Josh Cohen founded Polity Partners in 2017 as a consultancy to advance a sustainable and clean energy future. He has more than 15 years of senior leadership experience serving in the federal, state and local levels of government, including four years as Mayor of Annapolis, Maryland.
Before starting the firm, Josh was a Senior Executive Service (SES) appointee as Deputy Administrator of the USDA Rural Utilities Service, an infrastructure lending agency that financed $5 billion in energy, broadband and water and wastewater projects annually. Josh also served for 12 years as an “honest, straightforward and responsive” elected official (The Capital), and is widely recognized for staving off municipal bankruptcy after his election as Mayor of Annapolis during the Recession in 2009.
Areas of focus: clean energy, telecom, rural and urban development, organizational leadership
Cristina Bernardo Kullberg has almost a decade of experience in measurably increasing profitability and social impact across a variety of sectors. A social entrepreneur at heart, she is President and Co-Founder of Open Dreams, an educational nonprofit that helps high-achieving students from underprivileged regions in Cameroon, South Africa gain access to higher education, mentorship, and scholarships. Previously she served as an Obama Administration appointee at the USDA Rural Business and Cooperative Service where she supported the growth of small businesses, renewable energy, and community economic development in the most impoverished areas in rural and tribal America.
Born into a large Cuban-American family, Cristina is near fluent in both Spanish and French. She earned a Bachelor’s degree with highest distinction in International Business and Politics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master’s degree in Political Economy from the London School of Economics.
Areas of focus: economic development, renewable energy, social entrepreneurship
David Lipsetz is a Senior Fellow at the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) and leading voice for affordable housing and sustainable community development. David came to HAC after holding several presidentially appointed positions in the Obama Administration. Most recently, he served as the Associate Administrator for Rural Housing and Community Facilities at USDA. His office oversaw policy development and program administration of more than $100 billion in direct lending, mortgage guarantees, grants and technical assistance for community and economic development in rural America. David came to USDA from HUD, where he served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Advisor for Public and Indian Housing, and as an Acting Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary. Prior to HUD, David managed policy, large-scale initiatives and organizational development for housing agencies in New York City and Oakland, CA. He also worked for the San Francisco Bay Area’s regional planning authority; and Dresden, Germany’s Institute for Ecological and Regional Development. His career began as a Legislative Assistant for domestic policy issues in the Office of U.S. Congressman John Dingell.
David was born and raised in Ohio. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Michigan State University, and Master’s degrees in Sociology and City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University. He currently resides in Washington, DC with his wife and kids.
Areas of focus: housing, community development, urban affairs, rural affairs
Megan McConville has over a decade of experience launching and leading sustainable development initiatives within the government and nonprofit sectors. Her work has supported smart growth, economic revitalization, and disaster and climate resilience in both urban and rural communities across the country. Most recently, Megan served in senior roles within Rural Development and the Rural Housing Service at USDA where she oversaw efforts to develop a smart growth technical assistance program, provide healthy meals to children living in rural housing, and make data on agency investments publicly available for the first time. Previously, Megan worked at the National Association of Development Organizations and at EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities.
Megan earned a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.
Areas of focus: smart growth, economic revitalization, housing, rural development
Ian Pfeiffer has almost two decades of experience navigating Capitol Hill. For 12 years, Ian has been an independent federal government relations consultant helping municipalities, educational institutions, small businesses and community organizations have their voices heard in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, Ian served as Legislative Director to Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) where he managed the Congressman’s legislative agenda for the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Ian also served on the staff of then-Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) and managed his appropriations requests.
For the past 8 years Ian has served as an elected member of the Annapolis, Maryland City Council. Ian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University at Sonoma and a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Politics from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
Areas of focus: transportation, economic development, appropriations, urban affairs