This newly created role supports the organization’s commitment to offering a wide array of community-based programs supporting Queens residents and youth who are justice involved.



Forest Hills, August 19, 2022 – Queens Defenders is pleased to announce the promotion of Brian Schatz to the newly created role of Director of Community-Based Initiatives & External Affairs. Incorporating the responsibilities under his previous role of Director of Development & Communications, Mr. Schatz will now oversee an expansive portfolio of community-based initiatives serving justice-involved Queens residents including: The Rockaway Community Justice Center, the Food Justice Initiative, Housing Support Services, Domestic Violence Support Programs, Youth Support Programs, and others.

In this role, Mr. Schatz will lead an established program team in designing and implementing high-quality programs, ensuring quality and positive outcomes, and increase Queens Defenders’ profile throughout the borough, city, and with funders and supporters across the country as a trailblazing legal and social services organization.

“We are thrilled to have Brian spearhead our community-based programs and ensure they reflect our commitment to excellence,” stated Lori Zeno, Executive Director of Queens Defenders. “With his extensive experience in nonprofit leadership and management, commitment to his team members and most importantly the individuals we serve, we are confident he will effectively steward our robust youth and adult programs and broaden their impact throughout the communities we serve.”

Brian Schatz brings over 16 years of nonprofit leadership and management experience to this new role. Prior to joining Queens Defenders, he served as Chief Development Officer for Row New York, and has worked in fundraising and communications roles at the New York Hall of Science, the Child Mind Institute, The Center for New York City Affairs at The New School, and New Alternatives for Children. He holds a Master of Social Work from Widener University’s Center for Social Work Education and a Master of Public Administration from CUNY Baruch College’s Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. Brian is an adjunct instructor in Adelphi University’s Ruth S. Ammon College of Education and Health Science and has presented on fundraising, communications, and program evaluation at the Adelphi University Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Nonprofit New York’s Best Nonprofit Conference.