Anni Zhu is an urban planner and former educator who loves bringing people together to solve tough problems. Currently, she serves as Chief of Staff for Way Finders, an affordable housing nonprofit in western Massachusetts, where she leads policy and advocacy efforts and manages strategic planning and special projects.
Previously, she worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), starting as Special Assistant to the President and progressing to serve as Chief of Staff to the Chairman and CEO. At the MTA, she worked closely with the Chairman & CEO in setting priorities for the senior leadership team and managing staff to deliver on these goals, while handling day-to-day operational issues that arose. A major focus included managing the agency's operational response to COVID-19, while driving financial savings initiatives to address pandemic-related revenue losses. She also worked on the approval and launch of the agency's 2020-2024 Capital Program and the roll-out of the OMNY contactless fare payment system.
Anni started her planning career at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a Leadership Fellow, where she worked at JFK Airport and in the Executive Director's office on projects including Gateway and LaGuardia Redevelopment. She is a graduate of Cornell Planning and NYU, a member of the NYU Rudin Center's Emerging Leaders in Transportation 2018 cohort, and a member of City & State's 2019 NYC 40 Under 40.