Dr. Michael H. Zisser

LES HERO Special Acknowledgement

Nominated by Melissa Aase


An urban planner by profession, Michael Zisser first came to know University Settlement (US) and the people of the Lower East Side community by working as a summer camp counselor at the University Settlement sleep-away camp in 1966. He returned in the ‘80s as a board member of US while he was a professor and the Director of the Planning Program at Pratt, and then became Executive Director in 1986, and CEO (also of The Door) in 2012. Over the last three-plus decades he has stewarded the historic settlement house – America’s first – out of challenging fiscal circumstances, steadily developing the scope and depth of programming, and ultimately growing the organization tenfold. Over the years Michael has nurtured a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary team of people who work as partners with their neighbors to increase equity and wellbeing– person by person and across the community.


How a NYC Non-Profit Did a $26.5 Million Real Estate Deal Without Selling Its Building




How The Other Sector Survives: Lessons in Non-Profit Management by Michael Zisser