College. He spent five years as a reporter on the Metro staff, covering real estate, city politics, City Hall, the environment, and State Supreme Court. He then became the press critic at Newsweek. After a brief stint writing about media and publishing for The Wall Street Journal, he wrote his first book, 1968 In America, which was published in 1988. The Gay Metropolis (Lambda literary award winner, New York Times book of the year) was first published in 1997. Both of them are still in print from Grove Press.  His latest book, The Cost of Courage, about one French family in the Resistance in Paris during World War II, was published by Other Press in 2015, when it won the Grand Prize of the Paris Book Festival. A paperback edition and a French edition will appear in the spring of 2017.

His writing has also appeared in New York, The Guardian (UK & US), The New York Observer,, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and Manhattan,inc. among many other publications.

Kaiser is a founder and former president of the New York chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. He has taught journalism at Columbia and Princeton, where he was the Ferris Professor of Journalism.

In 2015 he was inducted into the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame.

Jessica Neuwirth

Jessica Neuwirth is an international women’s rights lawyer and activist. She is one of the founders and Honorary President of Equality Now, an international women’s rights organization established in 1992, and the founder and Director of Donor Direct Action, an offshoot project now hosted by the Sisterhood is Global Institute to support women’s rights organizations around the world. She is currently mobilizing a new Coalition for the ERA (the Equal Rights Amendment), in an effort to add sex equality into the United States Constitution and she is the author of Equal Means Equal, Why the Time for the ERA is Now.

Jessica holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in History from Yale University. She has worked for the human rights organization Amnesty International, for the Wall Street law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, and for the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, as well as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She served as a special consultant on sexual violence to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for its landmark Akayesu and judgment and again worked for the Rwanda Tribunal on the Media judgment holding print and radio media accountable for their role in the Rwandan genocide.

More recently she directed the legal team that drafted the judgment of the Special Court for Sierra Leone convicting former Liberian President Charles Taylor of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

As a guest lecturer, Jessica has taught international women’s rights at Harvard Law School. She is the recipient of the following honors and awards:

  • Susan B. Anthony Award, National Organization for Women, New York City Chapter, 1997
  • Special Citation, Advice Desk for Abused Women, Durban, South Africa, 2000
  • Ms. Women of the Year, 2003
  • Visionary Ending Violence Award, Harvard Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, 2005
  • Edith I. Spivack Award, New York County Lawyers’ Association, 2009
  • New York Moves Power Women of the Year, 2015

Speaker Christine Quinn

Christine Quinn is the Vice Chairwoman of the New York State Democratic Committee, a CNN political contributor, and former Speaker of the New York City Council. She is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of Women in Need (Win), an organization that provides safe housing, critical services, and ground-breaking programs to help homeless women and their children rebuild their lives.

From 1999-2013 Ms. Quinn served as the City Council Member for the lower Westside of Manhattan and was viewed as one of the most effective elected officials in New York. In 2006, she was elected Speaker of the Council, making her the first woman and first openly gay speaker, as well as highest-ranking openly gay official in New York City history.

A national leader in the LGBT rights movement, she was instrumental in securing marriage equality in New York State.

After serving as Speaker, she was appointed as a Special Advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo, focusing on women’s issues across New York. In this role she successfully led the effort to pass legislation combatting rape and sexual assault on college campuses.

Prior to serving in elected office, she was Chief of Staff to then-New York City Council Member Tom Duane and Executive Director of the Anti-Violence Project, where she worked closely with the New York City Police Department to reduce hate crimes.

Ms. Quinn serves on the Boards of Athlete Ally, an organization dedicated to ending homophobia and transphobia in sports, and of the National Institute of Reproductive Health (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice New York). She is on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s homelessness task force.

Ms. Quinn is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and former Harvard University Institute of Politics Fellow. She and her wife, Kim Catullo, live in Chelsea with her rescue dog Justin.