Laurie Beckelman, Partner

Laurie founded Beckelman+Capalino with James Capalino in 2005 in response to strong demand from arts, cultural and historic preservation clients to provide high quality strategic planning and project management services.

Prior to founding Beckelman+Capalino, Laurie served as the Director of the New Building Program for the Museum of Art & Design at Columbus Circle.  Previously, she was Deputy Director for Special Projects for the Guggenheim Foundation, where she was responsible for the proposed Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum at Wall Street and the East River in Manhattan. Laurie served as the Vice President for the World Monuments Fund, a private, global, not-for-profit organization founded in response to the accelerating destruction of important artistic treasures throughout the world. She was the Executive Director of The Joseph Papp Public Theater and Vice President of LaSalle Partners, where she managed the plan for the redevelopment of Grand Central Terminal, and advised the Empire State Development Corporation on the redevelopment of 42nd Street. Laurie was appointed Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission by Mayor David N. Dinkins and continued as Chair under Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.  Before that she was Executive Director of the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

Ms. Beckelman was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and now serves as a member of the GSD’s Alumni Council. She studied for a Master’s degree from New York University’s Graduate School of Public Administration, and received her Bachelor of Arts and Science from Boston University.  She is a member of numerous boards of directors including Performa, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, and the Advisory Council for the New York Landmarks Conservancy.


James F. Capalino, Partner

Jim is recognized as one of New York’s premier urban problem-solving strategists. His background combines senior management roles in government, public relations, real estate, and construction management, with extensive public sector experience at senior levels of New York City government. Prior to establishing Capalino+Company he founded The Growth Strategy Group – helping senior corporate managers to refine growth strategy, manage change and increase returns – and served as COO of AJ Contracting, one of the nation’s largest minority owned contractors, increasing its revenues from $125 million to $400 million in three years. Jim’s government career began in 1972 when he joined the staff of Congressman Edward I. Koch.  In 1977, he co-managed the mayoral campaign of Congressman Koch when he was elected the 105th Mayor of the City of New York. He was named Commissioner of General Services, a 2,000+ employee, $750 million agency, at the age of 28 (still, the youngest commissioner in City history). Jim managed the Mayor’s successful third term re-election, which he won by the largest margin in the City’s history.

Jim holds an M.A. in Management and Urban Affairs from the New School University, and a B.A. in Political Science, cum laude, from Colgate University. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of Friends of the High Line and currently sits on that board.  He was also a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Hudson River Park.