Advisory Board

2022 Grunin Center Advisory Board Group Photo
From left to right: Rachel Robbins, Helen Scott, Jay Grunin, Deborah Burand, Ira Nordlicht, Tara Cunningham; Absent: Jeremy Grunin, Troy McKenzie 


Deborah Burand

Deborah Burand
Professor of Clinical Law
Faculty Director, Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship

Deborah Burand is a Professor of Clinical Law at NYU Law, where she directs the International Transactions Clinic and is Faculty Director of the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship. She writes and lectures on issues related to international finance, microfinance and microfranchise, impact investing, and social finance innovations such as social impact bonds, social entrepreneurship, and developing sustainable businesses at the base of the economic pyramid.

During 2010-2011, Burand served as general counsel to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the development finance institution of the United States. Earlier in her career, she worked in the environmental sector (Conservation International), microfinance sector (FINCA International and Grameen Foundation), and US government (Federal Reserve Board and Department of the Treasury). She also has worked in private practice at a global law firm, where, among other things, she supported, on a pro bono basis, the development of the world’s first debt-for-nature swap.

Burand is a member of the board and Investment Committee of the MicroBuild Fund, an impact investment fund sponsored by Habitat for Humanity International. She is an advisor to the Linked Foundation and Social Sector Franchise Initiative. She co-founded the Impact Investing Legal Working Group (IILWG) and Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM) International.

Burand received her BA from DePauw University cum laude, and a joint degree, JD/MSFS with honors, from Georgetown University.


Portrait of Jay Grunin

Jay Grunin
Co-Founder and Chairman, Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation

Jay Grunin is Co-Founder and Chairman, Jay & Linda Grunin Foundation. Jay graduated from Brooklyn College (with honors) in 1964, and from NYU School of Law in 1967, where he was an Editor of the Law Review and where he met his future wife and business partner. After a brief exposure to academia –as Research Assistant to an NYU Law professor teaching a seminar on legislative history–, as well as a brief stint in Big Law in New York, followed by a one year Appellate Division clerkship in New Jersey, Jay, who would never have to rue about the road not taken, opted to then take the advice of his lawyer-wife who implored him to “go south young man, go south”.  And so Jay and Linda “hitched on to the second wagon train” and landed in a then small town on the Central Jersey Shore called Toms River.

After a few years, Jay and Linda decided to open up their own small “mom and pop” law firm. In the 1970s, as Ocean County became one of the fastest growing counties in the entire United States, Jay and Linda’s law practice flourished. At the same time, Jay and Linda expanded their business interests to include real estate and other investments.

In the 1990s, the Grunins dissolved their law practice so as to concentrate full time on their greatest passions, business investments and philanthropy. In 2013 their philanthropic endeavors were formalized with the creation of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation.


Photo of Jeremy Grunin

Jeremy Grunin
President, Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation

Jeremy Grunin has nearly 25 years of leadership experience in the private sector where he managed teams of 1000+ employees responsible for over half a billion dollars in revenue.  Since 2013, Jeremy has been actively engaged throughout the community as President of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation, a proactive grantmaker focused on economic growth at the Central Jersey Shore. Jeremy is a Partner of Grunin Holdings, LLC., a New Jersey Partnership specializing in the development and management of commercial real estate, as well as investing in third party commercial ventures. He has also hosted several talk radio shows on both AM and FM radio, including Topic A on WOBM. In addition, he holds several leadership positions on Boards and steering committees across the state of New Jersey.



Troy McKenzie

Troy McKenzie
Dean and Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law

Troy McKenzie is Dean and Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law at NYU School of Law. He served as faculty co-director of the Institute of Judicial Administration (IJA) for over six years, as well as faculty co-director of the Center on Civil Justice. His research and teaching interests include bankruptcy, civil procedure, complex litigation, and the federal courts. He studies litigation and the institutions that shape it—particularly complex litigation that is resolved through the class action, bankruptcy, and other forms of aggregation. He is also a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference and the Council of the American Law Institute.  

From 2011-15, McKenzie served, by appointment of the Chief Justice, as a reporter to the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States. From 2015-17, he took a leave of absence from NYU to serve in the US Department of Justice as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel.

