Public and private leaders shift career tracks

For one person in the private sector, the trappings of a high-profile public service job proved a powerful lure. For another, private sector pay will be a reward for years of public service.

Robert Lieber, managing director of Lehman Brothers, last month was said to be leaving to become the next president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, replacing Andrew Alper, a former Goldman Sachs COO. His salary? $1.

Meanwhile, Joshua Sirefman, former head of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, is headed for the private sector. He has been named senior vice president for U.S. development at Brookfield Properties Corporation.

“I’m incredibly eager to join Brookfield — a longtime leader in commercial real estate — as the company continues to expand its development portfolio in New York City and throughout the United States,” Sirefman said.

At Brookfield, Sirefman will be focused on development in New York City as well as the rest of the United States. Brookfield’s properties in New York City include World Financial Center, One New York Plaza, 1114 Avenue of Americas and 300 Madison Avenue. The publicly-traded real estate investment trust has a large office property portfolio in several cities, including Los Angeles, Toronto and Boston.

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According to Stephen Peca, an adjunct professor at NYU’s Real Estate Institute and managing director of Concourse Realty Group, a career move from the public to private sector has a lot of appeal.

“The private sector has more flexibility. If you have some ideas — something out of the box — it’s better received by the private sector,” he said. Besides being more adaptive, the private sector will pay more and allows for growth up the career ladder, Peca added.

At the EDC, Sirefman was involved in the negotiations over site plans for both the World Trade Center and Plaza Hotel and redevelopment plans for Downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan and Coney Island.

“[Josh] will bring his integrity, intellect and energy to our talented team as we move forward to take advantage of the substantial development opportunities in front of us,” said Larry Graham, executive vice president for development at Brookfield Properties.

Sirefman’s involvement with the government has been substantial. He was also Chief of Staff to Daniel Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding. Sirefman, a member of Bloomberg’s administration since 2002, dealt with the city’s real estate, land use and economic strategies.