Our Board


Christine Kovich

Executive Director and Hk Co-Founder

Christine is also Co-Founder of Harlem Biospace, a biotech incubator for early stage life science companies. Christine has spent 14 years in the payments industry, most recently creating partnerships with start-ups that are disrupting the financial services industry. Prior to that, she held positions at M&M Mars and PepsiCo Restaurants in Toronto and Moscow, Russia. Christine has a Bachelor of Education from McGill University and International MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Canada.


Erika Gillette

Hk Co-Founder

Erika is currently enrolled in the Science Education Ed.D program at Teachers College; her focus is on social justice, and science as a therapy for children with dis/ABILITIES. She is also an adjunct professor at the College of Mt. St. Vincent in Riverdale, New York. Erika has a Bachelors in Psychology, Elementary and Special Education from the College of Mt. St. Vincent. She graduated with a Masters in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, specializing in teaching students with learning differences by focusing on their interest and abilities rather than the disability.


Cyndi Stivers

Cyndi is the Director of TED Residency, an incubator for “ideas worth spreading,” housed at TED HQ. She was previously editor-in-chief of both AOL.com and the “Columbia Journalism Review.” She started her career while a student at Barnard when she took a full-time job at the New York Post newspaper, and also worked with the Daily News, Vanity Fair, Us magazine, Premiere, Condé Nast Traveler, LIFE, Self, and other publications. From 1995 to 2005, she ran North American operations for Time Out Group Ltd., and went on to found Time Out New York, Time Out Chicago, and Time Out New York Kids. She received her Bachelors degree in English from Barnard College, Columbia University, where she now serves on the Board of Trustees.



David Steinmiller

Board Chair

David is Co-Founder of Knowbility Health, a biotech startup. Up until May 2015, he was Chief Operating Officer of Opko Diagnostics. He co-founded Claros Diagnostics, a point-of-care diagnostics company in 2004, which was acquired by Opko Diagnostics. Prior to that, David served as Director of Engineering at WebOligos and Eos Biotechnology and developed instruments for genomic research. David holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Masters in Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.


Flores Forbes

Flores is Associate Vice President of Urban Planning at Columbia University. Flores last served as Chief Strategic Officer for the Abyssinian Development Corporation. Prior to his tenure at Abyssinian, Flores worked for the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, where he served first as Deputy Director of Land Use Housing and Development and then as Director of Borough President Fields’ Northern Manhattan Office. Flores holds an undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University. He received a Masters in Urban Planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and was a Revson Fellow at Columbia.


Tovah Klein

Tovah is the Director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development (Toddler Center) and an Associate Professor of Psychology at Barnard College, Columbia University. At the Toddler Center, Professor Klein and her research team study children’s social and emotional development, the influence of parents on children’s development, sleep and separation, and the experience of being a parent in the early years. In addition to being a former developmental advisor for Sesame Street, Professor Klein is on the advisory boards for Ubuntu Education Fund (S. Africa), Rwanda Educational Assistance Project, Room to Grow, Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) and Learnnow.org. Tovah has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University.