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Cailean Kok

Cailean is an experienced community planner with nearly a decade of experience building and managing partnerships with government, nonprofit, and community stakeholders to transform places and advance economic, health, and social goals. She has spent the past two and half years with Project for Public Spaces working with communities to meaningfully engage them in the transformation of public spaces, as well as on a partnership with the Brookings Institute to make the connection between investments in public spaces and social and economic outcomes.

Before this, she served as a researcher at a major university, grants manager, and a principal planner with the City of Newark, NJ, where she currently resides. Through these experiences she strengthened trust and built new partnerships with other government agencies and community organizations, strategically addressed and managed funding needs, and drafted New Jersey’s first ever Health and Wellness comprehensive plan element.  

Cailean actively applies this experience in her local community by volunteering as a member of the Brick City Bike Collective and the Branch Brook Park Ambassadors. These experiences led to her being selected by Next City in 2019 to participate as a Newark Vanguard.

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) (License number:30500)

Executive Committee Member – Professional Development Officer: American Planning Association (APA) - New Jersey Chapter

Volunteer Affiliations

Member, Branch Brook Park Ambassador
Proposal Reviewer, National Planning Conference
Contributing Author, American Planning Association (APA) Health Policy Guide


M.A. City and Regional Planning, Rutgers University, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, New Brunswick, NJ

B.A. Urban Studies and Public Policy, The City University of New York, Hunter College, New York, NY