Notice of 2024 NYU Tandon Polytechnic Alumni Association Annual Meeting & Election | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Notice of 2024 NYU Tandon Polytechnic Alumni Association Annual Meeting & Election

View our 2024 NYU Tandon PAA Slate of Candidates below

Meeting Information

The NYU Tandon Polytechnic Alumni Association (PAA) 2024 Annual Meeting and the election of the International Board of Directors members.

The election of the International Board of Directors of the NYU Tandon Polytechnic Alumni Association* will take place at the Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 6:00 PM (EDT) sharp.

All alumni are invited to participate at the meeting and election in-person or virtually. Kindly note, you will not be able to submit your ballot in-person or virtually. Be sure to cast your vote no later than 12:00 PM (EDT) on June 26, 2024.

*Includes Alumni of Polytechnic Institute, Polytechnic University, NYU “Heights” SES and NYU Tandon


  1. Call to Order, Robert V. Jones ’87, PAA President
  2. Moment of Silence in Memory of Departed Friends, Robert V. Jones ’87
  3. Secretary’s Report: Approval of June 29, 2022 Annual Meeting Minutes, Amy Batallones ’19 
  4. President’s Report, Robert V. Jones ’87
  5. Executive Director’s Report, Valerie Cabral ’81
  6. Fundraising Committee Report, Don Trotta '88 and Co-chair Ravi Bhatia '85, Co-chair 
  7. Nominating Committee Report Presentation of 2024 Slate of Candidates, Anthony Concolino ’82, Chair
  8. Election of the International Board of Director Members
  9. Closing Remarks
  10. Adjournment


Thursday, June 27, 2024


  • 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM - Buffet Dinner
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM - Annual Meeting and Election 


1 MetroTech Center, 19th Floor, Jacob's Seminar Conference Room, Brooklyn, New York 11201

All alumni are invited to attend to and vote for up to five International Board of Directors members who will (serve three-year terms, beginning September 1, 2024. There will be no ability to cast a vote via phone, fax, email, postal mail, or in-person.

Kindly review the candidate bios and cast your vote using the electronic ballot provided below.

Email, if you have questions.


The PAA Nominating Committee has presented the following 2024 Slate of Candidates for the International Board of Director Members: 

  • Tina Louise Brower-Thomas, Ph.D. '97, '02 (Chemistry)

  • Ben Downing '20 (Cyber Risk and Strategy)

  • Naomi Eichenbaum '12 (Biotechnology & Entrepreneurship)

  • Mohammed Ghouri  '99 (Telecommunications and Information Management)

  • Gozde Ustuner, Ph.D. '14 (Mechanical Engineering)

Annual Meeting and Election Minutes - 2023

Candidate Bios

IBOD Candidates

Dr. Brower-Thomas is the Co-PI for the National Science Foundation-funded Center of Integrated Quantum Materials (CIQM) and the Center’s executive director at Howard University.  She is CIQM’s education director and investigator in the 2D heterostructure research area. 

In addition, Dr. Brower-Thomas is the Co-PI for the Center for Quantum Networks (CQN) and supports research thrust 3: Quantum Devices, Materials, and Fundamentals.  Dr. Brower-Thomas is also an investigator for the Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage (C2QA), supporting the materials thrust, and a volunteer on C2QA’s workforce development board. At Howard, Tina has served as the assistant director for the integration of research in education and taught courses in nanoscience and nanotechnology in the department of chemical engineering.  

Currently Tina is a research professor in the graduate school.  Her research focus includes molecular self-assembly, surface functionalization, chemical vapor deposition, and chemical intercalation of 2D materials. In addition to being research faculty in the graduate school at Howard, she holds a visiting faculty appointment at Harvard University. Tina has been invited as keynote speaker and expert panelist for leading institutions in STEM such as the National Science Foundation, the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, qubitbyqubit, IBM, the Department of Energy, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Quantum Economic Development Consortium. In addition to research, her invited talks have been relevant to STEM education, including developing criteria in quantum education, building a quantum workforce, increasing STEM awareness, addressing racial and gender equality in STEM, and creating culture in research centers.  

Tina Louise Brower-Thomas received a B.S. in chemistry from Howard University, as well as an M.S. in chemistry and Ph.D. in materials chemistry from the New York University Tandon School of Engineering. After completing a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the Naval Research Lab, Surface and Microanalysis Division, Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, she consulted in the support of missions of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  

In March 2020, Tina, who is also a member of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium, was recognized by her graduate school alma mater, the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, with its Champion Award for the Ninth Annual Women in STEM Conference.  

She enjoys dancing, cooking, gardening, singing, and traveling.  A classically trained dancer and veteran of the stage, she is an advocate for the performing arts.  During especially large events, she was a producer and stage manager with her father’s production company, JBV Productions. Tina is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  She is also a sustaining member of the Junior League of Washington and sits on the boards of the Mary Church Terrell House and qubitxqubit. 

Head of Cyber and Geopolitical Strategy, Drexel Hamilton

Ben Downing leads the Cyber and Geopolitical Strategy desk at Drexel Hamilton, where he collaborates internally with various departments to enhance their capacity for providing intelligence and analysis on current and future risks and business opportunities. His expertise lies in deciphering trends in cyber events and related technologies, taking a multidimensional approach against the backdrop of the global and domestic political landscape.

