EDUCATION New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Purchase College BIRTHDAY 07/31/1980
ya Keefe has worked in global and national affairs at the Clinton Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but her true passion is effecting change on a local level. As an Israeli immigrant, she knows firsthand the challenges that migrants face, and sees local government as a means to helping underrepresented individuals in the community. “I went through a very painful immigration process,” she says, even though she already spoke English. “I was looking around me, and there were people everywhere that were going through the exact same challenges as I was, but weren’t even able to speak English, and it was painful to see how little support they could have.” This drive to help others inspired her to work in public service, and still motivates her as chief of staff to New York City Councilman Mark Levine. Keefe has known Levine since 2008, and the two worked to found the Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan. After he was elected in 2013, Keefe says “there was no doubt in my mind that I want to go with him.” As chief of staff, Keefe is most proud of her role in helping to pass Levine’s right to counsel bill this summer, which provides universal access to legal representation for low-income tenants. “It’s been the most amazing accomplishment and the most amazing journey to be a part of,” she says.
October 9, 2017
AYA KEEFE Chief of Staff to New York City Councilman Mark Levine