About Us

The Office of Government & Community Affairs (GCA) is the University’s primary liaison with federal, state, and local government, as well as with residents, community leaders, and civic organizations in surrounding neighborhoods. The office serves as a gateway to Columbia, responding to a range of inquiries concerning the University.  GCA staff also manages Columbia Community Service (CCS), a program through which Columbia faculty and staff contribute to local non-profit organizations.  The office also has special responsibilities with regard to development of the university's campus expansion in Manhattanville and the associated West Harlem Community Benefits Agreement.


Meet Our Staff

  • Trained as an Urban Planner with a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Columbia and 20+ years of experience, Victoria has participated in a range of inter-agency, as well as public and private planning initiatives in several major cities, including New York City and Philadelphia.  Victoria holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Brown University, a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Columbia, and is professionally certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

  • Loftin is a native of Florence, Alabama, and a graduate of Haverford College with a B.A. in history. He comes to Columbia from Washington, D.C., where he worked most recently at the national offices of the Children's Defense Fund.

  • Karen previously worked at New York University, where she served as Acting Assistant Dean, Arts and Humanities Programs, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and director, Liberal Arts Programs, McGhee Division, School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She also held the title of Master Teacher at the University. Prior to her ten-year stint at NYU, Karen was the program manager for Cooper Union’s Extended Studies Program.  Karen received her A.B. from Dartmouth College in English and her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University in English and Comparative Literature.

  • Joan has been with Columbia University for 26 years. She completed her B.A. at the School of General Studies, and a Masters in Non-Profit Management at the School of Professional Studies. As Director of Columbia Community Service (CCS), she works to expand the scope of the CCS Annual Appeal, which solicits employees and retirees of Columbia University, Barnard College and Teachers College for contributions.  The on-campus campaign raises money to help fund close to 60 local community organizations with grants allocated for specific projects.

  • Flores last served as Chief Strategic Officer for the Abyssinian Development Corporation.  Prior to his tenure at Abyssinian, Flores worked for the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, where he served first as Deputy Director of Land Use Housing and Development and then as Director of Borough President Fields' Northern Manhattan Office.  Flores has also written extensively; his work includes a study of his life as a radical in the 1970's.  Flores holds an undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University.  He received a Masters in Urban Planning from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and was a Revson Fellow at Columbia.