Press Releases

Common Ground names Michael Franco Chair of the Board

Franco replaces Jamie Rubin, new Commissioner of NYS Homes and Community Renewal

Michael Ryan of Cleary Gottlieb joins Board of Directors

NEW YORK – Common Ground, New York City’s largest supportive housing developer and manager, today named Michael Franco, Chief Investment Officer of Vornado Realty Trust, Chair of the Board of Directors. Mr. Franco has served on Common Ground’s board for three years, helping to lead the organization in building more than 800 new units of permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Mr. Franco replaces outgoing Board Chair Jamie Rubin, who Governor Andrew Cuomo recently named Commissioner of the New York State Homes and Community Renewal agency. Common Ground also announced that Michael L. Ryan, a partner at the leading international law firm Cleary Gottlieb, has joined the board.

“Michael Franco has been an incredible partner and valued member of the board for years, and I know he will help lead Common Ground to even greater tomorrows as Chair,” said Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Common Ground. “I would also like to welcome Michael Ryan to the team, and congratulate Jamie on his appointment as Commissioner for NYS Homes and Community Renewal. Jamie is already a tremendous advocate for affordable housing and New Yorkers in need. We’ll miss him but know he will help create even more vibrant communities throughout New York State in his new role.”

“I want to congratulate Michael Franco, who I know will do an outstanding job as Common Ground’s new Board Chair,” said Jamie Rubin, Common Ground’s outgoing board chair. “His extensive career and expertise in real estate, and dedication to helping New Yorkers, has made him invaluable to the organization and an amazing colleague in our work to provide housing and support to the homeless and many other at risk populations”

“Common Ground has been committed to New York City for 25 years, helping our most vulnerable neighbors and creating a stronger city for all. I am honored to take over as Chair of the Board, and working with my colleagues, including our new board member Michael Ryan, to extend Common Ground’s reach and impact to even more undeserved New Yorkers over the next 25 years,” said Michael Franco.

“It’s a privilege to join Common Ground, which has been a leader in the fight to combat homelessness in New York for more than two decades. Their combination of commitment and skill make them extraordinarily effective in this critical effort and I am excited to help them in this extremely important cause,” said Michael Ryan.

Michael Franco is Chief Investment Officer of Vornado Realty Trust, overseeing acquisitions, dispositions, and capital markets activity. Mr. Franco joined Vornado in 2010 from Morgan Stanley, where he was a Managing Director and served as Head of the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds in the U.S., its flagship real estate investment opportunity fund. Mr. Franco is also a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute.

Michael L. Ryan is a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York. Mr. Ryan's practice focuses on financial and corporate matters, ranging from mergers and acquisitions to securities offerings. He has extensive experience counseling corporate executives and corporate boards. For the last 15 years, he has devoted most of his time to serving as principal outside counsel to private equity firm TPG. Mr. Ryan is internationally distinguished as one of the best corporate lawyers by Chambers Global, Chambers USA, and The Best Lawyers in America. He is recognized as a leading private equity lawyer by The Legal 500 U.S. and IFLR. Mr. Ryan joined Cleary Gottlieb in 1978 and became a partner in 1986.

Mr. Ryan received a J.D. from New York University School of Law and an undergraduate degree from Harvard College. Prior to joining the firm, he was a senior nonfiction editor and director of contracts at E.P. Dutton & Co. He served as New York City Urban Fellow in the administration of John V. Lindsay, and was a founding director of the Public Interest Law Foundation at New York University.

About Common Ground
Now in its 25th year, Common Ground is a nationally respected leader in efforts to end homelessness and one of the largest developers and managers of supportive housing in the nation. It also operates, under contract with the NYC Department of Homeless Services, outreach programs that target people living on the streets in all of Brooklyn and Queens and nearly one-third of Manhattan.