Meet the Team
Message from the Executive Director
Long Island is not one place, it’s many places — stretching over 100 miles from an urban border with New York City to rural farms in eastern Suffolk County. In our neighborhoods, playgrounds, schools and churches, Long Islanders reflect the full diversity of American life. We strive for the same security as families across the nation. Whatever’s happening on the news is also happening in our own backyards.
Project Safety Net is a new agency focused on identifying needs and creating solutions so Long Island’s diverse communities don’t get left behind. Informed by current research and by individual lives, we design programs and provide services that are practical and effective. Our spirit of care and advocacy was first mobilized during the AIDS crisis to support people spread across a wide geography. Today our field staff continue the road warrior tradition, packing access into our vans and meeting people where they’re at.
Project Safety Net is headed down a new road. We welcome partners and peers to join us. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover!
Colin Pearsall, Executive Director
Board of Directors
Our current Board Chairman, James Swift was born and raised on Long Island and has over 25 years of experience as a higher education executive. He has served as campus president for several medical training schools with cardiovascular, veterinary, pharmacy and nursing program specializations. Currently Executive Director/School President for Empire Education Group in Manhattan, James oversees campus operations for 300 students and 35 employees. James holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is a proud member of the LGBTQ community.
Shaun Rasmussen is the Director for External Relations & Engagement for CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), a nationally recognized associate degree completion program serving 25,000 students. In this role, Shaun leads program marketing and citywide outreach efforts. In addition to his experience at CUNY, Shaun has held a variety of positions focused on the arts, education, and employment opportunities for young adults in New York City. Shaun holds a BA in International Criminal Justice and MS in Organizational Leadership.