Constance J. Milstein is a renowned businesswoman and humanitarian dedicated to empowering lives through her leadership in real estate development and philanthropic causes. She is an attorney and co-founder of Ogden CAP Properties, LLC, a premier real estate, hotel, and property development and management company. She oversaw the elegant renovation of The Jefferson, an historic Washington, D.C. hotel and landmark. In 2016, The Jefferson was ranked as the #2 hotel in the United States by U.S. News and World Report and has been named the best hotel in Washington, D.C. by Condé Nast Traveler. Ms. Milstein’s leadership in the real estate industry included serving as a governor of the Real Estate Board of New York.
Ms. Milstein’s long-standing commitment to education, veterans support, and military family causes – and a joyful passion for baking – led to her co-founding Dog Tag Bakery, a non-profit organization that provides critical education and training for wounded veterans and their spouses that are seeking to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
Having previously owned Connie’s Bakery & General Store in upstate New York, her dedication to socially responsible enterprises has empowered numerous individuals who were homeless, unemployed, or had special needs by giving them an opportunity to work and learn culinary and business skills.
In June 2016, Ms. Milstein was invested as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA). During her tenure, she works on behalf of the Secretary of the Army to enhance the relationship between the United States Army and the civilian community.
As a founding member, Ms. Milstein sits on the board of Blue Star Families, the nation’s largest support organization for U.S. military spouses and families. In 2013, she was awarded the BSF Angel Award for Outstanding Contributions for the Well Being of Military Families. She also sits on the board of CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy), a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for epilepsy. The start-ups Ms. Milstein has founded and policy solutions she has funded are working to solve some of society’s most persistent problems.
Ms. Milstein conceived of and executed an effort to promote 21st century education, and provided critical guidance and support for the expansion of New York University into the nation’s capital. The Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center at NYU’s Washington, D.C. campus prepares future leaders by supplementing academic training with job and internship opportunities in government, politics, public administration, and journalism education and research. She also serves as a Trustee of NYU, where she is a member of the Global Initiatives Committee. In 2010, she received the Albert Gallatin Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Society, and the NYU College of Arts and Sciences recognized her with the Distinguished Service Award in 2009.
As the driving force behind the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she has been a Trustee since 2000, Ms. Milstein’s humanitarian efforts expand into the fields of medicine and healthcare. She is a staunch supporter of heart research dating back to her first job working for the North Carolina Heart Association. She also helped launch Medical Missions for Children, a charity located on the campus of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey, which provides healthcare via telemedicine and teaching networks to young critically-ill patients in more than 100 developing countries. In Fall 2014, Ms. Milstein received Columbia University’s Health Science Advisory Council Award for Distinguished Service.
Ms. Milstein is a Trustee on the Executive Committee of Washington National Opera, and she served as Chair of the 2013 National Opera Ball celebrating the year of Italian culture. Her dedication to support of the arts includes serving on the Trustee’s Council of the National Gallery of Art, on the Board of Directors of the National Symphony Orchestra, as a Board member of Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., and as a member of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the arts, an advisory board comprised of arts advocates from the U.S. and overseas who support the international exchange of ideas and cultural programming at The Kennedy Center.
A passion for fostering positive international relations led to her role as Chair of the French-American Cultural Foundation, which aims to build lasting relationships by promoting culture. She is a former Member of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA), where during her tenure she helped establish the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University, where she remains on the Board of Overseers. Additionally, Ms. Milstein’s dedication to human rights was recognized in 2000 with the National Human Relations Award by U.N. Watch and its parent organization, the American Jewish Committee. She is also a Board Member Emeritus of Refugees International and a former Board Member of U.N. Watch in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ms. Milstein has also actively worked to broaden the global political conversation on how governments can advance progressive goals. She has worked in cooperation with the Third Way Foundation and other partners to orchestrate and coordinate conferences. In 2002, she personally chaired an historic gathering of current and prospective transatlantic leaders at Hartwell House in the United Kingdom to discuss global political challenges and cooperation. Participants included President William J. Clinton, then Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, as well as many other European and American political leaders. She is a former Board Member of the National Democratic Institute, and has served as Treasurer and Counselor to the Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), where she instituted a program to bring high-level military and national experts in direct dialogue with Governors.
Ms. Milstein attended Jackson College for Women, Tufts University and earned her undergraduate degree from New York University Heights College. She earned her J.D. cum laude from North Carolina Central University Law School, where she served as Comment Editor of the North Carolina Central Law Journal (now NC Central Law Review). She is a proud mother and grandmother and currently resides in Washington, D.C.