Irena Choi Stern joined the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in April 2019 as the special assistant to Geraldine Baum, the assistant dean of external affairs.
Until recently, Irena was a communications consultant for What Works Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative that helps local governments improve residents’ lives by using data and evidence effectively to tackle pressing challenges. She assisted the initiative’s communications strategy, amplifying WWC’s brand, thought leadership, and impact.
Prior to that, Irena worked at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism for more than a decade, most recently as the assistant dean for alumni relations. In her role, Irena served as the primary contact for the vast network of more than 12,000 graduates, deepening their connection to each other and the university and cultivating and identifying development prospects. She established and managed the Columbia Journalism School Alumni Board and committees, oversaw the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend and awards and served as managing editor of the alumni newsletter.
Irena has extensive event management experience, ranging from small engagements to marquee events featuring celebrities such as Tom Wolfe, George Clooney and Johnny Depp. Irena wrote features for the New York Times Westchester section (the section was discontinued in 2009.)
She is a former member of the Bronxville School Board of Education and PTA President. She was raised in India, Egypt, Morocco and Jamaica, where her father was posted as a diplomat. Irena is a graduate of Wellesley College, and received her master’s degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Columbia Journalism School.