Before assuming his current role, Ben was a member of Drexel Hamilton’s Capital Markets team, specializing in corporate debt underwriting. As a United States Army combat veteran (Signal Corps), he possesses extensive knowledge of tactical and strategic communication networks. Ben served multiple combat tours overseas, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, and NATO, where he demonstrated fluency in Turkish.

Ben’s passion extends to wireless communications and technology. In addition to his military communications network experiences, he spent a decade in the civilian telecom industry, gaining an enhanced and more nuanced understanding of complex wireless communication networks infrastructure. He firmly believes that the speed of wireless communications networks directly impacts geopolitics.

Advocating for a fully interconnected world, Ben contends that access to high-speed communications should be a basic right, especially for students in a learning environment. He envisions that technologies and applications derived from a true 5G (soon to be 6G) environment will yield enormous dividends, creating a more equitable world for all.

With both military and civilian perspectives, Ben brings passion, drive, and empathy to the PAA and its activities. He serves as a conduit and bridge, translating ideas from all sides to benefit not only NYU’s faculty, graduates, and current students but also prospective students.

Ben currently serves as a reservist with the Army’s 75th Innovation Command. He holds an M.S. in Cybersecurity Risk & Strategy from New York University School of Law, an M.B.A. in Finance from Rutgers Business School, and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Rutgers University.

Naomi Eichenbaum is an accomplished biotechnology investor relations and financial advisory leader, having successfully led global fundraising initiatives that have amassed over $1 billion in capital.  

As a strategic thought leader, Naomi architects tactful capital market engagement programs and designs corporate communication initiatives that enhance shareholder value over the long term. Currently, Naomi is the Founder and Managing Director at ScientiaX Advisory, where she provides bespoke and high-touch services specializing in investor relations, capital markets strategy, and corporate communications for life-sciences companies. 

Prior to founding ScientiaX Advisory, Naomi was the Vice President of Investor Relations at Travere Therapeutics, a rare-disease company advancing and commercializing treatments for kidney and metabolic diseases. There she played a crucial role in securing a pivotal $230 million equity financing that was instrumental in advancing corporate strategy and extending the financial runway. Before Travere, she was the Vice President of Global Investor Relations and Communications at Clover Biopharma, an infectious-disease and vaccine company, where she was integral in completing a $250 million IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Naomi’s earlier contributions include significant roles at Genfit and Phaxiam (Erytech Pharma), where she successfully executed Nasdaq IPOs and architected comprehensive global investor relations programs. Her career in Investor Relations and Financial Advisory began at The Trout Group/Trout Capital after building a foundational role in management consulting within the Life Sciences practice at Capgemini.

Naomi holds a Master of Science in Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a minor in Business Management from Binghamton University. She is actively involved with esteemed professional organizations, including the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology (WEST), and Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA).

Mohammed Ghouri headshot

Mohammed S. Ghouri is the Founder and Managing Partner at Andalus Capital. He has over 25 years of experience in various management capacities including as a financial advisor and investment management. Ghouri has held managerial positions at Ivy Investment Management, Verizon, Atlas Air and Tower Air. He specializes in creating and executing halal, ethical and socially responsible investment strategies serving: High net-worth individuals and families, trusts and estates, family offices, employer sponsored retirements and pensions, unions and non-profits.  

Ghouri earned his undergraduate degree from Osmania University, M.S from New York University and an M.B.A from Cornell University with further study at the Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University. 

He holds the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination (S65) license and is an active member of the alumni associations of NYU and Cornell. 

Gozde is the acting chair and an assistant professor in the Automotive Technology Department at Farmingdale State College. She is also a researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where she works with the Surface Electrochemistry and Electrocatalyst Group and focuses on optimizing Fuel Cell Technology. Her research is aimed at developing a new electrocatalyst for hydrogen fuel cells that is suitable for application to fuel-cell powered passenger and commercial vehicles, while generating clean electricity. 

Gozde earned her B.S degree in Mechanical Engineering from New York University (2014), where she graduated with high honors, and she continued her studies at Stony Brook University, where she earned an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Material Science and Chemical Engineering.

Prior to her academic experience, Gozde worked as a design engineer in industry, and she has done various research projects funded by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and National Science Foundation (NSF). She has taught at several other universities while actively participating in many committees and organizations. Currently, she is the Vice President LI for SWE New York Professional Section, the external outreach coordinator of ECRG at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and board member of LI Section Leadership Team for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). She is the youngest person to give a TedX talk in her area, and she is the recipient of a Madelyn Orsini Award from Women Economic Developers of Long Island for community service, Clean Energy Technology Transfer Fellowship, UUP Women Scholarship Award, Founders Day Award, and many others. Besides her academic endeavors, she volunteers at many outreach events — conferences, seminars, panels and school science fairs.

Gozde is deeply dedicated to her profession and passionate about fostering students' curiosity in science and engineering. She serves as an advocate for women in the field, ceaselessly striving to effect positive change, inspire future generations, and empower them to shape a brighter future. With her new role as a member of the PAA International Board of Directors, Gozde is looking forward to engaging with alumni and students, hoping to give back to the NYU community by offering her insights on building an academic and research career and cultivating a culture of support and mentorship.