ABOUT DEPARTMENT OF HERE
We started Department of Here premised on the idea that well-defined places and communities are critical to maintaining social fabric. Our mission is to bolster those communities wherever they exist, whether it’s around governments, companies, or nonprofits. We work to define their identity, connect them to their communities, and contribute to their renaissance.
THE FOUR TENETS OF OUR PHILOSOPHY
Community is key to identity, and identity is key to feeling connected.
All relationships are a two-way street. Looking to connect more deeply with your audience? Ask something of them. Your most durable friendships entail nonstop give and take. The same goes for business.
The more chaotic the world is, the hungrier people are for meaning. Learn about your audience and find a way to add fulfillment to their lives, be it through rituals or stories or partnerships.
Everything you do is a way to communicate who you are. You have far more communication tools at your disposal than you know.
What does our philosophy look like in the real world? See for yourself.
ALLOW US TO INTRODUCE OURSELVES
LEV KUSHNER PARTNER
Lev is the founding partner of Department of Here. A recovering bureaucrat who worked in economic development and public space design for NYC and SF, Lev’s past work includes approving contentious projects like Yankee Stadium, transforming closed military bases into mixed-use neighborhoods, and forging public-private partnerships that amplify civic pride. He is a thought leader on urbanism, economic development, and identity, and his ideas have appeared in Fast Company, CityLab, KQED, and The San Francisco Chronicle.
JON ROMANO PARTNER
For nearly two decades, Jon has advised Governors, municipal leaders, and US Cabinet Secretaries, helping them think strategically, forge partnerships, and stay out of the weeds. Throughout his career, Jon has designed and executed multimillion-dollar strategic communications initiatives across a broad range of issue areas including technology, transportation, health care, and the national debt.
MEET OUR TRUSTED ADVISORS
Philippa designs inventive and collaborative projects that strengthen communities, connects people, and engages them in meaningful dialogue. Her latest project, Blueberries & Cherries, invites politically diverse guests to break bread and talk to each other face-to-face over a meal.
Robert is the Managing Director of Digital at the Signal Group, leading a growing practice to help clients tell their stories using audience insights, creative storytelling, and thought leadership. He was previously the Director of Global Strategy at The Atlantic and General Manager of CityLab. He has played similar roles with The New York Times and The Broadcasting Board of Governors.
Tal is a partner at the law firm Fried Frank in New York City. His practice has involved the representation of developers, owners, and not-for-profit institutions on the city’s largest and most complicated real estate projects, including Moynihan Station, Hudson Yards, and Atlantic Yards.
KATE APPEL DUDA
Katie co-leads Bloomberg Philanthropies' Government Innovation grant programs, which help city leaders and their teams in more than 200 cities around the world to better solve problems and share promising ideas that improve life for residents. She previously worked in communications and homelessness policy in the Bloomberg Administration in New York City.
Josh Levine builds culture-driven brands that empower employees and engage customers. This passion flows through all of his ventures: consulting with clients as principal of Great Mondays, redefining the future of work as co-founder of CultureLabX; and teaching MBA students as an instructor at California College of the Arts.