Philip Zisman, Executive Director
Phil Zisman was appointed the Association’s Executive Director in May of 2011. He is also a Distinguished Lecturer in the Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in New York City. For 12 years prior to becoming Executive Director and joining the faculty at John Jay, Phil was the first Inspector General of the City of Yonkers, NY, and created that office.
According to Phil, “the Association was very important to my professional development as an inspector general. By attending the Inspector General Institute and a number of Association conferences, I developed a network of contacts and friends within the inspector general community who both inspired me and served as important resources as I worked to build an effective local municipal inspector general office in Yonkers.”
As Executive Director, Phil is delighted to be giving back to the IG community that has been so professionally important to him. Phil manages the day-to-day activity of the Association, along with a staff of John Jay students, in the Association’s office, which is housed at the college. The staff’s responsibilities include attending to membership matters, administering the two annual Inspector General Institutes, assisting in the planning for the annual conference, overseeing the issuance of continuing professional education credits, and facilitating the two annual Board of Directors meeting. “It’s rewarding” Phil said, “to work with students in administering the Association. The students are dedicated and energetic and represent the future for the organization.” The Association is lucky to have a strong affiliation with John Jay.
As a John Jay professor, Phil teaches graduate school courses on Government Ethics, Public Employment Law, and Public Sector Inspection and Oversight. He is also an instructor at the Association’s Certified Inspectors General Institute.
Phil received his law degree from American University, Washington College of Law in 1986. He earned his Inspector General Certification from the Association of Inspectors General in 2002. Phil’s recent articles include: Inspectors General in Small and Mid-Sized New York Municipalities: A Practical Approach, for a New York State Bar Association Government Law and Policy Journal; and The People’s Watchdog, for the Council of State Governments magazine Capital Ideas.
Jessica Cabrera, Associate Executive Director for Membership
Jessica Cabrera is the AIG Associate Executive Director of Membership. She first became involved with the Association in 2008 during her pursuit of a Master degree in the Public Administration Inspector General Specialization at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She began as a graduate student volunteer, and shortly thereafter, became part of the membership services team.
Jessica’s education and professional interests have always centered on public administration. She previously worked for the City of Toronto, Canada. She also obtained a Specialized Honors Undergraduate degree in Public Administration at York University. Jessica is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY Graduate Center PhD Program with a Policy Oversight and Administration specialization. Jessica is an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice Master in Public Administration Inspector General Program. She teaches courses on ethics and government oversight and inspection. Jessica’s involvement with the Association’s Board of Directors and her work on Institutes and conferences has given her valuable insights into the inspector general community. This has been a significant influence in studies, research and professional growth.
Zvi Wiesenfeld, Content Editor
Zvi Wiesenfeld is the Content Editor for the Association of Inspectors General website, newsletter, and social media presence. In addition, Zvi works closely with the Executive Director in planning and coordinating the Certified Inspector General Training Institutes and other Association events and activities.
Zvi is pursuing his MPA with a concentration in Fiscal Policy Analysis & Oversight at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Upon graduation, he hopes to work as a forensic auditor. Prior to enrolling in John Jay, Zvi worked in online strategy and content generation in the high-tech field. The combination of Zvi’s professional experience with his passion for investigative work proves a valuable asset to the Association.
Zvi earned his BA in Political Science with a minor in Economics, cum laude, from Yeshiva University in 2012.
Arlene Alvarado, Membership Aide
Arlene Alvarado is the Membership Aide for the Association. She is in charge of inputting membership payments into the AIG database and issuing members welcome letters. Arlene generates and sends out all CPE and Institute certificates, and also assists in Conference and Institute preparation.
According to Arlene, “Working with the Association also bolstered my interpersonal skills, I enjoy assisting members with any inquiries, and I am here to help. I have gained knowledge about the IG world and the significance of their work. I have been working with the AIG for over three years, and have seen the Association blossom into what it is today. Being part of the Association’s progress makes me immensely proud.”
Arlene recently earned her Associate Degree in Literature from LaGuardia Community College. She is now applying to senior colleges and also volunteers at the Museum of Natural History as a teaching volunteer.
Frank Chen, Special Assistant to the Executive Director
Frank is a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice pursuing a master’s degree in Public Administration with a specialization in Forensic Accounting. He became interested in the AIG when he took Professor Zisman’s class—Introduction to Government Inspection and Oversight. Frank first volunteered at the Association, and now works as part-time assistant to the Executive Director. Frank provides technical support for all of the Association’s activities, and is responsible for the administrative preparations for the Association’s semi-annual Certified Inspector General Institutes.
According to Frank, “Working for this Association has been a valuable experience. As an aspiring Forensic Accountant, my work for the Association has given me insights into the skills and thought processes necessary to do the job, and has introduced me to important work that inspectors general perform.”
Outside of the work place, Frank studies Chinese, Spanish, and Russian. In addition to his interest in languages, Frank is a certified master of Wushu-Martial Arts earning two world championship medals in 2004 and 2005.