Ethel Sheffer, FAICP is an Adjunct Professor in the Urban Planning program at Columbia GSAPP where she has supervised a variety of planning studios, especially in the neighborhoods of New York City where the clients have been community organizations and city agencies facing major planning challenges in key land-use issues, and local decision making. She has taught courses in community planning and development, disaster preparation and resilience, and public space planning.
Ethel Sheffer is Principal of Insight Associates, a consulting group which provides advice and research services in planning and land use, community organization and development, the public review process and collaborations among government, nonprofits and the private sector. She has completed numerous studies in communities as diverse as the West Bronx, East Harlem, Downtown Brooklyn and Sunset Park, Flushing, Queens, Washington Heights, Times Square and Lower Manhattan.
She now serves as a Commissioner on the New York City Public Design Commission which reviews permanent works of architecture, landscape architecture and art, proposed on or over City-owned property.
Ethel Sheffer, FAICP served as President of the NY Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association from 2002-2008.
She is a member of Manhattan Community Board 7 and has served as Chairperson of the Board, Chairperson of the Tri-Board Task Force on Columbus Circle and Chairperson of the Riverside Center Working Group.