Board Of Directors

NYFPS' Board of Directors provides leadership and strategic oversight to ensure that the organization runs to achieve its greatest potential.




Jason D. Navarino is a graduate of the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He holds a J.D. degree from Yale Law School, where he was a Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal and Director of the Community and Economic Development Clinic as well as its Small Business Legal Services program. Additionally, Jason holds a LL.M. degree in Tax Law from New York University School of Law. After law school, Jason served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Barry T. Albin, Supreme Court of New Jersey and was an Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. He is currently Partner at Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP where his practice focuses on tax, corporate, and nonprofit law.

FPS Connection:
Jason is a former NJ state Champion and FPS International Semifinalist in the team as well as individual FPS competitions. He is currently Secretary of the Future Problem Solving Program of New Jersey, Inc. He also serves as Chair on the Policy Committee for Future Problem Solving Program International, Inc. (FPSPI) Jason also served on the Board of Trustees from 2008-2012 for FPSPI.


Executive Director


Sarah H. Fiess is a School Outreach Coordinator at Tech Valley High School. She was the Director of Literacy of the Albany Charter School Network. She has 12 years in the classroom teaching English Language Arts and Social Studies at both the middle and high school level. She has also taught Gifted & Talented on the middle school level. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from The College of New Jersey. She holds a M.A. in Teaching of English from Columbia University.  

FPS Connection:

Sarah began her experience with the Future Problem Solving Program in 1994. She was a four time NJ state Champion in the team GIPs Component and received Second Place at FPS International Conference for team GIPs in 1998. She is a Director with the Future Problem Solving Program of New Jersey, Inc. and is an evaluator for Future Problem Solving Program International, Inc.


Board Member


Leslie Blaustein is a teacher at The Lower Lab School and she is an active participant of Lower Lab’s STEM committee. She also currently volunteers as a workshop reviewer for the National Association For Gifted Children. Leslie has 19 years of experience teaching at both public and private schools including PS 112, PS 176, The Dalton School, 92nd Street Y Art Center, and Convent of the Sacred Heart School. Leslie holds a Master's degree in Education and an advanced certificate in Gifted & Talented Education from Hunter College, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University.


FPS Connection:

Leslie’s experience with FPS began at Convent of the Sacred Heart, in Greenwich, CT. As a FPS coach, she implemented a competitive enrichment program at PS 176 in Brooklyn and successfully led her students to win first place in the NYFPS State Competition in the individual GIPS and Scenario Writing components. Leslie has also been involved in NYFPS as an evaluator and ambassador in various presentations at education institutions. 


Vice President


Richard Lam received his Bachelor of Science in Business and Political Economy from the Leonard N. Stern of Business at New York University. As part of NYU Stern's BPE program, he studied abroad in Europe and Asia to develop an understanding of global dynamics in business as well as international markets. Richard has past experience working in corporate banking and project management. He was an Analyst with the Investments team at a New York pension fund. Richard is currently a Lead Associate focused on private equity investments at a global advisory firm.


FPS Connection:

Richard is currently Chair of the Development Committee. Prior to being elected to the Board of Directors in 2011, he was an active member of the Steering and Development Committees. He is a former NY state champion in team GIPs, individual GIPs, Scenario Writing, and Art Components in Senior Division for two consecutive years. He was also twice FPS International Finalist. By demonstrating extraordinary excellence in leadership, Richard received NY's Medallion Award in 2009 and 2010. 









Evaluation Director




Steven Faiello is an Engineer at Vanton Pump and Equipment Corp. in Hillside, NJ. He was a Design Engineer with Innovative Solutions & Support. He has experience with engineering design of aircraft instruments and aviation products. Steven has been very involved in spreading the understanding of techniques behind creative problem solving to students. Steven received his Bachelors of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology.


FPS Connection:

Steven began his experience with the Future Problem Solving Program in New Jersey. After he graduated high school, he returned as an evaluator for the Future Problem Solving Program of New Jersey, Inc. He was an Evaluation Committee member of the New York Future Problem Solving Program, Inc. before he became a Director in 2011 and later Evaluation Director in 2012.












Dr. Hope Hirshorn currently serves on the Alumnae Board at Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, Connecticut. She was Vice President in the Underwriting Department of AMBAC Indemnity Corporation. She and her husband currently reside in West Harrison, New York with their six children. She continues to be a champion for excurricular academic programs to promote student development. Hope received a B.A. from Oberlin College as well as a M.P.A. and A.P.C. from New York University. She holds a M.A., M.Phil, and Ph.D. from Fordham University. 


FPS Connection:

Hope has been involved with the Future Problem Solving Program since her eldest child began participating in 2003. She has been to 10 consecutive Connecticut State Bowls and six FPS International Conferences.

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NYFPS is a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit organization.