Chief Strategy Officer & Managing Director
A keen communications strategist, Lee Silberstein has more than 25 years of experience in media relations, community relations and government affairs. He has been with Marino since its inception in 1993.
At Marino, Lee has helped lead communications programs for some of the City’s most ambitious economic development initiatives.
In 2012 alone, Lee successfully helped lead two high profile, ambitious, and complex multi-platformed communications campaigns. He led the Marino team that collectively served as chief communications strategist for the recently City Council approved NYU 2031 initiative, which calls for a six million square foot expansion of New York University's Greenwich Village Campus. He additionally helped lead Marino's programming on behalf of Jamestown Properties' efforts to win approval of a proposed large-scale expansion of Chelsea Market, with the City Council ultimately voting overwhelmingly in favor of the project's moving forward.
Lee's many other notable successes include the rezoning of the West Side of Manhattan in 2005–one of the largest in the City’s history; the rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn in 2004; and the redevelopment of Coney Island. Each of these proposed projects started out with significant neighborhood opposition and political pressure from numerous competing - and often opposing - constituencies. Lee was a key part of the teams that were able to garner positive media attention for the initiatives, shape community perceptions, and build consensus amongst competing stakeholder groups, paving the way for ultimate approval and development.
Lee provides senior-level strategic consulting to a diverse array of large businesses and organizations, as well as local not-for-profit clients. He has long been a part of the team working on Walmart's local strategy in its ongoing effort to open a store in the Big Apple. He is also playing a central role in Marino's expanding higher education and technology practices, guiding the Marino teams representing Touro College and University System, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, New York University's Tandon School of Engineering and the NYU Center for Urban Science and Planning.
“It’s not just about getting news clips. There’s a broader strategy,” Lee says. “It’s about advancing an issue. Relevant clips in the right places can get community buy-in on a project."
Prior to his formative role at Marino, Lee started his career in government, first as an advisor to Rhode Island Governor J. Joseph Garrahy, then as a Vice President at the New York City Public Development Corporation (now known as the New York City Economic Development Corporation) and ultimately as assistant press secretary to New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins.
“Working in government, you realize that whatever you’re trying to do – whether it’s a construction project or a legislative proposal – you can’t just say, ‘Here’s our plan. We hope you like it,’” Lee says. “Instead, it has to be about shaping the plan to build consensus.”
A native of Jackson Heights, Queens, Lee graduated from Brown University and married his husband Stas’ Kmiec' in December 2008.