The Design Trust Board of Directors appointed Matthew Clarke as the organization’s new Executive Director. Matthew joins Design Trust as it celebrates 25 years of unlocking the potential of New York City’s shared spaces and brings valuable expertise to help guide the nonprofit into its next chapter as we together navigate this unprecedented and challenging time ahead for NYC's public realm. 

We are thrilled to announce that Matthew Clarke is joining the Design Trust for Public Space as our new Executive Director, as of May 11. A distinguished leader in the field, change-maker and ardent advocate for public space, Matthew brings over a decade of experience, advancing complex urban master plans, designing parks and public space, and implementing policies that build equitable communities. At the Design Trust, Matthew will be responsible for advancing our mission, catalyzing new ideas and initiatives, and shepherding the nonprofit and the city’s public space movement into the post-COVID environment.

Matthew joins us from The Trust for Public Land, where he was responsible for strengthening the nonprofit’s network of national and regional partners, and fundraising for multi-million-dollar public space initiatives in his role as National Director of Creative Placemaking. Matthew authored the influential Field Guide for Creative Placemaking and Parks and has spoken regularly at major international events and conferences, including the United Nations and the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Since our launch in 1995, the Design Trust for Public Space has been proud to be at the vanguard of the public space movement, working to foster new appreciation and commitment to New York City’s public spaces. Matthew’s track record in strategic planning, relationship building, and fundraising will be vital assets during this pivotal moment for our city.

We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Interim Executive Director Leslie Griesbach Schultz for her support and leadership during this important period of transition.

Please join us in welcoming Matthew Clarke to the Design Trust community as we forge ahead towards the future!

“Now more than ever New Yorkers are yearning for public space, and Matthew’s enthusiasm for this cause and commitment to our values will bring new and increased focus to the Design Trust’s work. We could not be happier to have him join as our new Executive Director."- ERIC ROTHMAN, Chair of Board of Directors

“The Design Trust has been distinguished throughout its 25-year history for its innovative methods and partnerships. Advocacy is a key component of the Design Trust’s work, as is working with community to define the value of public space for the future. As we emerge from this challenging time, which has hit New York City particularly hard, I am eager to begin working with an incredible team of experts at Design Trust to underscore the value of public space for every New Yorker, in ways that will make this city healthier and more equitable, and reaffirms the vitality of this great community.

Matthew Clarke, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space