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Founder & CEO

Celeste Frye, AICP

Celeste Frye, AICP

A dynamic leader bringing innovative, executive-level thinking and a strategic perspective to Public Works’ engagements.

About Celeste

Celeste co-founded Public Works Partners, a WBE/DBE/SBE-certified urban planning and consulting firm, out of a passion to help mission-driven organizations increase their positive impact on local communities. A known expert in designing and implementing multi-stakeholder initiatives and building strong connections across the nonprofit, government and private sectors, she’s spent over 20 years cultivating healthy communities and organizations.

Blending her experience in planning and organizational management, Celeste helps organizations capitalize on existing strengths and engage stakeholders in developing actionable strategies that are sustainable over time. A standout woman business owner, she is also a public speaker in the areas of expertise of workforce development, urban planning, and entrepreneurship. She sets the overall vision, direction, and strategy for the firm and our consulting practice areas.

Prior to Public Works, Celeste was in leadership roles in New York City government.  She was a Senior Analyst at the Office of Management and Budget, and later, at the Department of Small Business Services, she led the agency’s budget and human resources teams and launched large-scale business-based hiring and training initiatives.

Celeste holds a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of the Regional Plan Association’s Connecticut Committee and a graduate of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses and Coro Leadership New York. Celeste was named to Crain’s New York’s 2021 Notable Women Business Owners and City & State’s 2021 Community Engagement Power 50.

Celeste by the Metrics

  • 3 languages
  • 2 kids
  • 1 dog
  • 100s of nonprofit and public sector organizations helped

Service Areas

Economic Analysis & Modeling

Place-based Planning

Taskforce & Advisory Board Facilitation

Stakeholder Engagement

Strategy Development & Capacity Building

Business Planning



Transportation & Infrastructure

Environment & Climate Resilience

Economic & Community Development


Health & Human Services

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