Press Release

REBNY COO Sandhya Espitia Appointed to NYS Board of Real Estate


February 17, 2022

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Board plays key role on regulations affecting statewide real estate brokers and salespersons

NEW YORK, NY – The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the City’s leading real estate trade association, today announced that REBNY Chief Operating Officer Sandhya Espitia was appointed by Governor Kathy Hochul as a member of the NYS Board of Real Estate. She is now a Public Representative on the 15-member Board and will serve until her appointed term expires on December 31, 2023.

With the exception of matters delegated specifically to the Secretary of State of New York, the NYS Board of Real Estate has general authority to promulgate rules and regulations affecting real estate brokers and salespersons in order to administer and effectuate the purposes of Article 12-A of the State’s Real Property Law.

The Board’s activities include prescribing content for educational courses and examinations for real estate brokers and salespersons; establishing rules governing the approval of schools offering qualifying and continuing education courses; and studying and making recommendations regarding certain laws, regulations and proposed legislation affecting brokers and salespersons. Additionally, the Board submits an annual report to the Senate and Assembly Judiciary Committees.

“This appointment is a testament to Sandhya’s visionary leadership, which has delivered outstanding results for New York’s real estate brokers and salespersons and earned the trust of industry leaders, public officials and other key stakeholders,” said REBNY President James Whelan. “I know that Sandhya’s experience and insights will be valuable assets for the Board and over 130,000 licensees it serves throughout the state.”

“I am honored by this new opportunity to serve New York State and continue supporting the incredible work that brokers and agents do to move our economy forward,” said REBNY Chief Operating Officer Sandhya Espitia. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and I am excited about what the future holds for our industry.”

Sandhya Espitia is a Colombian-American business transformation executive with experience in five continents. She joined REBNY in 2017 and became its first Chief Operating Officer in 2020, leading organization-wide strategy and operations for programs, products and services affecting the organization’s 15,000 members. She has played a pivotal role in democratizing listing data in New York City and is now heavily involved in the upcoming launch of Citysnap, the first New York City consumer website for the industry and by the industry.

Prior to joining REBNY, Sandhya was Global Vice President at ICSC where she managed learning and innovation initiatives in retail real estate. Her work reached 60,000 members in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Sandhya also worked at Harvard University as Senior Program Officer for the Americas where she managed the Fulbright PhD program in science and technology for the U.S. Department of State, and served as higher education advisor to governments in seven developing countries. Over the course of her career, she has worked closely with foreign governments, non-profit organizations and corporations across industries leading their plans for productivity, competitiveness, change, and innovation.

Sandhya holds a B.S. in Film, Digital Media and Communications from TCU, a M.A. in International Education Management from the School for International Training, a Post-Graduate Fellowship in Management and Administration from Harvard University, and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She is a coach and advisor for and a member of the women’s committee at the Association for a Better New York.

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