Internship Partner Spotlight: Building Together


Building Together is a US-based NGO that creates connections between Palestinians and Israelis for shared respect and economic benefit.

Roland Lewis is the president of Building Together. He is a graduate of Columbia University and earned both a Master of City and Regional Planning and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University.

How did you first get into your career field or area of expertise?

I have long had a strong interest in cities and urban planning as well as social justice. I studies law and urban planning in college and graduate school.  As an attorney I represented many multi-faith civic organizations that worked for affordable housing and community redevelopment in under-served New York City neighborhoods. From there, I went on to lead Habitat for Humanity NYC and then I was the founding CEO of Waterfront Alliance which I led for 13 years.  All this background has given skills me as an experienced not-for-profit leader and manager.

How did you find out about Building Together?

A friend who was familiar with my work at Waterfront Alliance told me about the Building Together project. I was ready for a change and a new project so decided to make the transition.

What is an average day like as the President/CEO?

There really is no average day. You are responsible for fundraising, program development, communications, management and administration. You are always juggling all those responsibilities and more. 

Is there anything you find interesting about Building Together that an outsider or someone who isn’t familiar should know?

That there are people in here in America of all faiths and Palestinians and Israelis who haven’t given up hope for a peaceful solution.

Do you have any advice you could give if an applicant were to land an entry-level position at Building Together?

Work hard and understand and believe in our mission.

What does a successful internship look like at Building Together?

Hard work and fun.

Do you have any general career advice that has helped you?

Focus, passion,  perseverance, and honesty will always get you far.

Are you interested in an internship at Building Together? Apply for our internship placement program.

Leave a Comment