As the fearless leader of Governors Island, Leslie Koch put a forgotten little 172-acre island off the coast of Manhattan on the cultural map. In just a few years, she increased island visits from 8,000 people to over 275,000 and got New York City onboard with ambitious development plans, including a potential NYU satellite campus. Here, she shares five simple lessons learned about marketing, strategy, and life.
Leslie Koch is president of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC). Governors Island is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor that includes a 92-acre National Historic Landmark District. Under her leadership, GIPEC has developed a strategy to create world-class open spaces, expand public access, preserve historic structures, and improve transportation and infrastructure.
Previously, Leslie was the CEO of the nonprofit Fund for Public Schools, where she developed initiatives to increase public participation and private sector support for public education in New York City. During this time, the Fund secured nearly $160 million for system-wide initiatives and school-based programs.