McKenzie earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1997 from Princeton University and a law degree in 2000 from NYU, where he was an executive editor of the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. After law school, he served as a law clerk to Judge Pierre N. Leval of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court of the United States. Before joining the NYU faculty in 2007, McKenzie was a litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York


Photo of Ira Nordlicht

Ira Nordlicht
Investor and Former CEO, Alfa Wassermann, Inc.

Ira Nordlicht is an Investor and Business Consultant since retiring as the founding Partner, Nordlicht & Hand, Chief Executive Officer and President of Alfa Wassermann, Inc. (U.S.) and Managing Director, Alfa Wassermann, B.V. (Holland), (world-wide diagnostics and separations/vaccines/gene therapy company).  He continues as a Director of Alfa Wassermann, Inc. and serves or has served as a Director of various public and private companies for many years.    

Mr. Nordlicht is a member of the Advisory Board and Strategic Committee, Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship at New York University School of Law and founder of The Nordlicht Family Law and Social Entrepreneurship Scholarship at NYU School of Law for need-based individuals interested in entering this field.

He served as Trustee and Chair of the Board of Trustees of a Washington-based foreign policy non-profit from 1999-2004 and received the White House and S.B.A. Award (Legal Advocate of the Year) in 1997 for helping to establish the Angel Capital Network (ACE Net).

After graduating NYU Law School in 1972, Mr. Nordlicht served at the Federal Trade Commission, in various positions with the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and practiced law in New York prior to establishing his own firm.


Photo of Rachel Robbins

Rachel Robbins
Senior Independent Director, Atlas Mara Limited

Rachel F. Robbins is currently senior independent director of Atlas Mara Limited, a UK-listed financial services company whose aim is to be the premier financial services company of Sub-Saharan Africa. She is also a Trustee of NYU School of Law and an Advisory Board member of the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship. She previously served as a non-executive director of FINCA Microfinance Holding Company, a global microfinance company.

From 2008 to 2012, Robbins served as vice president and general counsel of the International Finance Corporation and as a member of its Management Group. She joined the IFC with three decades of experience in legal and financial services, including extensive experience in corporate governance and in managing global teams through periods of change. Between 2006 and 2008, she was executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary of the New York Stock Exchange and NYSE Euronext. She spent 20 years at JPMorgan & Co. and was general counsel and corporate secretary from 1996 to 2001. From 2003 to 2004, she was general counsel of Citigroup International.

Robbins holds a JD from New York University School of Law and a BA in French literature from Wellesley College.


Helen Scott

Helen Scott
Professor of Law Emeritus
Co-Director, Leadership Program on Law and Business

Helen Scott is a Professor of Law Emeritus at NYU School of Law. She is the founder and former co-director of the Mitchell Jacobson Leadership Program in Law and Business at New York University School of Law, as well as a co-founder and former Faculty Co-Director of the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship at NYU Law. In that capacity, she has participated in the development of innovative Law and Business courses, including Investing in Microfinance, Law & Business of Corporate Governance, and Professional Responsibility in Law and Business. Scott oversees the competitive Leadership Scholars program, and runs the capstone seminar for the program, Law and Business Projects. She has been a member of the NYU School of Law faculty since 1982 and teaches a wide variety of business law courses, including the basic Contracts and Corporations courses.

Scott currently serves on the Board of Directors of IEX LLC, the newly launched stock exchange. From 1999 to 2004, Scott co-chaired the Listing and Hearing Review Council of the NASDAQ Stock Market, an independent advisory committee to the board of directors, with primary responsibility for formulating and recommending corporate governance and quantitative listing standards for that market.

In 2023, Scott was the first recipient of the Grunin Prize for Sustained Commitment for her extraordinary dedication to supporting law students who are intent on doing good within their transactional and business law practices. In 1997, Scott received the Legal Advocate of the Year award from the US Small Business Administration in recognition of her participation in the development of the Angel Capital Electronic Network (ACE-Net) project to increase financing available to early-stage entrepreneurial enterprises. Before joining the Law School faculty, Scott practiced law in Washington, DC, and New York.