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Fordham Real Estate Institute Names James Whelan, President of REBNY, to Executive Advisory Council

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The Fordham Real Estate Institute (REI) is pleased to announce that James Whelan, president of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), has been named to its Executive Advisory Council (EAC) of prestigious real estate industry and business leaders.

Whelan will collaborate with the EAC on enhancing the student experience, increasing awareness of the expanding program offerings, and growing enrollment on REI’s campuses at Lincoln Center in Manhattan and West Harrison, N.Y. He joins council members from such firms as UBS, JLL, Brown Harris Stevens, Douglaston Cos., Simone Management Group and Related Cos.

“James is a highly regarded leader in real estate, with his finger on the pulse of the trends, issues and policies shaping the industry,” said Ryan O’Connor, REI Executive Advisory Council chair and CEO of Clinton Management. “We are delighted to have James join the EAC. His knowledge of the market, coupled with his extensive experience in the public sector, will be extremely beneficial as we design our programs to meet the evolving demands of the industry.”

“As a proud Fordham University graduate, I am deeply grateful to work with the Fordham REI team and support efforts to introduce a diverse array of students to careers in real estate,” said Whelan. “I look forward to joining a distinguished group of industry leaders on the EAC. It is always exciting to connect with the talented young people who are poised to become the industry’s next generation of leaders.”

Whelan was appointed in 2019 as president of REBNY, New York City’s leading real estate trade association for commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers and salespeople. Before joining REBNY, he was senior vice president for public affairs at Muss Development Co., one of the largest real estate development companies in New York City.

Whelan also served in a variety of roles in the private, public and non-profit sectors. As chief of staff for the deputy mayor for economic development of New York City, Daniel Doctoroff, Whelan initiated strategies for land use and city planning. His work also focused on lower Manhattan, during which time the Bloomberg administration successfully advocated for lease term changes for the World Trade Center site and assumed leadership responsibility for construction of the National 9-11 Memorial and Museum. Prior to that, Whelan was executive director of the Hudson Yards Coalition and also the first executive director of the Downtown Brooklyn Council.

Whelan is a graduate of New York University and the Fordham University School of Law. He is on the Board of Directors of the New York City chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and is the founding chair of the NYC JDRF Real Estate Games, which raises funds to support research for the cure of Type 1 diabetes.

“We are thrilled to welcome James to our Executive Advisory Council,” said Dr. Anthony R. Davidson, dean, Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies. “His real estate knowledge, understanding of city government policy, and commitment to community service complement our council’s expertise. We look forward to collaborating with James as we continue to develop our curriculum to connect students to the real estate industry.”

For information about REI and the Executive Advisory Council, click here.


The Fordham Real Estate Institute currently offers a Master of Science in Real Estate, a Master of Science in Real Estate Development, Master of Science in Construction Management, advanced graduate certificates in real estate finance, development, management and construction management, a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate, and a comprehensive array of professional certificates in real estate and construction at its campuses in Manhattan and West Harrison, N.Y. The programs are developed and taught by leading industry practitioners and are centered on imparting real-world professional skill sets. Flexibility and convenience are program hallmarks as classes can be taken in-person, online, and at various paces. REI is a part of Fordham’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies, which has campuses in New York and London. For more information, visit

PHOTO CAPTION:  James Whelan, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, has been named to Fordham Real Estate Institute’s Executive Advisory Council.

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