Director of New Business Development
University Settlement and The Door
THE POWER OF COLLABORATIONS
Fast fact: Gee grew up in California
Peter Gee spends much of his time getting to know his staff across all departments and listening to their ideas about affordable housing and policy change. Peter is a strong advocate for long-term homes in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. He leads campaigns and strives to inspire those around him to improve housing conditions for those in need. Peter looks forward to making strong ties and collaborating with other organizations that share common interests with University Settlement and The Door.
NYN: HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN YOUR FIELD?
PG: My first job out of high school was at a nonprofit, and so I think it was one of those experiences that changed world views and introduced me to a career where you can do and make social change. I work for University Settlement and The Door, and we’re like a family of organizations, so together both of our agencies are 40,000 people of all ages across New York City. My position focuses on helping both of our organizations to be innovative and continuously improving ourselves as leaders in the field. It is exciting because it is a very forward-looking position, where I get the opportunity to collaborate with a lot of my colleagues here to help plan for the future of the organization.
NYN: DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF.
PG: I’ve always felt good about the teams that I have worked in or lead. I feel like internal organizational development is so critical and is really facilitated by strong teams. I feel really good about a lot of the teams that I have been part of at all of the different organizations.
NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE INDIVIDUALS YOUR ORGANIZATION SERVES?
PG: There is a lot of data that shows that the income gap between the wealthy and the poor is very high, especially in New York City. I think that our organizations are able to provide direct services to help get people out of poverty, but there has to be larger systemic changes and efforts made, and we have to make it a priority to end poverty in New York City.
NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?
PG: I really do believe that a part of the work is about collaboration. A lot of times a lot of organizations are competing for funding, it’s not easy to work together. I definitely am hoping that before I retire that there is a better way for groups with common interests, that might be doing different types of work, to truly collaborate in a way that brings lasting change.
NYN: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?
PG: My position is actually a new role at both of the agencies. Externally we are hoping to establish partnerships with other organizations, we are really open to collaboration.