Founder and CEO of Metropolitan Public Strategies
Neal Kwatra is the Founder and CEO of Metropolitan Public Strategies, a leading political and communications strategy firm in New York. Since the founding of MPS in 2013, Neal has led many key electoral and issue campaigns in New York over the last 10 years. In one of his first campaigns after starting his firm, Neal led Ken Thompson’s historic campaign for Brooklyn District Attorney (as Chief Strategist) to victory as the first-ever African American to be elected Brooklyn DA and the first challenger to defeat an incumbent D.A. in more than 100 years in Brooklyn. Ken went on to start the country's first Conviction Review Unit for the wrongfully convicted and Kwatra worked to advise him in that first year in office.
In the subsequent years, Kwatra expanded the reach of MPS into the strategic management of nationally recognized grassroots and issue advocacy campaigns, including: the nationally recognized and precedent-setting SHARE BETTER campaign that successfully led reforms to hold Airbnb accountable for deleteriously impacting affordable housing and artificially driving up rents. The NY reforms Kwatra helped pass have been adopted by dozens of other cities around the country since.
Kwatra was also tapped by then-Governor Cuomo to lead the New York #FightFor15 campaign where New York became the first state to pass a $15 minimum wage; he subsequently played a key role in helping to pass the United for Affordable NYC campaign that enacted the largest affordable housing program in a US city anywhere in the country; the passage of transformative criminal justice reforms on behalf of the Innocence Project, Paid Family Leave, Tuition-Free College and medical marijuana expansion legislation in New York. More recently Kwatra has increasingly focused his work on climate change and concrete decarbonization strategies for the economy at the cross-section of the public and private sectors, with a particular focus on offshore wind.
Prior to founding MPS, from 2011-2013, Neal Kwatra served as Chief of Staff in the Office of the New York State Attorney General. From 2008-2011, Kwatra worked as the Director of Political and Strategic Affairs at the New York Hotel Trades Council, the largest local union of hotel employees in the nation, where he built their modern political operation which is today considered one of the most potent in NY politics. Prior to his work at HTC, from 2000-2008, Neal served as the Deputy Director of Strategic Affairs for UNITE HERE, the national hotel workers union, where he helped lead the union’s new hotel development organizing program (the single most successful organizing program in the Union's history, resulting in tens of thousands of workers being brought into the Union).